While the coronavirus shut down Mardi Gras parades and carnivals in cities across the globe last year, the tradition is making its highly anticipated comeback for 2022 in St. Louis. Being home to one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of the Big Easy, the crown jewel of Soulard’s Mardi Gras season returns in just a few days, where revelers from far and wide will gather for the Grand Parade that begins at Busch Stadium and proceeds through the streets of Downtown South and Soulard, ending at Anheuser-Busch Brewery. And while green is one of the three prominent colors you’re guaranteed to see this weekend, the event is notoriously known for being anything but.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to incorporate sustainability into your favorite ‘Mardi Pardi’ plans, and you might even be surprised at how simple it can be to do so. By adopting just one of many possible eco-friendly actions, you can have a significant impact on improving the region’s air quality and helping people all over St. Louis breathe easier. That’s something everyone can celebrate!
For starters, to help eliminate multiple vehicles on the roads converging in Soulard, Metro is making it easy for riders to let the good times roll on Saturday, Feb. 26, while avoiding street closures, traffic tie-ups and the search for parking. MetroLink is a convenient option with the Stadium MetroLink Station located just a short walk from all the action. Individuals can also avoid parking headaches by leaving their vehicle at one of 20 free Park-Ride lots in Missouri and Illinois and riding MetroLink, with trains arriving and departing every 10 minutes at the Stadium Station and at all MetroLink stations between the Forest Park-DeBaliviere and Fairview Heights stations. Additionally, MetroBus is another great way to get to the celebration, with the #10 Gravois-Lindell, #30 Arsenal and #73 Carondelet MetroBus routes serving stops near Soulard. For real-time traffic updates to avoid delays and congestion on parade day, be sure to also check out MoDOT’s Gateway Guide at gatewayguide.com.
It wouldn’t be a proper Mardi Gras celebration without beads, but these popular accessories made up of cheap plastic strings and other toxic materials like polystyrene and lead also pose an unnecessary threat to the environment. Rather than littering the streets or tossing them into trash cans, consider disposing of your beads in a proper recycling container or, if you’re in tune with your crafty side, try reusing them in your next art project. Tons of trash in the form of non-biodegradable Styrofoam cups, aluminum cans and glass bottles also get left behind on parade day, which eventually wind up in landfills, so keep an eye out for recycling containers along the parade route to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to poor air quality.
Do your share for cleaner air by keeping green in your mind and not just your wardrobe this Mardi Gras. To learn more about the link between living greener and our air quality, visit our website at cleanair-stlouis.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.