Party Girl: Make it a Green(er) St. Patrick's Day

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St. Patrick's Day partyJust because you're getting ready for next week's "wearing o' the green" doesn't mean you should shift focus from your living o' the green. Let Party Girl give you some tips on throwing a St. Patrick's Day party that goes green in every way possible.

Let's face it: the primary function of St. Patrick's Day (aside from celebrating Irish pride, of course) is testing the limits of the human liver. Go ahead and drink until you turn green, but make sure you're environmentally conscious while you do it!

A few suggestions:
  • Search out a local brewery to supply the suds for your SPD bash. You'll lower your party's carbon footprint by cutting out the long-distance distribution network of mass-market beers, and you'll end up with a tastier brew to boot. To eliminate bottle waste, look for a brewer that offers kegs.

  • Ditch the landfill-cluttering disposable cups for a set of recycled - and reusable - plastic cups. Preserve offers a 10-pack of vibrant apple green 16-ouncers that will fit your theme and your budget. At $5.50 per 10-pack, they cost a bit more than a sleeve of throw-aways, but these dishwasher-safe beauties will be around for years to come.

  • Or, forget plastic altogether and round up all the glasses and jars already in your kitchen - the better to show off your festive green beer! Many brewers will pre-dye the keg contents for you if you make the request when you put in your order, or you can simply add a couple of drops of food coloring to the glass before filling. Use blue dye for the most vibrant green (blue dye + yellow beer = green beer). Preserve recyclable cups

Now that the libations are covered, you're just a few steps away from the greenest party of the year.

  • You'll need to offer at least a little grub to soak up some of those delicious green suds, and there's no food more associated with SPD than corned beef. But don't rely on factory farming for your food fix - source a local brisket and make your own! If you can boil water, you can make corned beef. But get started today: many recipes call for leaving the beef to cure in brine for a week or so.

  • Feeling the need to deck your house out in shades of green? Skip the tacky cardboard decorations in favor of a couple sets of shamrock light covers - you can snap them onto your own holiday string lights for an instant pop of SPD flair. Greener still: pick up some small, live shamrock plants from your local hardware store, then send each guest home with one to enjoy all year.

  • Finally, unless you're into being pinched (hey, no judgment here), you'll need to wear at least a little bit of green clothing. The most environmental option, of course, is to incorporate something you already own - but failing that, check out the selection of organic cotton SPD t-shirts at CafePress.
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