New Orleans pulls 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads from storm drains


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Always someone two steps ahead of me:


Well, yeah, Boing Boing is right in the name.


It’s a double quadruple Boing Boing Boing Boing?



Most of those beads were tossed in the hopes of seeing a double boing, so to speak.


I’m really disappointed that there don’t seem to be photos of these beads in the storm drains. I want to believe! (Also I think it might make a cool painting.)


They’re like the garbage island in the middle of the Pacific.* They don’t show up on film.

∗ also, vampires


<3 I enjoy your garbage vampires theory. So much so that I may steal this idea for… something. Probably unmarketable.


Watch the doc ‘Mardi Gras, Made in China’. Here’s an excerpt:



in other words… how many tiddies does this represent?


It’s boings all the way down


For a supposedly advanced species, we sure spend a lot of time and effort to foul our nests and living spaces with our waste products.

Not really a lot of progress from the time when people routinely tossed their “night soil” out the window.


Lotsa progress, actually. Now we use petroleum to industrially mass-produce our trash as non-biodegradable plastics, transport it over the oceans, same as we did with the petroleum, in the dirtiest ships imaginable, and we finally dispose of a lot of the plastic in the ocean. That’s called progress! And growth. Hurrah! We truly are homo sapiens.


Yep, a buncha saps…


The carnival season known as Mardi Gras extends from January 6th to the beginning of Lent; there are parades for more than just five days.


If we could only invent a kind of paper disposable necklace, maybe we could completely eliminate the demand for these moronic beads…oh right, the post above about biodegradable beads being just around the corner? You’ll note that was last year’s news, and the ecofriendly beads haven’t yet caught on.

Ciko has met with city officials from the Greater New Orleans foundation and is in talks with having a factory made to produce these beads locally. His wish is to sell them at a comparable price to the once that are currently manufactured and sold from China.


Admittedly, I’ve never been to Mardi Gras, and I don’t really have a clear idea of why people need these bead thingies, or why they need to exist. What comes to my mind is just “another case of excess consumer goods”.

So, while switching to biodegradable or ecofriendly stuff isn’t a bad idea in itself, it seems like replacing plastic beads with paper beads would be no more than a stopgap [pun not intended!] solution—that is, in the short term, presumably there would still be the issue of them clogging the drains during/after the event? And in the long term, wouldn’t there still be the ecological impacts of manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of these goods? It seems to me that we need some larger, cultural change, in the attitudes that we have in general toward the getting/having/owning (if only for a day) of stuff.

Meanwhile, though, maybe we can brainstorm some alternatives?

Long term, how about developing some kind of mind thing, where you would think you have necklaces on, and you would see necklaces on others, but no actual necklaces would exist?

Or, short term, maybe give out things that are too large to go down the drains, and too large to carry very many of around all day…hmm, how about basketballs instead? Leftover basketballs swept up from the streets could then be distributed to schools and parks across the country…

Any other ideas here?? :smiley:


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