don't trash mardi gras!

Mardi Gras season is back! The king cake, the parades, the beads, and the booze. And don't forget the trash!

When you go to parades, bring a bag or box to hold your loot. Take all the beads that land around you or are broken too, because all the beads you catch can be saved for future years. Louisiana has different organizations who take the beads and clean, repair and package them to be sold again.

  • Lafayette: Goodwill. They partner with LARC to accept donated beads on the organization's behalf.
  • Lafayette: LARC. Their donations are accepted at any Goodwill or at the LARC office on New Hope Road (near Acadian Village).
  • New Orleans: Arc of Greater New Orleans accepts beads at various locations.
  • New Orleans: Last year, the New Orleans public library branches accepted beads for recycling. Some branches this year are accepting beads; check the ArcGNO website for information on which branches.
  • Shannon Hurst Lane has some Mardi Gras recycling tips as well.
  • Verdi Gras is a new New Orleans organization focused on making Mardi Gras greener. They have a recycling program this year that involves taking beads, plastic and cans off the parade route and sorting it for recycling or donating to ARC.

And whatever you do for Mardi Gras, make sure you don't leave behind any trash. Use as much reusable as you can instead of styrofoam or plastic. Throw your trash away and recycle what can be, and pick up anything you dropped.

Everything helps, especially when this is the kind of mess left behind after one parade! Unfortunately, so many plastic bags are thrown over the floats and into the road, because the packaged beads are left in plastic bags instead of being set up to be thrown.

So while we can't make Mardi Gras completely sustainable yet, we can each do a small part to make an impact on the amount of trash left behind once the floats have passed.

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