St. Patrick's Day is March 17. If you're going to celebrate, here are some great tips to help make it a fun, safe and eco-friendly day.
1. Skip the corned beef and cabbage
Despite it being a staple of St. Patty's day celebrations, it turns out that corned beef isn't a common Irish meal after all. It was originally reserved for kings, and most Irish people did not get to eat beef until they moved to the United States. Besides beef can have a pretty large carbon footprint. So skip the corned beef, and maybe go for a nice baked potato instead. With organic sour cream and chives. Yum.
2. Be safe
St. Patrick's Day is notorious for green beer. But whatever color of liquid you imbibe, do it safely. "As you make plans to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, also make plans for a safe ride home," says Kim Marotta, vice president of corporate social responsibility for MillerCoors. (Full disclosure: MillerCoors is one of MNN's sponsors.) "Whether you choose alternative transportation, designate a driver or stay overnight at a hotel or friend's home, driving drunk should never be an option."
You can plan ahead for a safe ride home. Marotta offers three suggestions:
- No matter where you are, you can dial 1-800-TAXICAB, a national taxi dispatch service that will automatically connect you to a local-area taxi company.
- If you're celebrating in Milwaukee, Chicago or the Twin Cities, you can catch a free ride home, courtesy of Miller Lite.
- You can also take the pledge to prevent drunk driving and join MillerCoors' One Million Strong campaign on their website.
Everyone likes to wear green-colored clothing on St. Patrick's Day. So why not go the extra step and wear green clothing that is eco-friendly? Opt for clothes that are made from organic cotton or other materials, use sustainable dyes, are made in the U.S.A. (to reduce shipping), and supports a good cause.
There are plenty of examples out there, but one worth trying this season is Green Label Organic, which has plenty of green-colored, eco-friendly shirts available. This month, a portion of the company's profits will be donated toward efforts to end mountaintop removal coal mining.
4. Try some Celtic music
Get into the spirit of the season with some Irish music. Don't know where to start? Try this free Celtic music sampler on Amazon.com. (Downloading music creates fewer greenhouse emissions than buying CDs.)
5. Have an eco-friendly party
If you're inviting friends over, serve drinks and food on compostable plates, recyclable cups, and plates made from plant-based renewable materials instead of plastic. If it's a small enough group, you can use reusable plates and glasses.
6. Be crafty
Looking to decorate for St. Patty's? Why not cover your home in origami shamrocks? You don't even need to use green paper. Just reuse some newspaper, magazines, junk mail or other paper that you were going to recycle. The paper gets a second use and you end up with something unique and attractive.
7. Walk if off
This year, St. Patrick's Day is just three days before the first day of spring, so it should be nice weather. Going to a parade or an Irish restaurant? Leave the car at home and walk there. Having a rich meal? Burn it off with a nice walk. Enjoying the greening nature around you is a perfect way to celebrate any holiday — and on this particular day, you can wear green while you do it!