Looming – it sounds like a new dance style, or post-teen social media meme like planking. It has taken over the entire pre-frontal cortex of the target demographic like an extended desire for unlimited ice-cream can AND it has been welcomed with open arms (and wallets) by just about every parent who ever uttered the words ‘put down that iPad’.
But spare a thought for the sheer amount of non-biodegradable materials that have been unleashed into the digestive system of mother earth. Here are three reasons to pause and think before you buy that jumbo box of glow-in-the-dark strawberry scented neon loom bands.
- Think of the birds:
Sharp eyed birds with an opportunistic bent are rapidly being eliminated from the food chain as they choke on the brightly coloured ‘worms’ that are flicked out into the world by enthusiastic little loomers as they attempt to break the current world record for the longest ever loom band.
- Exactly how are they made?
There are two types of rubber. Plant based (from the sap of the Hevea Brasiliensis tree) and synthetic rubber which is petroleum based. Given that loom bands come in colours and scents not found in nature, and cost next to nothing at the local $2 shop, it is a safe bet to assume they are made from synthetic rubber. Which would strongly suggest highly toxic by-products and less than ideal working conditions for factory workers.
- And then?
It is also a safe bet that somewhere, someone is working very hard on a toy or activity that will be so compelling to children, it will knock looming right out of their frontal cortex and well into ‘so last season’. Synthetic rubber generally takes a few thousand years to ‘break down’. Breaking down and being biodegradable are entirely different things. In thousands of years time, scientists will find a thin, brightly coloured layer of rubber – a bright marker of carbon-dating to the Loomasapiens of 2013/14.
Looming is repetitive, and if you really think about it, not really creative. In the same way that doing endless suduko puzzles does not expand your brain or prevent alzheimers or dementia – it just trains it to do suduko puzzles, looming trains great loomers.
Teach your children how to knit instead – at least you might get a scarf one day!
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