Tuesday, March 3, 2009

10 easy ways to be more sustainable with St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is in two weeks, and you don't have to be Irish to celebrate it. Fun story before I get to this week's 10 easy ways. This past summer when I was in Ireland, I looked up some family information. According to one of the sources I found, my ancestors on my mother's side kidnapped St. Patrick way back when. There's no way to know if this is true, but it's kind of cool (although I'm sure St. Patrick didn't think so).

Anyway, to make up for the alleged sins of my ancestors, I'm making it my job to green up the day that honors St. Patrick just a little bit. Here's ten easy ways.
  1. Make that corned beef grass fed and that cabbage organic.
  2. Cook that corned beef and cabbage in a slow cooker - it will save a little energy. (disclaimer: I have not tried this recipe, but I may.)
  3. If you're going on a pub crawl, get your beer on tap instead of in a bottle (and order Smithwicks if you can - it's not greener; it's just the best Irish beer I know).
  4. Skip buying a new "Kiss me I'm Irish" t-shirt, even if it's organic. No one's going to kiss you just because you're wearing it, and it's a waste to buy a shirt you'll only wear once a year.
  5. You don't need the headband with the four leaf clovers bouncing on top  of it or the green plastic bowler hat. Don't buy cheap stuff you're just going to throw away the next day.
  6. If you're planning a part at your house, send e-vites instead of paper invitations.
  7. Read the story of St. Patrick to your kids from a book borrowed from the library.
  8. Make Irish Potato Candy using all organic ingredients. I wanted to point you to a place where you could purchase some, but I couldn't find one.
  9. I was able to find some organic, fair trade chocolates from Sweet Earth Chocolates, however. They have some chocolate, peppermint shamrocks if you feel the need to give someone chocolate on St. Patrick's Day.
  10. Download Irish music instead of purchasing physical cd's. I highly recommend the traditional Irish folk music of Beyond the Pale.
Do you have any other tips for greening St. Patrick's Day?

Image: Statue of St. Patrick in St. Patrick's Cathedral, London

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