Egg Litter

It’s the summer and almost time for Fiesta. As a way to get into the spirit, here’s an activity. Gather together some eggs, dyed paper, a few pieces of Mylar or Mylar balloons (no need to blow them up), oil-based paint, glue, glitter, sequins, stickers, permanent ink pens, and small plastic bags.

First, crack open the eggs and throw away the yolk and white. After that, go outside and throw everything else on the ground, drizzle on some paint and glue, maybe stomp around on it a bit, laugh, smile and then walk away. It’s that easy. Repeat all the time and encourage everyone to do the same. Take the trash into the trails and do it there. Go out to the beach and do it there. Repeat on the pier, harbor, in parks, on boats, and especially downtown. Wasn’t throwing all of that trash onto the ground fun? That’s the Santa Barbara Fiesta way!

One dollar at Fiesta buys four cascarones — decorated eggs filled with confetti. Inside each egg is the equivalent of a half-sheet of chemically dyed paper and often Mylar. The egg itself is covered in chemical dyes, oil-based paints, glues, permanent markers, glitter, and sequins. Some of the eggs even have plastic figurines and other decorations glued onto them. All of this is packaged into a plastic bag; one can even buy plastic bags filled with the dyed paper and Mylar and throw that on the ground as well. Each egg generates about a half cup of trash, plus the bags. How many eggs are sold during Fiesta? Is it 10,000 or 100,000? Doesn’t the number seem to be growing year after year?

Aren’t single-use plastic bags banned? Isn’t littering illegal? Didn’t Earth Day originate in Santa Barbara? Why does Santa Barbara continue to allow this to happen?

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