Reflecting on Consumption: Small Stuff

October 28

Today, I bought drill bits, vinegar, baking soda and glow sticks. The drill bits, vinegar and baking soda were to replenish the Environment Centre stock that we had gone through during the fall programming. I am thrilled with the purchase of the drill bits. We had broken a few of them in the second week of classes while we were making bird perches for the Wildlife Centre. I had meant to buy more and kept forgetting. Attention. Presence. Action. And more sleep!

The glow sticks were for my son’s Halloween costume. The only thing I will have to buy this year. He wants to be a robot like he was a few years ago. We’re keeping Halloween low key this year. A playdate in the afternoon and a movie night in the evening.

Copyright Leigh Symonds
Copyright Leigh Symonds

I wince at the glow sticks. They are a single use plastic (as is the vinegar bottle as I’ve mentioned). Wasteful. We don’t buy many. In fact, I think the only other times we have bought them were for firework nights and other dark times where it is easy to loose kids (which was only one year of events to be honest). And the other robot costume (above)!

Copyright Leigh Symonds
Copyright Leigh Symonds

With Covid, there have been no fireworks or night-time trips in canoes up Peterborough’s lift locks (a very fun event!). And my son is getting older. We can also think about to make things light up in some sort of reusable way.

Experimentation would seem to be the thing to do here. There’s many sites with chemical recipes. The chemicals would need some sourcing, unless you had a chemistry lab handy. So, I included one that had everyday products, though perhaps this wouldn’t be as successful. But there are options for next year. :). It would made an interesting chemistry and life lesson, supporting creativity and DYI mentality, one of the key outlooks we need to adopt to live more sustainably.


Nichols, Megan Ray (2017, January 3). How to make glow sticks yourself – backed by science!.

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