Brett Davis said he’s seen Mardi Gras grow into a high waste event over the years.
“It’s an incredible amount and, when you look at the profile of the waste, you see how much of it is unnecessary,” he said.
Through his event waste reduction nonprofit Grounds Krewe, Davis is aiming to help the city cut back on Mardi Gras debris by selling sustainable throws sourced from small businesses around the world.
“The common denominator with everything is that it is sustainable, which is a hard word to sort of categorize, but in my mind, it’s something that is functional, consumable, biodegradable, or made from recycled products,” he said.
Grounds Krewe’s hand-packaged throws can be found on its website and at local low waste store Vintage Green review.
“When I opened the store, I already knew about all the sustainable throws and knew that I wanted to do what I could to help promote them,” Owner of Vintage Green Review Sarah Andert said.
The throws can also be found on the parade route through the nonprofit’s partnership with the Krewe of Iris.
Inside each Iris flower power throw package, riders can find Iris-branded biodegradable plastic cups and locally-sourced jambalaya mix, each with its own QR code detailing its backstory.
Andert has been worried about Mardi Gras waste for years.
“It’s very overwhelming. I find it very upsetting,” she said.
Both Davis and Andert are hopeful that Grounds Krewe’s throws are a step in the right direction for a more sustainable Mardi Gras.
“We can look at an event like Mardi Gras that has very long tradition and history within our city and still see new ways to innovate while preserving the art and the culture and the celebration of it,” Andert said.