While St. Patrick’s Day began in Ireland, it has expanded to dozens of other countries throughout the world. Some cultures and locations go all out for this annual celebration while others participate more conservatively.
If you’re Earth-conscious and want to partake in festivities with minimal environmental impact, a holiday as prominent as St. Paddy’s Day can feel alienating at times. Thankfully, more people care about the environmental impact of their decisions every year, and it’s easy to celebrate with a smaller toll on the planet’s resources.
We looked high and low for the best eco-friendly St. Patrick’s Day ideas that you can use today for lasting change. Read now and start using your favorites!
1. Choose Environmentally-Friendly Food and Drink
St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most common days for alcoholic beverage consumption in the United States. The holiday’s religious origins include Christians commemorating the death anniversary of Patrick with feasting and drinking–a behavior not normally seen among the faith participants of that time.
That feasting tradition gave way to freer consumption of alcohol, and today, St. Patrick’s Day is associated with heavy drinking and often during the daytime, too. Of course, alcohol consumption comes with the need to consume responsibly, no matter where or how you’re celebrating.
Whether you partake in alcohol, Irish food, both, or something completely different on St. Patrick’s Day, you can take the opportunity to consume more eco-friendly beverages and meals. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Irish white bean and cabbage stew
- Vegan stuffed spinach and cheese bites
- Purple cabbage soup
- Plant-based potato waffle sandwiches with tofu cream
- Vegan Irish soda bread
- Matcha cake
- Dairy-free shamrock shakes
- Sour apple cocktails
- Shamrock champagne
2. Go for a Walk Outside
Many people spend St. Patrick’s Day at bars and restaurants, which often requires driving or using public transportation. Put the environment first this year and go outside for a walk instead!
You can still enjoy time with friends and family by hosting a gathering at your house or bicycling to one you’ve been invited to. Who knows–it may become an annual tradition!
3. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
St. Patrick’s Day is one of the prominent occasions that offers the perfect opportunity to make lasting changes in your home, including how you clean it. Utilizing home cleaning products that use zero additives and harsh chemical compounds is a major step towards environmental stewardship.
Taking time to find the right cleaning solutions for each part of your home is a time-consuming and sometimes confusing process, though. We did the heavy lifting for you and researched the best cleaning solutions for each area of your house. Check out the results now:
- Humble Suds
- Seventh Generation
- Grove Collaborative
- Branch Basics
- 9 Elements
- Regular baking soda
- Regular white vinegar
- Boulder Clean
- Ecover Zero
- Seventh Generation
- YVY Naturals
Baby Bottle Cleaners:
- Branch Basics
- Dr. Bronner’s
Laundry / Utility Room:
- Seventh Generation
- 9 Elements
- Charlie’s Soap
- Grove Care and Renew
Upholstery and Furniture:
- Rocco & Roxie
- Hoover CleanSlate
4. Use Earth-Friendly Ingredients for Shamrock Dishes
It’s no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is full of green foods and variations of popular dishes, but what may surprise you is the harmful green additives that are all-too-common. Such additives go by names like Fast Green FCF and Green S–not at all what you want in your or your children’s meals.
Thankfully, the Earth offers various naturally-occurring green-colored ingredients you can add to your festive meals and desserts. Here are the best nontoxic ingredients you can use:
- Spinach and water
- Matcha green tea
- Baking soda mixed with purple grapes and turmeric
5. Opt for Reusable Coffee Mugs and Thermoses
St. Patrick’s Day sees beer sales surge 150% or more and is the third most popular drinking-related holiday in the US, behind only Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve. That also means a lot of people are enjoying spiked coffee, tea, and dessert beverages.
Instead of going the same old route as the masses–enjoying your beverage in a cup that will be thrown out seconds after consumption–invest in a reusable thermos or coffee mug.
If you’re attending multiple events on the 17th or throughout the weekend, this is even more reason to have one cup for your main beverages. While it costs more than buying a single drink, it will pay for itself in a month or two with all of the drinks you end up making at home and friends’ homes.
If you can’t invest in a reusable cup but don’t want to contribute to waste, opt for recyclable beverage containers. Drinking out of aluminum cans and glass bottles is another good way to celebrate while keeping your environmental impact at a minimum.
6. Minimize or Skip Your Thermostat for a Day
Just like Earth Day is a great opportunity to minimize reliance on electronic technology, St. Patrick’s Day coincides with most areas in North America becoming warmer. That means it’s a great opportunity to turn your thermostat off for the day, or use it as little as possible.
The typical American now spends about 93 to 95% of their life indoors–a statistic that’s painful to comprehend! As long as you aren’t facing any severe cold or rain, St. Patrick’s Day is often the perfect time to enjoy your backyard or go for a neighborhood stroll.
Frequently Asked Questions About St. Patrick’s Day Activities and History
Celebrating holidays often prompts thoughts about the events and activities that led to modern-day pastimes. If you’re wondering about St. Patrick’s Day on a deeper level, we have you covered.
Read these frequently asked questions and our answers now:
What Activities are Done On St. Patrick’s Day?
Dozens of activities have become favorites on St. Patrick’s Day in the United States. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Going to St. Patrick’s Day parades
- Creating shamrock desserts like cookies, shakes, and cocktails
- Wearing green or dressing up in an Irish costume
- Making Irish soda bread
- Singing Irish songs or participating in Irish dances
- Enjoying traditional Irish meals and drinks
What are 4 Ways People Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
There are all kinds of ways people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but here are four of the most common:
- Eating and drinking Irish food. Examples include colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes), corned beef and cabbage, beef and Guinness stew, and Baileys and Jameson beer. Many restaurants offer themed dishes during the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.
- Participating in or attending a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Most parades and public celebrations take place during late morning or early afternoon. Check out events near you for family-friendly fun!
- Consume Irish media or historical information. Just like any other culture, Irish culture has thousands of historical and cultural works to enjoy. Browse documentaries and films that bring you closer to both ancient and contemporary Irish culture.
- Learn about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day. Modern festivities differ greatly from early St. Patrick’s Day commemorations centuries ago. Pick up a book or dive into an article about how St. Patrick’s Day came to be.
What are 3 Main Things Associated With St. Patrick’s Day?
Dozens of events and celebrations occur worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day, but these three are the most popular you’ll find:
- Music-oriented gatherings, called “céilí”
- Copious amounts of traditional Irish food and drink
- Everything covered in green, shamrocks, or both
Eco-friendly St. Patrick’s Day ideas don’t need to be the limit of your environmental lifestyle. Enjoy green-minded slumber every night with one of our mattresses!