vrijdag 18 november 2011

Ponies Against Plastic

I was really happy this week as I found a new pony!!! please meet Blossomforth, pictured on the right. To be honest I think she looks kind of dopey, but I am really happy to have her. One more pony of wave 3 to go!
However, after I purchased her, I was once again confronted with the horrible task of deboxing her. Now don't get me wrong; unwrapping a new addition to my collection is always fun and exciting, and I'm sure that collectors everywhere can agree with me that it's one of the best parts of collecting!
It's a horrible task, however, because Hasbro uses entirely too much plastic and other packaging material to keep her boxed. In the box, the toy is stuck in plastic to keep her and her accessories in place, which is held to the cardboard back by another plastic cover. If this wasn't enough, her hair is tied in a plastic wrapper as well and the comb is stuck in yet another piece of plastic, and her tail and a part of her mane are also held together by a rubber band.
All of this is waste, as it's impossible to take the toy out and to save the packaging so you can put her back in
for storage or display, as is the case with some Japanese statues and PVC figures. So basically, for one little pony, there's a large pile of waste that will have to be thrown away. While the cardboard can be easily recycled (and is of some value to some collectors), the plastic is horrible for the environment (think, for example, about the Plastic Soup that exists in our oceans)and has little to no value.
What's more, this way of packaging is potentially harmful as the plastic used is often sharp and  if you're not careful you can really hurt yourself (I know I did a couple of times), even as an experienced collector or adult. Imagine a child opening this! They can get hurt on the rough edges of the plastic or even swallow the little pieces.
In my opinion, this has to change. These toys are made for the next generation and carry out an amazingly positive message (Friendship, caring, be yourself, take care of your environment) but the way they are packaged is very damaging for the environment which the next generation needs as much as we do, and toys carry out an important message to children. There's absolutely no way Hasbro can justify wasting this much in this age where it's becoming increasingly clear we need to conserve our beautiful planet. Companies like Lego have already decided to drastically reduce the impact their packaging has on the planet.
I'm actually planning to start a campaign to convince Hasbro to reduce the amount of waste on their products. The recent Brony movement is incredibly creative and vocal and I'm sure that if this is combined with the creativity and care of the collector community, we can convince Hasbro in a fun and engaging way that we care about and love their product but that we would love to see them reduce the waste it creates so we don't hurt both ourselves and the planet!!!

zondag 6 november 2011

Nanowrimo, week 1.

Yes yes I know, this is only the sixth day of Nano so "week one" doesn't really make sense yet, but as I just crossed the 10.000 word mark I decided it was time for a little blog-rant-update after all. I have just finished chapter 345 and am one/third into chapter 346. So far writing is going well enough - not as well as last year, but as I have lots of things going on in my life (which is also the reason I delayed updating RD the past couple of months from once every week to once every two weeks, but more on that later) I am rather pleased I have made it so far already.
The chapters so far have focused mostly on one character (3 of the 5 chapters I have finished have been written from her POV). This is mostly because of her intense storyline; I had planned this to be a part of the end of part four originally, but it didn't quite fit so I moved it to the start of part five. The result is that part five jumps into action a lot faster than any previous part; things start happening quite soon which is quite different from the other parts but also makes the story more engaging. There's nobody I need to introduce and everyone's position in the story is clear. I really like this style more than endless introductions of new characters which I kind of overdid in the early days of RD. Anyway, enough cryptic talk about upcoming chapters of RD; you'll all get to read them soon enough anyway.
What is most surprising to me in this year's Nanowrimo is that I'm beginning to look forward to starting new adventures with other characters in different worlds. Don't get me wrong; I love the world I created with RD and I love writing it, but now that the end is coming closer, I find myself wandering to different places more often. There's so many other stories I want to tell and so many characters who are dying to share their adventures! I really hope that with next year's nano I can start a new story, but there's 54 chapters waiting to be finished before that can happen.
On the subject of updating the site: I am planning to resume weekly updates in December, so expect weekly updates December 2nd onwards. I have quite a bit of backup already but I want to make sure I can make even more so that I have something to read for you all even when real life is causing me to not write for a while.
And now I'm going to catch a little break from writing by taking out my gen3 ponies. I have completely lost touch with my MLP collection (more on this in a future blog post, I'm sure) because they've all been stashed away except for a lucky few, and I want to reconnect with what I already have!