Trashy AND toxic?
  • Trashy AND toxic?
Back in June, I wrote a brief guide to Seattle Gay Pride Organizer Drama, 2010—and, surprise!, it caused a little drama.

One contentious paragraph in the article discussed an intra-gay debate over how much trash the annual Seattle Pride Parade creates. In response, Eric Gauthier, president of the Pride organizing group Seattle Out and Proud, accused me of irresponsibly giving the mic to "Green Gays that just want to tell people what to do, but not help to do it."

Today the Green Gays themselves speak! Why did it take them a month? They explain in their press release:

Here is the OUT for Sustainability response to Seattle's 2010 Pride and the semi-controversial article in The Stranger. It's a little late we know, the challenge of an all volunteer group. Please publish as you see fit.

Oh, I see fit. Here is the release:

Old habits die hard, but it describes Gay Pride in Seattle. After 2 years of lobbying by OUT for Sustainability, 2010 Seattle Pride saw a reduction in printed advertising, adoption of compostable beer cups at the Seattle Center beer garden, several compost bins with clearly posted signs, and no mini water bottle handouts! Together, these form a key step toward our community's goal of a carbon neutral, zero waste Pride by 2015.

Bad habits come in many forms. Plastic beads, often made by the hands of children using toxic chemicals, could be replaced by a green(er) way to boldly show our pride. Trucks spewing carbon, holding our community leaders (and some near naked muscle boys), could be replaced by people-powered floats, showing off our creativity. Corporations handing out disposables could be transitioned to more responsible ways to show support for our community.

Next year could see the start of the Clean Credits program, where Pride groups and companies pay for the waste and carbon they generate based on its level of harm. There could be education for Pride attendees on why a green(er) Pride is important. There could be a clear strategy to move toward OUT for Sustainability’s goal of a carbon neutral, zero waste Pride by 2015.

The Emerald City and its LGBTQ community are among the most progressive in the country, but we still generate a lot of trash. For the organizers of Pride, this is a big challenge. The rainbow flying from the Space Needle above the Pride festivities for the first time ever showed that change is possible. Who knows what amazing other change in habits are possible for 2011, if we work together. Are you ready Seattle?