My idea of a remembrance poppy eight months early
Yesterday (March 27) I plucked a glittering Royal British Legion remembrance poppy pin out of a Fairview dumpster and happily saved it from ending up in the landfill.
This fancy variety of remembrance poppy is different from what we’re used to in Canada.
The Royal British Legion pin is smaller—about two-thirds the size of the Royal Canadian Legion’s cheap plastic-and-steel-pinned remembrance poppy. And it’s not meant to be thrown away after Remembrance Day the way the Canadian Legion poppy is.
Which is to say that the Royal British Legion pin isn’t such an environmental disaster.
Canada’s remembrance poppy—what a waste
The Royal Canadian Legion’s throw-away remembrance poppy, with its non-recycleable, non-biodegradable plastic body and sharp steel pin, is a puzzling holdover from a time when disposable products were designed with little or no thought as to their long term consequences.
Every year these poppies needlessly contribute to the global quantity of immortal plastic waste and they pose an annually renewed choking hazard for animals (not to mention how the pins can stab feet, paws and bicycle tires).
For a symbol that is supposed to be all about remembering and having empathy with the victims of suffering, the Royal Canadian Legion’s remembrance poppy perpetuates a particularly cruel and thoughtless design that is surprising, especially considering that we know better now.
When it comes to considerate design, the Canadian remembrance poppy compares poorly with most every other disposable remembrance poppy under the sun, especially the Royal British Legion’s version, which was redesigned in 2003, both to be environmentally-friendlier and to dispense with the dangerous steel stick pin altogether.
A remembrance poppy that is a keeper
The Royal British Legion enameled poppy pin is one of several jewelery-quality versions of the disposable paper and plastic Remembrance Day poppy which is distributed across the UK every November.
The pin has a silver-toned finish (as opposed to being real silver) and features a striking iridescent red enameled face. The back is fitted with a rollover locking C safety clasp and is embossed with the words: “Lest We Forget”. It is made to last for years.
Although it’s expensive and I much prefer the look of the British Legion’s enamel poppy pins, the Canadian Legion’s brooch is commendable for being designed to be kept and worn year after year.
Mind you, if you give it some thought (and have some epoxy and a spare pin back, or a magnet), you can easily turn a disposable Canadian remembrance poppy into a hardy annual without spending much money at all.
But remember, if you buy a long-lasting poppy pin or if you make one, please don’t forget to donate to the annual poppy campaign in your community. Click the images to enlarge them.