Irish for a Day, Green for Life

By Mark Baron
Staff Writer

Whose ready for parade day?! Me,me,me! Whose ready to pretend that you’re Irish, even if you’re 100% Italian?!! Me,me,me! And whose ready to be more ecologically cautious?!!! Me,me…wait. What?

Since, St. Patrick’s Day is all about going green, whether it be by wearing green clothing or drinking green beverages; why not take it upon yourself to ‘go green’ by conserving energy and improving the environment that most of us take for granted? ‘Going green’ is  becoming a more popular trend , at least in the United States, and it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to change our entire way of celebrating St. Patty’s Day.

By now, you’ve hopefully recycled this article or you’re still interested, so here are a few easy eco-friendly tips when throwing your next St. Patty shindig!

Appropriately, the first step in most parties is inviting people. So let’s see: that means buying stationary and stamps to send out invitations. Not this year! Instead, try using an online social network like facebook or myspace to let people know about your party. This way, it will conserve paper, prevent waste, and save you time and money (I wouldn‘t recommend this for weddings, however.).

So now that the invites are out, you need to decorate the place and you can’t go wrong with some festive decorations. That is, unless you’re buying them from a party supplies store. Commonly, many of the decorations at supplies stores are made of paper or plastic, which can take a long time to break down. Also, unless you like using the same lame decorations every year, you most likely may only use these decorations once and throw them away. Instead of creating waste, Planetgreen.com suggests looking outdoors for nature inspired décor like wood, rocks, or flowers. Why not showcase the clover since it’s one of the most widely known symbols for St. Patrick’s Day?

Let’s get to the more important matters, shall we? Food and drink are always a major part of any celebration and with everybody’s different taste, it’s even harder to go green. Firstly, don’t think that you have to go Vegan. Instead, if you’re serving meat, let’s say beef, try to find to find organic or grass-fed alternatives. Secondly, try to incorporate local and organic vegetables into your dishes. Furthermore, you can find hundreds of delicious vege-recipes online.

Besides the food, let’s be honest, many Americans (over 21 of course) choose to be ‘Irish for a day’ because (due to Irish stereotypes) it gives people a reason to drink massive amounts of alcohol. If you’re going to drink (let’s say beer), there are several eco-friendly ways to do it. For starters, forget the bottles and cans. If not recycled, they can create tons of waste. Instead, consolidate your beer into one large keg. Kegs cut down on packaging and can be reused. It’s also less for you to clean up, as well. Also, try to support your local micro-brews because this will cut down fossil fuels used to ship the beer. And if you really want to go that extra mile, there are ‘organic’ beer and liquor options out there, although they are harder to find.

So hopefully, you’re still excited about St. Patty’s Day after all of this green talk. Honestly, there is a good chance that many of you are already trying some of these tips. Going green shouldn’t feel like a chore. Make it a chance to do something different, fun, and creative. If you’re still interested in further eco-friendly tips, go to <planet green.discovery.com>. There are tons of tips to make every kind of occasion greener. Now you know! So get out there with your organic cotton clover T-shirts and make St. Patrick proud!

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