St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and, with it, the chance to make it your greenest one ever! This annual celebration of all things Irish is a huge one on the global calendar but it also generates a lot of the dreaded single-use plastic (giant shamrock-shaped glasses, I’m talking about you!). By applying a little creativity to our clothes, decorations and food choices, however, we can look forward to an enjoyable and genuinely green St Patrick’s Day.
Of course, green is the only colour to be seen in on the big day but try to resist the urge to splash out on a new outfit. Choose existing clothing from your wardrobe or buy second-hand rather than purchasing cheap throwaway costumes and hats. (If you do decide you just have to have that new leprechaun outfit keeping it in a clearly labelled box/bag ready for next year will help prevent a last-minute panic buy in the future).
Shamrock was traditionally pinned on lapels on the 17th but, in recent years, it has been largely replaced with synthetic alternatives. Why not get back to nature this year by donning a sprig of the real thing? Because it is fully compostable, it is so much kinder to the environment. It also has a certain rustic chic! You could also get the kids to design their very own (fully bespoke!) badge, hat or shamrock garland. There are some brilliant tutorials online and, of course, this has the added bonus of keeping them entertained for a couple of hours!
We all love a good Paddy’s Day feast but why not make it a real celebration of Irishness this year by cooking with local, organic, seasonal and sustainable produce where possible? In fact, wherever you happen to be in the world this March, you can make it a greener celebration by choosing locally grown produce. You may even consider forgoing the traditional bacon heavy meal in favour of a green, white and gold (ok, orange) themed vegetarian treat such as this light and colourful spinach and squash tart?
This is also a great time to remind ourselves that food waste accounts for 8% of global emissions and that the UK and Ireland throw away a staggering 8 million tonnes of food waste each year! Let’s come together to make this our greenest St Patrick’s Day ever by considering some of the ways we can help win the fight against food waste. Check out www.stopfoodwaste.ie for practical tips about what you can do.
*Global Recycling Day takes place on 18th March this year. This is a gentle reminder to make sure your waste is clean, dry and loose before you pop it in the recycling bin. Check out www.globalrecyclingday.com and www.mywaste.ie for more.