As an over twenty-year Greenwich Village resident, I love the Pride Parade. I was on a float in it as an invited participant once. I watch it every year I’m home, though it passes a block from my home, so can’t miss it.
In the past decade or so, I’ve become more sensitive to litter and garbage. Last year, I happened to visit Washington Square Park the morning after the parade and saw it covered in more trash than I’d ever seen there. A woman there said what I saw was clean compared to a few hours earlier, before city employees cleaned a lot of it up. In her words, “Pride destroyed the park.” I posted about it with many pictures. Here’s a video of what I saw.
That trash means pollution in creating it, taxes to clean it, poison reaching the oceans, people and wildlife displaced from their land for resources, destruction of Washington Square Park life, and so on. For what, a few minutes of fleeting fun that could have been just as great or greater without it, therefore no net fun?
I pledged to try to find and help organizers for the 2022 parade to make it more meaningful and enjoyable by reducing the destruction. I’m calling and emailing around to speak to the organizers. I’ve never organized a parade, but I could see it as only adding to the experience to integrate a message of “leave the place cleaner than we found it” and “let’s respect people, plants, and animals and leave not one piece of disposable anything anywhere along the parade route.”
If you know organizers, please put me in touch. Maybe similar things happen with other parades. I don’t know. I know about this one because it’s in my neighborhood. I want to help improve the parade.
One idea I think would help by adding accountability: invite the media to take pictures like mine of the parade route and publicize its wake. If it looks clean, we can publicize the success. If it looks like last year and the images become publicized, it may help make that year the last so polluting.
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