Congratulations to the year 12s!!
I was very lucky to be a part of the year 12 graduation this year. I taught some year 12s for a short period of time and through extra-curricular activities, got to know some of them very well.
This year though, I was overwhelmed during the ceremony..... with silly string and party poppers.
I know this isn't a tradition in all schools, but at the one I work at the students come into the graduation morning and spray silly string over everyone and pop party poppers and throw glitter etc etc. I know in other school, students give out chocolate necklaces that use a large amount of plastic. And it has got me thinking..
What is the impact that celebration has on the environment?
Balloons, poppers, chocolate, glitter, sequins, silly string, wrapping paper etc. there is so much waste that is attributed to massive celebrations. Melbourne cup is another. Don't get me started on Christmas (believe me I'm ready for it).
So what do we do?
I don't think its fair to stop celebrating. Celebrations are what make us human. They are ritualistic. They give us meaning. They mark important moments in our lives and we want them to be special.
But what about showering people in flowers? Of that cool leaf confetti stuff? Even rice is not a bad idea, because it is biodegradable. I personally think that plants and flowers look better than balloons. Also growing them helps the bees out.
I don't think there is an alternative to silly string... that stuff is just nasty.
I don't know what the solution is here, but I think our celebration culture needs to change so that we aren't hurting the environment every time we celebrate something.
I don't want people to feel bad about celebrating either. I love celebrating!! I love parties and giving presents!