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A Sustainable Fat Tuesday in Kansas City

Don't throw away Mardi Gras beads. Find another use for them!
Don't throw away Mardi Gras beads. Find another use for them!Photo by xoashleigh/Stock Xchng

Fat Tuesday is not just for the New Orleans party crowd anymore. Mardi Gras is touted as the final celebration before Lent. The traditions of eating desserts, drinking too much, and throwing beads are lots of fun, but not very green!

When planning the food, purchase locally. Unfortunately, it is a little early for the farmers markets in the Kansas City area. Consider shopping for your King Cake ingredients at Green Acres Market, 4175 Mulberry Drive in Kansas City. The store’s dedication to providing families foods free of chemicals and pesticides aligns the store’s mission with the ideals of green parents.

You may want to make something other than the traditional King Cake. Overland Park's Baking Examiner Angela Pritchett suggests making beignets in her article, "Baked beignets for your Mardi Gras." Consider searching for organic ingredients to capture the flavor of the French Quarter with a green touch.

If you choose to have drinks at your party--or after putting the children to bed--consider an organic wine. Randy Caparoso, the Denver Wine Examiner, has dozens of suggestions. If selecting wine is not your forte, or if you need organic wine suggestions, check out Randy’s Organic Wine Matches of the Day.

If you attend a party this year, bring your empty bottles or cans home to recycle.

Finally, the beads. This used to be a New Orleans tradition, but has spread all over, even invading my office. (Some kind coworker left beads on my desk today.) Instead of tossing them in the trash, find something fun to do with them. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Give them to a little girl for costume jewelry
  • Toss them in with the Christmas stuff. String them together to make garland in December.
  • Put them away and re-gift them on Fat Tuesday 2011
  • Save them to add to goodie bags for children’s birthday parties
  • Pull the green ones out for St. Patrick’s Day

Please add more Mardi Gras sustainability suggestions with a comment!

Every holiday can be a day to celebrate sustainability and family. Happy Fat Tuesday!

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