Recycle your Mardi Gras beads!
Those bags of beads and other throws that are gathering dust in your closet or attic, could be put to good use and help the community.
If you have plans to ride in a parade, that's a re-use that was traditional before recycling became cool. Many float-riders have always recycled their own Mardi Gras throws. It adds an extra incentive to scramble to catch beads and trinkets during the parades before their ride. Begging and buying throws from friends and relatives is also a New Orleans tradition.
SCHOOLS & ART:
But think beyond the next parade. Local schools may appreciate bead donations for art projects.
You could even get creative with your beads at home. You won't be alone. Professional artist Stephan Wanger specializes in Mardi Gras bead murals. If fine art is too ambitious for you, what about a 60's era bead curtain?
ARC VOCATIONAL PROGRAM:
Probably the very best way to give your beads a meaningful existence, is to let them help others through ARC of Greater New Orleans. The non-profit uses donated beads and other parade items its vocational training program.
ARC is a local non-profit that provides opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to develop and live to their fullest potential. The nonprofit serves about 1000 adults and children.
ARC packages and sells the donated beads and other throws to float-riders next year. That includes stuffed animals, trinkets, spears,feather boas, and all those crazy parade throws.
And if you have an upcoming ride in a parade, don't forget the ARC and complete the the recycling process. ARC sells those throws at bargain prices.
You'll be doing good and saving money at the same time.
ARC's has made it easy to donate with drop-off locations at most New Orleans libraries, the Pontchartrain Center, and other locations downtown, in Metairies and on the Westbank.
And don't forget the ARC for your needs in all the other parades in New Orleans throughout the year. Beads are not just for Mardi Gras in New Orleans!
WHY YOU SHOULD RECYCLE YOUR MARDI GRAS STUFF (In case you are not already convinced):
-It's a green thing - It's good for the enviroment.
-It's thrifty - Waste is out of style.
-It's a good deed - Donated throws can provide jobs and more independance for the ARC people.
-It's a clutter buster - Donating frees up space in closets and attics. You don't want to end up on one of those hoarder TV shows.
-It's patriotic - Since almost all throws come from China, consider the trade deficit.