4. If you love to celebrate your heritage with a pint of brew, make sure to choose vegan- and vegetarian-friendly beers.
Guinness, for example, is unfortunately not vegan and traditional hops drinks are made using harmful pesticides. Instead, try vegan options like Bulmers Pear Cider and Krombacher Pils or vegetarian options like Harp Irish Lager. Find more options for vegetarian and/or vegan-friendly beers here, or try the eco-friendly stouts listed below from Green Upgrader:
- Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
- Organic Stout from Hawkshead Brewery
- Laurelwood’s Organic Portland Roast Espresso Stout
- Old Plowshare Organic Stout from North Coast Brewing Company
- Wolaver’s Certified Organic Oatmeal Stout
5. Drink and eat from recyclable tableware.
Having or attending a St. Patrick’s Day party? Show off your green-dyed beverages in biodegradable cups that use “corn plastic” and avoid using non-biodegradable plastic utensils by bringing or using your own silverware. (A note about corn cups: remember that not all corn products are biodegradable—some can only be composted and do not break down. Be sure to check labels.)
Reasons: According to Green America’s webpage for “Ten Things You Should Never Buy Again,” many everyday plastics like cups, forks, and knives can contain PVC. “Vinyl chloride, the chemical used to make PVC, is a known human carcinogen,” the site says. “Also, additives, such as lead and cadmium, are sometimes added to PVC to keep it from breaking down; these additives can be particularly dangerous in children’s toys. PVC is also the least-recycled plastic.”
Their action steps say that you should “avoid plastics that are labeled as PVC or #3. Look for #1 and #2 plastics, which are easier to recycle and don’t produce as many toxins.”
6. Buy organic chartreuse roses for your significant other.
So, traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the most romantic of holidays. But these chartreuse roses from Organic Bouquet are pretty irresistible (especially if you’re like me and would rather sit on your couch and stare at pretty flowers than stumble around town for the annual St. Patty’s bar crawl).
Plus, partial proceeds from each purchase are donated to Green America, a nonprofit founded in 1982 whose mission is to “harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.”
7. Dye your beverages green using eco-friendly, natural food coloring.
Skip the store-bought food coloring and dyes that often include chemicals that are harmful to you and the environment. Instead, make green dyes from saffron and gamboge, spinach, or sap. Slight warning: Use a strong beer for this DIY, because oftentimes the spinach dye base can slightly flavor your brew.
Follow these instructions posted by the Old School Pastry blog earlier this year, and you’ll be good to go.
Spinach [dye]: Wash and drain a sufficient quantity of spinach, pound it well in a mortar, and squeeze the pounded leaves in a coarse cloth to extract all the juice. Put it in a pan [on medium-high heat] and stir occasionally until it curdles, which will be when it is at the boiling point. Then take it off and strain off the water with a fine sieve. The residue left is the green. Dry it and rub it through a lawn sieve.