Santa Barbara has a long history of environmental awareness and activism by its people. In light of that, I am surprised that the use of confetti is something that is permitted during Solstice, the Fourth of July, and Fiesta celebrations and parades. In the climate of awareness and environmental responsibility here, I am amazed that our town condones the rampant sale and distribution of confetti during all these events. Despite the commendable efforts of street sweepers and city maintenance, I have seen confetti remaining in our city’s catch basins and storm drains, which are responsible for feeding our watersheds and flow to the ocean.
Locally, outcry was created following firefighting efforts by aircraft dropping chemical fire retardants — actions that are arguably more justifiable than the use of confetti during parades. At least the impact of using fire retardants comes with benefits, mainly preventing the destruction of human life, property, and environmental resources such as forests and the animals living in these habitats.
The use of confetti represents a complete disregard for environmental respect and is evident of a community engaging in mindless and frivolous behavior at one event while celebrating conflicting ideals at other events, such as Earth Day. Are we going to start to celebrate Earth Day with cascarones, the eggs filled with confetti? What would be the response of going to Earth Day and throwing around confetti?
I propose our community thinks twice before it engages in the use of confetti during the upcoming Fiesta Parade, as well as future Solstice and Fourth of July parades. Let our community respectfully celebrate without mindlessly trashing our environment with this garbage that we call confetti. This behavior of throwing paper waste on our streets is inappropriate any other day of the year, and there should be no exception for these parades.