You don’t have to be Irish (or part Irish like me) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, March 17. And I won’t judge if you continue the celebration through the weekend. Slainte! We love any occasion focusing on green things.
The Eco-Warriors at Good Earth Plant Company don’t think of shamrocks when we think about going green. There are many more ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all year long besides just wearing green and drinking green beer. Think green all year with our ten ways to go green on St. Patrick’s Day.
For some of you (like me), this is a tough one. Going completely vegan is the greenest way to eat. But it’s not always the most practical, and for people who need their weekly (or more) burger fix, it’s a lot to ask. But all of us can eat greener. Take one day off per week from eating animal protein. Give up red meat as much as possible. Consider trying a new green, healthy recipe. How about avocado alfredo instead of corned beef and cabbage? Here’s the recipe!
Skip the Plastic
Do you really need the green beads, plastic cups, and tablecloths? It might look fun, and you probably think you’ll save everything for next year. Get real. This stuff is going to the trash and the landfill on March 18. Instead, choose decorations made of paper or even cloth. Or decorate with living plants – they’re green! Whatever you use, be sure you choose to reuse. Reusing festive trimmings means a far lighter burden on the environment.
AND the St. Patrick’s Day T-Shirt
Admit it. You’ve worn the “Kiss Me. I’m Irish” or “Lucky Charms” T-shirt. This type of clothing is usually made in overseas factories and shipped using fossil fuels. They aren’t made to last, and just like your party decorations, they might not make it to 2023. If you’ve got to do it, how about a fun treasure hunt at your favorite thrift store to score some green clothing? How about that green plaid vintage bowling shirt? Bonus if you find something made in Ireland!
Sip Without A Straw
Say no to straws. Plastic drinking straws are harmful to the environment. They can’t be recycled. Five hundred MILLION straws are thrown away by Americans every year. They might take up landfill space, but worse, they end up floating down storm drains and into our oceans. Do you really need one? I promise you don’t. Stop using them and ask restaurant staff not to bring them to you.
After a few years of the pandemic, we know you feel like a full-scale celebration! If you’re hitting all your favorite bars and clubs you’ve missed, use a ride-sharing service or public transportation. You’ll prevent driving while intoxicated, keep extra traffic off the street, and save that gold in your gas tank for another trip. It all keeps extra air pollution out of the skies, too. You’ll also save on those rising gas prices!
Eat and Drink Local Products
When you’re out having fun, choose locally sourced drinks, snacks, and foods. In San Diego, we’re known for our exceptional craft beer. But we also produce excellent hard ciders and coffee. When you eat and drink imported items from large nationwide companies, they’re transported by burning fossil fuels, whether by land, sea, or air. Ask your favorite bar or restaurant. Most are proud of their locally sourced products and are happy to steer you to those choices. Plus, they help provide jobs and keep money in the local economy.
Get the Junk Out of Your Trunk
Extra weight in your vehicle lowers your fuel use efficiency. If you’re one of those people who carries stuff around in the truck – for example, piling up thrift store donations – you need to unload these goods until you’re ready to offload them at the other end of our donation trip. Saving gas saves money, and right now, it makes a real difference.
Plant A Tree
The first day of Spring comes right after St Patrick’s Day this Sunday, March 20. It’s the perfect time to add green to your garden with a few small trees or native plants. There are few better things you can do for the environment than planting a tree. It will need a little water to establish its roots during its first year, but your tree should thrive on minimal irrigation for generations if you choose wisely. “A society grows great when you plant a tree whose shade you’ll never see.”
Celebrate With Mother Nature
Get outside for a walk, a bike ride, or a picnic with friends and family. Getting out into nature confers so many health and wellness benefits because of our biophilic connection to the natural world. Our friend and author Richard Louv calls it Vitamin N. The average American spends 90% of their time indoors. Let’s change this at least a little bit! If you’re lucky, you might even find a four-leaf clover.
Bring Green Into Your Life Every Day
Celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day green by enriching your life and home with plants. Multiple scientific studies show indoor plants produce many productivity and wellness benefits. Plants oxygenate the air and reduce carbon dioxide and environmental toxins. They can help baffle excess noise and reduce visual distractions.
The result: plants can reduce stress, increase your creativity and productivity, and foster a healthier, happier indoor environment.
March 17 is the date of St. Patrick’s death. Yes, he was a real person. For many years St. Patrick’s Day was a solemn religious holiday in Ireland, honoring the man who converted Ireland to Catholicism and reportedly “drove the snakes out of Ireland.”
No snakes are native to Ireland. Some historians think “snakes” describes the ancient Pagans, especially the Druids who practiced the dominant spiritual belief in Ireland before the arrival of Christianity. But many others disagree since the Druids co-existed peacefully with the Catholic Church for several hundred years.
The modern Druid movement respects nature as the ancient Druids did. Today, many Druids participate in the environmental protection movement. On a popular current Druid website, they write, “We care about our waters, our land, our air, and our diverse biosphere. We do so out of respect for our ancestors, out of care for all life today, and out of love for future generations … We are part of Earth, and Earth is part of us.”
Isn’t this just an intuitive way to describe biophilia?
Eighty-four percent of Americans wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. Here at Good Earth Plant Company, we wear green and live green every day!
So, while you’re celebrating all things green, celebrate your biophilic connection to all things green and growing on St. Patrick’s Day. Why not give a toast to biophilia? Like the Druids, Good Earth Plant Company is all about natural diversity!