Mardi Gras is pretty much the best thing ever. But there is an unfortunate eco-downside to it: The plastic beads that are coveted one second, and pretty much garbage the next. Tourists who smack each other down to snag them during parades may find they’ve collected more than they need as souvenirs, and regard the rest as “strands of junk,” says this article, which notes that “Traditional recycling centers cannot process the beads.”
A few nonprofits in recent years have refined programs that collect, bundle and resell them. And this year, an unprecedented crop of initiatives has sprung up to help feed the recycled bead market, with most of the ideas as idiosyncratic as the city itself.
The main focus of the story is a couple named Kirk and Holly Groh:
On Feb. 11, the group the Grohs founded, Verdi Gras, tested a first-ever recycling pilot program with the blessing of city government, setting out bead collection bins along the route for the Krewe of Pontchartrain.
Like-minded revelers, about 130 of whom attended a Verdi Gras ball in January, imagine a future Carnival where more “throws” might be locally produced, handmade objets d’art. Kirk Groh, a 48-year-old lawyer, noted that the Krewe of Zulu’s hand-painted coconuts are always among Mardi Gras’ most coveted throws.
For these new activists, the deluge of beads is emblematic of regional attitudes about the environment that they wish to change. National green groups, which descended on Louisiana during the BP oil spill, often received a lukewarm reception from residents worried about the effect of stricter regulation on oil industry jobs. Before Katrina, New Orleans officials had discussed killing off the city’s curbside recycling program because of low participation rates.
“It’s a cultural thing,” said Ryan F. Berni, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We have a hard enough time convincing people to put their trash in the can.”
I really feel like I have grown up a lot in the last couple months. I have been dealing with life stuff in a totally different way.
I used to be so crazy for Love. It would make my body ache and I would drown myself in trying to get that person’s attention. I no longer crave it. I can take an adult look at in and make decisions.
Which brings me to Portland. Even tho I have been chatting with someone in New Orleans, I still continue to plan my move. The old me would have dropped everything and moved to be with him. I am have so much more to learn about myself.
I am so excited to learn about me. I find it adventurous to find new things to fill my life with. New friends and new places.
So I am going California to support my Mom for a couple months then after I will be heading to “THE DREAM OF THE 90’S” aka Portland, Oregan. Coffee and vegan friendly stores? Fuck me? This is screaming “Martin Come On Up!”.