From costumes to food and beer, St. Patrick’s Day is undeniably the greenest holiday of the year. And although St. Patrick’s Day celebrates Ireland and its national traditions, it’s also an opportunity for everyone, Irish or not, to have a bit of fun. For those of you preparing for this weekend’s shenanigans, here are some simple ways to keep your St. Patty’s Day festivities a little greener this year–in both the Irish and environmental senses of the word.
Buy Organic Beer: When one thinks of St. Patrick’s Day, the images conjured often include the color green, leprechauns, clovers and of course, drinking. The Irish are famous for many things, beer consumption being one of them. All beers contain some natural ingredients, but if you’re looking for a healthier beer that contains fewer synthetic ingredients, most organic beer is made with ingredients such as hops and barley that are grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Some of our favorites include Eel River Brewing Company, Peak Organic Brewing Company and Lakefront Brewery. Unfortunately, hangovers will be the same whether you’re drinking organic or commercial beers.
Green Your Plate, Naturally: Industrial artificial food coloring containing the synthetic food dye FD&C No. 3 that you find typically in St. Patty’s Day food, drinks and candies are derived from petroleum, a limited resource, and contains coal tar. It’s also associated with an increased risk of certain cancers and hyperactivity in children, according to a study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (http://www.cspinet.org/fooddyes/). If you’re up to the challenge, it’s much safer to make your own fruit- and veggie-based homemade dyes instead. Check this DIY tutorial from Apartmenttherapy.com. Also keep in mind that there are plenty of green foods make a great, healthy accessory to any appetizer or entree.
Green Out Your Gear: St. Patty’s Day is one of those holidays to get as whacky as possible, saturating your body in green from head to toe. To save money and time, I like to swap last year’s outfits with close friends. Then you can get creative by refashioning the old clothing in fun and creative ways. However, if you’re going to buy a new outfit, make sure it’s made with organic or recycled cotton. When it comes to those wacky hats and decorations, just say no to disposable party gear. Instead, opt for green beads and hats that can be worn for years to come As for the face and body, be sure to buy organic or natural rather than petroleum-based face paints. As an alternative, you can easily make your own with a thick face cream and natural dyes (http://celebrategreen.net/blog/activities/face-paints)
Get crafty: St. Patty’s Day is another one of those holidays that are great for getting creative with your decorations, gifts and outfits. We love using Pinterest for interesting DIY ideas, check out them out here.