What's Up Wednesday: Mardi Gras Goes Greener

Yesterday was Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, traditionally a day of excess prior to the beginning of Lent.  The festivities in New Orleans have generated tons of garbage, most of which has ended up in landfills.  However, efforts to reduce the waste and usher in a greener Mardi Gras are being made by groups such as Verdi Gras, (, whose mission is to create and support a "cleaner, greener" Mardi Gras, and Arc of Greater New Orleans (, a center making efforts to recycle Mardi Gras beads.  Reena Kazman, author of Eco-Artware Notes Blog writes in an article titled "Where Mardi Gras Beads Go For Lent":

 Handwrapped Wire Upcycled Necklace
Image © funkybutchic

"An estimated 22 million pounds of cheap plastic beads, most of them imported from China, are tossed to crowds lined up for the pre-Lenten parades. Only about 2 percent of those are recycled, but Arc Enterprises in New Orleans is working to increase that ratio. It places recycling bins along the parade routes and its “Catch and Release” trailer follows some of the floats."

"To reduce waste, Arc Enterprises devises places for Mardi Gras revelers to pitch their beads and baubles for reuse.  Revelers are also encouraged to toss their throws back in to the trailer for recycling and resale to nexty year's float riders.  Last year the organization, which employs the disabled, sorted through 100,000 pounds of reclaimed beads."

Spiral Sun Bookmarker
© naturemadescents

To learn more about the recycled Mardi Gras bead efforts, and to see how one New Orleans artist is using them, see the entire article at: 

On the home front, etsy trashionteam artists recycle beads and baubles every day.  Check out these recycled creations with a Mardi Gras flair.

 See You Later Alligator Upcycled Faucet Handle Necklace 

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