Updated: Mar 29, 2019
Christmas through St. Patrick’s day New Orleans takes to the streets rain or shine. Second lines, marches, and displays of bold production setups like stages and floats eventually roll through most neighborhoods. Parades involve moving magical moments, loved ones, plus a three month time frame where people forget the concept of managing trash. There are tons of trash. People getting trashed. Trash left behind. Trash overflows from the krewes to the crowd.
In research Earth Island Journal published called ‘Can Mardi Gras Go Green?’ Carolyn Heneghan explains, “Green may be one of the three prominent colors of the Mardi Gras spectrum, but the event is anything but. It produces millions of pounds of trash each year, the majority of which ends up in landfills. In 2014, the City collected 1,758 tons of trash during the 10 days of Carnival, spending nearly $1.5 million on sanitation.”
Below are some links to consider regarding how to approach a greener parade experience. Issues, statistics, and possible solutions are all there. The next step is for each person who is either in or attending these events to make conscious decisions about what they are giving and taking from this. It is up to people to not play catch and release with boring, mass processed, garbage throws. Mardi Gras is about coming together as a community. People should give each other something to come for. The city is a home. Enjoy the amenities, but do not overstay the welcome by being a bad guest or housemate.