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St. Patrick definitely didn’t rid Ireland of snakes, he probably didn’t invent the shamrock cross, and he likely wasn’t even Irish, but he spread Christianity in Ireland and continues to inspire hordes of people (Irish and non-) to pay tribute by getting totally blotto on green beer and Jameson’s all day long during the anniversary of his death.
Which doesn’t mean you have to drink green beer on ol’ St. Paddy’s Day—but if you do, you might as well be as green about it as possible. According to excellent research done by Slate’s Green Lantern, draught beer is by far the most environmentally sensitive way to get your fill of suds, since kegs last 15-20 years and are lighter than bottles by serving (which reduces carbon emissions associated with shipping them). If you can load up on beer sodas at a locally-owned brewery, even better. Failing those options, go with cans, but make sure a large portion of it comes from recycled aluminum.
If you’d like to celebrate the holiday without getting smashed, you could always pay tribute to St. Patrick’s homeland by visiting the greenest spot you know. Short of Ireland, I’d like to nominate Washington’s Olympic National Park as the literal greenest spot in the U.S. A few minutes in the Hoh River Trail’s temperate rain forests, and you’ll swear leprechauns are laughing at you from underneath mossy logs and behind giant emerald ferns.
OK, time for an Irish car bomb. What will you do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Where’s your greenest spot in the U.S.?
Image Credit: Eustaquio Santimano, via Flickr