St. Paddy’s Day has historically been a cultural and religious celebration that has exploded into an international celebration full of parades and festivities. Although it’s encouraged for people to wear green, why not also be green? It’s possible to celebrate in style without all the waste that comes with it.
1. Kiss me, I’m plastic-free
Cheap green and gold plastic decorations and party favors are fun to use to decorate a venue or to add some theme to your outfit, but they won’t last more than a night. Those shamrock-shaped party glasses and gold koozies for your beer may last you the night but might just get thrown out the next day. There are many ways to feel festive without spending too much money or creating a lot of waste.
For example, instead of putting glitter on your face (which is a form of microplastics by the way) that will just end up in our waterways or into our soils, try washable face paint! Granted, it might come in a plastic container, but at least you can get multiple uses from that bottle of paint and it doesn’t leave an environmental footprint when you wash your face afterward. Plus, that plastic container might even be recyclable in your city when you’re done with it! (Don’t forget to lightly rinse it out).
Instead of wearing a leprechaun headband that you’ll only use once, you can get green bandanas for yourself and your friends! They are multi-purpose and can even be worn as a mask (helpful during COVID times). If you have to buy new, try to purchase higher-quality items that are multi-use so they won’t be wasted after a night of fun.
1. Create DIY Irish food and drinks!
One of the best ways to reduce plastic packaging is by refusing to go out and buy them in the first place! It can be a great way to save money and add some creativity to what you serve. May the luck of the Irish be with you if you’re making these for the first time! Serve up something truly Irish and delicious. The ingredients may come in their own packaging, but at least it’s not as wasteful as buying these packaged at the store! Below are some examples:
- Lucky Charm Treats
- Pickle Surfer Cocktail
- Matcha White Chocolate Mousse
- Jameson Pudding Shots
- Pistachio Mallow Salad
- Rainbow Fruit Salad
- Fudgy Layered Irish Mocha Brownies
- Shamrock Cutout Pound Cake
- Homemade Irish Cream
- Green Flop Jell-O
1. Be green by reusing what you have!
Before buying a new outfit for St. Paddy’s day, try to find something you already have that is gold, green, or rainbow that can fit the theme. Better yet, ask friends or family if they have something you can borrow for a day! It avoids the fast fashion trend and the non-recyclable waste that gets generated.
If you can’t reuse or borrow clothes in your social circle, try thrifting! Stores like Salvation Army, Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange, and Out of the Closest are great places to shop secondhand for clothes and even party supplies if they have them!
4. Go for meat-free dishes
Traditional Irish dishes like Shephard’s Pie, Corned Beef, and Dublin Coddle are hearty and filled with meat. However, meat has a huge environmental impact than other alternatives. Here are some meat-free alternatives for those looking to skip out this year due to ethical or environmental reasons:
- Vegan Irish Shepherd’s Pie
- It includes savory lentils, mushrooms, and potatoes
- Vegan Corned Beef
- It includes seitan (wheat gluten) instead of corned beef
- Vegan Dublin Coddle
- It includes tofurky (tofu protein) instead of bacon or sausages
1. Reduce your carbon footprint when traveling
Especially during heavy traffic days like holidays, it might be more economical and less stressfulf to use rideshare services, public transportation, or other alternatives when travelling to a St. Paddy’s day event. By forgoing bringing your own car, you also avoid any possible drunk driving accidents.
If you live close to a St. Paddy’s day dinner party, pub, or festival, you can even bike or walk! There are many days to be green on St. Paddy’s day; you just have to be creative. May the luck of the Irish be with you on yours this ‘green’ holiday!