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What To Do With Surplus Mardi Gras Beads

Posted on: December 28, 2012 | Posted in: News

Other Uses For Mardi Gras BeadsMardi Gras season is just about here, that means it’s time to figure out what to do with all of the old Mardi Gras beads that you have stockpiled!

Yes, I'm talking to you people who have the boxes stacked high in the attic or overflowing in the basement.

You could throw them out, but with thousands of tons of Mardi Gras beads being thrown every year in New Orleans, can you imagine how much space that would take up in a landfill? There’s many other options that are more environmentally friendly, that can beautify your home or even help make the world a better place.

Recycle Those Mardi Gras Beads

Arc of Greater New Orleans, a non-profit organization that provides services for children and adults with intellectual disabilities collects Mardi Gras beads and recycles them. The beads are sorted, cleaned and re-sold to Krewes and others to raise money for the group.

You can bring your unwanted Mardi Gras beads to a number of locations across the New Orleans area including Arc locations, many New Orleans Public Libraries and a number of other places. They’ll take care of the rest. Visit the Arc website for current information about their recycling program.

Get Crafty With Your Mardi Gras Beads

If you’re one of those people who love Pinterest and doing crafts, you may want to try your hand at re-using the beads in your next project. I’ve seen beads transformed into everything from framed wall art to lampshades. Search online, there are a number of guides to help you along the way. Who knows, it may even turn into a side business for you. I’ve spotted a number of these bead projects popping up for sale on Etsy.

Donate The Extra Beads

Speaking of arts and crafts, many schools collect the beads for art class projects. Other schools may collect beads to donate to groups like the Arc. Check with your neighborhood school to see if they could use your surplus beads.

During The Upcoming Mardi Gras Season

This year instead of just bringing home a dozen bags of beads that will just go towards cluttering your house or you’ll eventually throw away, you can recycle the unwanted throws before you even leave the parade route.

After some parades, Arc will be collecting beads to be recycled with their catch and release float. It’s an unmanned float towed along at the end of the processions, allowing parade-goers to throw their extra beads back.

Along some parade routes, the ARC places purple and gold recycling bins for your extra throws. They’ll even collect your plastic and aluminum. 

So what are you planning to do with your unwanted beads? Make plans now, Mardi Gras is almost hear again!