“For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way —
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.“ – author unknown
During the 1800s, Irish and Scottish immigrants brought a widely-celebrated tradition with them to the US: St. Patrick’s Day. This Irish heritage day is now celebrated by millions of people in America every year. The St. Patrick’s Day traditions include wearing green-colored clothing and accessories, going to parades, and eating and drinking green-tinted fare. To take your celebration to yet another level of ‘green’, what about including eco-friendly and eco-conscious options into your St. Patty’s Day festivities this year as well?
ECO-GREEN ST. PADDY’S FESTIVITIES
Decor– Hosting a St. Patrick’s Day-themed part this year? Here are some ideas to keep the party full of eco-friendly alternatives to other more wasteful or damaging options.
- First and foremost, commit to reducing waste by approaching the day with a zero-waste goal.
- Replace plastic decorations with ones made from more sustainable materials.
- The traditional colors of this day are green and gold.
- Commit to paying a bit more upfront for decorations that will then years.
- DIY crafty decor projects are another eco-friendly way to decorate. For example, you can reuse recycled cardboard, paper, and plastic.
- Make shamrock-shaped placemats, Celtic cross hangings, and such to represent the spirit of the holiday.
- Reusing decorations is a wonderful way to decrease the burden on the environment.
- Decorate with shamrock plants which come in a variety of styles and colors.
- Go 100% waste-free at your St. Patrick’s Day party. Use only reusable plates, napkins, cups, and utensils instead of paper or plastic.
- Compost any food scraps.
- Send leftovers home with guests in reusable containers.
FOOD & DRINKS
A green menu can be taken in two ways. One, with green-colored food and drinks and two, by offering a ‘green’ menu, meaning it’s eco-friendly and vegetarian.
- Make green drinks by adding organic green food coloring into cocktails, mocktails, sodas, and white wine served in clear glasses.
- You can dye food items green like potatoes and soda bread to get into the festive spirit too.
- A meatless St. Patrick’s Day party is the ultimate in eco-friendly celebrations. While Saint Patrick’s Day is known for main dishes full of meat-heavy options (which take a steep environmental toll), there are so many meat-free substitutes these days that you can offer just as delicious a meal.
- Hearty “meaty” vegetables like eggplant, cauliflower, and portobello mushrooms can be included as suitable alternatives too.
- Here’s a link to delicious, vegetarian, and vegan Irish St. Patrick’s Day-inspired meals and refreshments that will help keep both your guests and the environment happy.
With many parades, festivals, or other activities generally in one central location, you can probably easily take public transit, bike, or carpool to your location.
- If you’re planning on going out, try to minimize your carbon footprint by choosing not to drive to your destination.
- This saves the frustrations of heavy traffic, plus it’s an environmentally-friendly choice.
ECO ST. PATTY’S DAY ACTIVITY: GREEN PLANTS
Sticking with the green theme, including some live green plants in your St. Patrick’s Day traditions is another environmentally positive step to add to your eco-conscious celebrations.
- Add some green to your home decor for the party with some new plants, especially perfect for this holiday are shamrock plants.
- Get the kids involved and create a new tradition of planting a tree every year on St. Patrick’s Day.
- March is normally a good time to begin some early spring planting, get a head start on vegetable gardens. Tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers are good this time of year.
- Start a compost bin that reduces household waste while minimizing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. BONUS: grows the best vegetables too!
ECO-FRIENDLY ARTS & CRAFTS PROJECTS
- Get the kids busy using recycled goods for fun projects to celebrate the day.
- Items to reuse include old newspapers, cardboard, and other things you have lying around.
- The goal is to have an eco-friendly arts and craft session without using anything new, including plastic or paper products.
Here’s a link to many ideas.
GREEN INSPIRED LIFESTYLE
Continue the ‘green’ theme by choosing to implement eco-conscious new habits and practices into your daily life routines. Here are a few ideas to get you started this green holiday.
- Ditch the plastic water bottles- ( even the re-usable ones) and opt for glass, stainless steel, or aluminum. BONUS: these bottles offer better insulation than plastic, keeping your beverage cool all-day
- Support green businesses– you can trust their products, services, and industrial processes to be good for you and the environment. Visit GreenAmerica.org to find businesses near you.
- Remove junk from your trunk- (literally!) extra weight in your car decreases fuel efficiency.
- Turn down (or off) the thermostat– wear an extra layer of clothing or use blankets before turning on or up the heat, and turn your thermostat down (or off) at night and when you aren’t home. The same goes for your A/C and fans in the summer.
- Wash your laundry in cold water- opt for eco-friendly laundry detergents, and line dry your laundry or use a lower heat setting.
- Shop at your local second-hand store– or use neighborhood groups, phone apps to buy, sell, trade, and giveaway items that can be re-used. Many neighborhoods have “Buy Nothing” Facebook groups as well.
- Reduce your meat consumption– overwhelming scientific evidence shows that beef production has a negative environmental impact far outweighing that of any other animal product.
St. Patrick’s Day, and all holidays in general, are great times to start new traditions with your family. Whether it’s sharing a meatless meal, creating some eco-friendly crafts, or choosing to bike to your festive destination, there are many ways you can make this year’s St. Patrick’s Day is truly green.
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