6 Ways to Reuse or Recycle your Mardi Gras Beads

6 Ways to Reuse or Recycle your Mardi Gras Beads

by Karrie Quirin and Sarah Hogan, AmeriCorps Volunteer Engagement Members

So Mardi Gras is over….now what to do with all of those leftover beads? There are many ways to reuse, recycle, or repurpose them - whether you want to give back to a good cause, help a friend or family member, or get creative. Whatever you do, just don’t throw them away!

1. Dozen for a Dozen

  photo from Mix 99. iHeart Radio Station

photo from Mix 99. iHeart Radio Station

Calling all doughnut lovers! On March 5 and 6, Krispy Kreme will be collecting Mardi Gras beads in exchange for a dozen doughnuts! For each 12 pounds of beads, you'll receive a coupon for a dozen Original Glazed doughnuts. These beads will be donated to Augusta Evans School to be re-bagged and re-sold. Find out more about this deal here.


2. Give to Friends or Family

  photo from Visit Mobile

photo from Visit Mobile

Do you know someone who is part of a Mardi Gras society and rides in parades each year? Give them away to friends and family who will need them next year! This is a great way to help them save a little money and prevent the beads from being thrown away.


3. Donate Them to a Good Cause

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Camp Smile is in need of any and all Mardi Gras throws & costumes. You can drop them off at their office at 3058 Dauphin Square Connector Mobile, AL 36607. Find out more about Camp Smile here. For those who live closer to the Pensacola area, you can donate them to Arc Gateway. At The Arc Gateway’s Pollak Industries, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities sort and pre-package beads that are donated after parades. Visit their website here to find a donation site.


4. Spread the Mardi Gras Spirit

Don’t let your out of town friends miss out on the celebration! Send them Mardi Gras care packages in the mail and spread the spirit with them. This is especially fun for children who live out of town. Just remember to remind them where the real birthplace of Mardi Gras is!


5. Create a Masterpiece

Get creative with your beads! Possible options include crafting a Mardi Gras wreath to hang on your front door during Mardi Gras, a bead chandelier, and this epic jacket! Learn more here.


6. Make Some Dough

  photo from GoNOLA.com

photo from GoNOLA.com

Now it’s time to earn back all of the money you spent on your own Mardi Gras celebrations. Wondering how to do it? You can sell a bag of beads on Ebay or the masterpieces you created with your beads on Etsy!




Mobile Baykeeper received a $56,000 grant from NOAA to restore One Mile Creek and help Mobile move toward a Litter-Free Mardi Gras over the next two years. Click here to learn more about Baykeeper's litter-free Mardi Gras campaign! #LitterFreeMG


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