glow sticks have been an integral part of our dance music culture.
It’s come to a point where now, I can’t walk 3 feet in a festival without stepping on a sad dusty tube wedged in the grass. It doesn’t matter if you’re fist pumping to Hardwell or swooning to Pretty Lights, if there’s a beat and a drop, a shower of glow sticks will follow.
And I get it. They’re pretty! They’re festive!
Glow sticks are basically laser beams you can hold!
But guys, we need chill it with the glow sticks because – surprise! – they’re hurting the environment.
The most obvious offense is that these neon tubes are a one-time deal.
The glass and plastic made to use the outer shell can’t be recycled due to the chemicals inside. You crack one up, it lights up for a few hours, and then they’re chucked into landfills forever. Every year, more than 100 million glow sticks are left to RIP, taking years to partially decompose.
The same applies to other cheap plastic toys you’re buying at Party City—your binkies and blow up animals are no better.
Of course, there are bigger threats to our environment like carbon emissions and factory farms. But now with accessibility to brighter, longer-lasting LED props, using glow sticks seems outdated and pointless.
It’s probably time we rise above the faux accountability that’s so prevalent in dance music culture. With the current state of our planet, we don’t have the luxury of not caring anymore. And even if it’s just skipping the glow stick purchase at the gas station, you’re doing our environment and future generations of festivals goers a huge favor.