No Toys from Santa

I really enjoyed the 100th Toronto Santa Claus Parade this past weekend. Floats rolled by and marching bands strutted their stuff. The energy was excellent and some of the bands were pretty good (the all-black marching band I saw near the end of the parade really kicked some a**). It felt good to stand near the bands and feel the music in my chest. Kids and adults watched with glee.
But what left the strongest impression in my mind is what the parade left behind.
Santa Claus himself is always the last thing the public sees in the parade — standing on top of a float, waving and wishing “Merry Christmas” to everybody. I thought, “Hmm, I wonder will be behind him after his float passes?”
A few support ambulances and vehicles followed, and then then I walked into the instantly crowded street. I looked in the distance and witnessed an approaching army of garbage trucks and garbagemen.
Obviously, organizers knew better than I just what a parade like this leaves behind: tons and tons and tons of GARBAGE. There was so much crap lying around! Most of it was recyclable coffee cups and bottles and cans. RECYCLABLES, people! At least they were cleaning it up right away.
I shook my head in disbelief. Am I one of only a few geeks who actually bothers to carry the empty cans or bottles I drank from with me until I find a good place to recycle them?
As I followed the parade as it progressed, the waste remained thick. We’re talking about being unable to walk anywhere without stepping on something.
I thought Santa was supposed to leave toys behind.

  • Dyniss at 12:02 pm

    OK, here’s my own follow-up. I’m going to start writing solutions to these things instead of just bitching all the time. My “grand” solution of course would be to give the public way more environmental education (like making kids visit and study garbage dumps) so that we would take care of our planet simply out of instinct.
    However, in this entry’s case, I thought of this: Why not have one or more “recycling floats” in parades? The idea would be to turn a float into something fun like a massive basketball hoop to easily catch thrown recyclables. The fun factor: getting parade viewers to actually THROW their recyclables at this thing. Put a clown or something in the middle to try and hit. The money factor: Get paper cup / can / bottle manufacturers to sponsor the float’s construction and upkeep by putting massive advertising versions of their products at the top of the float. They would show what to recylcle. Lastly, there would have to be a few “support” clowns running around the net, encouraging people to throw their cups at the float and to grab the items that missed.

  • Jill Binder at 12:08 am

    I’ve been thinking for a while that we need to educate the kids on what *really* goes on. Garbage dumps, factory farms, etc. They need to know how things get into the pretty packages on the shelves. That’s the start for real change.