What better time to think about going “green” than when you plan your eco-friendly St. Patrick’s Day celebration?
Below, we’ll share a little background about this popular holiday and give you some tips to make sure your festivities are eco-friendly.
What Is St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) is what’s known as a feast day, and it commemorates the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick.
St. Patrick in Ireland
St. Patrick was born in Britain but was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave when he was young. When he returned later, he wanted to convert Ireland to Christianity and built many schools, monasteries, and churches.
Stories about St. Patrick
There are popular stories about him that people like to tell. For example, he is said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland and taught about the Trinity by using a shamrock (3-leafed clover).
Even though St. Patrick’s Day was originally meant to remember the saint, these days it has become equated with celebrating all things Irish.
St. Patrick’s Day Commercialism
Like many holidays, it’s become a commercial and marketing strategy for businesses like pubs, restaurants, and retail stores, with the color green playing a prominent role. It’s not quite as much about the saint or actually being Irish as it used to be.
St. Patrick’s Day in Canada
There has been a significant amount of Irish immigration to Canada, and St. Patrick’s Day has been widely celebrated here for decades. The festivities usually include parades, wearing green, displaying Irish symbols, and drinking green beer.
Whatever your feelings about the holiday, if you do choose to celebrate, you can use the tips below to make sure it doesn’t harm the environment.
Eco-Friendly Tips for St. Patrick’s Day
Here some ideas to go “green” for St. Patrick’s Day:
1. Skip the Plastic Decorations
To take advantage of the holiday spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, many retail stores offer all sorts of plastic decorations with a green or Irish theme.
People have celebrated Saint Patrick and their Irish pride for decades without these plastic novelties. Avoid them completely to reduce a contribution to the plastic and trash problem.
2. Thrift Stores Have Green Clothes
If you want to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day and you don’t own anything appropriate, take a trip to the local thrift stores.
You can probably find enough green items for cheap that will fit you out from head to toe and help you make a statement.
3. Natural Green Beer
A very popular way to celebrate this occasion is to drink green beer. Many pubs and restaurants use it as a drawing card.
If you’re doing the coloring yourself, try to use natural food dyes, such as wheatgrass, matcha, or spirulina. And, make sure to use a light-colored beer to get the right effect. It’s healthier for you and the environment.
4. Have an Eco-Friendly Party
If you throw a St. Patrick’s Day party, use the following ideas to keep it environmentally friendly:
- Shop locally and sustainably for the food and beverages.
- Go with reusable and non-plastic decorations.
- Shop secondhand stores for items instead of buying new ones.
- Pack leftovers in reusable containers to avoid food waste and plastic.
- Avoid single-use serving ware to reduce plastic and trash.
Using the ideas above will help reduce the environmental footprint of your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. You can still enjoy the day and have fun while keeping the needs of our planet in mind.
It’s possible to celebrate an eco-friendly St. Patrick’s Day without creating excess waste and trash in the process. Think about how things were done in past times without the need for plastic and commercial products.