An Eco-Friendly Pat’s Day

An Irish American woman has written a blog on how to turn St. Patrick’s Day amusement into “green” fun.

Elizabeth Barrette suggests various ways in which to make this St. Patrick’s Day more environmentally friendly.

For those who like to embellish their homes festively for the occasion, Barrette suggests crafting the decorations from recycled paper where possible. If one is to be smart and use weighty paper, said Barrette, “then the paper decorations can be stored and reused year after year.”  She proposes looking online for creative ideas.

According to the 2008 U.S. census, 34.5 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. Being proud of that heritage, most of the 34.5 million people like to don green on St. Patrick’s Day.

If you discover that your wardrobe lacks green do not, said Barrette, go to a department store and purchase something new. She suggests shopping at a thrift store but first, root through your wardrobe, set a bag aside for items of clothing that you don’t need and donate the leftovers to the thrift store.

The idea of St. Patrick’s Day brings warmth to many Irish hearts during the month of March. An integral and necessary part of this warmth comes from the traditional echoes of Irish music being hummed through the streets, bars and homes this period.

Barrette advises downloading your favorite Irish tunes onto MP3 files or purchase used CDs or even make your own music. “This reduces the amount of plastic needed to press new albums,” she blogs.

On the food front — and Irish food is, of course, an integral part of the celebrations — Barrette has a few suggestions.

“When serving traditional foods such as Irish stew or colcannon, use cultured milk products such as cheese, sour cream and yogurt, and if possible get organic ones. For desert, consider shortbread cut into shamrock shapes.” Barrette suggests two cookbooks, Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland’s Heritage and Celtic Folklore Cooking.

The author also proposes staying away from dying beer green. “It isn’t good for you or the beer,” she reveals.

Barrette also asks people to stay away from watching television for the day and simply entertain each other, like they did back in old Ireland not so long ago.  

“Read aloud from a book of Irish poetry, Irish myths or other literature.  Ireland has a rich tradition of bards who would recite poems, tell stories, and play music,” she writes.

On gardening, Barrette said when St. Patrick’s Day is nearly over its time to start planning for an abundant green lawn just in time for the summer.  

“Start planning your seeds. Sow clover or sorrel seed on bare earth for a lush green carpet in summer.” For those green fingers that are totally green obsessed, “There are even plants with green flowers!”

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