All across the US, St. Patrick's Day is being observed with shows, parades, food festivals, and lots of green beer. When St. Patrick headed to Ireland on a missionary venture, he had no idea that his life and the legends surrounding him would become the grand event that it has. St. Patrick's Day is now the most celebrated holiday in Ireland.
When the Europeans came to America in the 1700's, they brought many of their traditions with them. It is thought that the first celebration of St. Patrick's Day in the USA was in Boston in 1737. Each year more celebrations began to spring up around the young nation. As the celebration of St. Patrick's Day caught on in more and more places each year, new traditions and ways of celebrating the day were added. One of the more unique traditions is Chicago's coloring the river green. Each year they toss about 40 pounds of green food coloring into the river to turn it green for a few hours. Then there is the green beer. Which bar or restaurant doesn't offer green beer on St. Patrick's Day? Although they don't offer beer on their menu - McDonald's was not to be outdone, so they made their ice cream green and called it the Shamrock Shake.
It is quite plain to see that Green is the theme of St. Patrick's Day. We've learned that you can be "green" every day of the year without dressing like a leprechaun or bathing in green food coloring. You can be "green" by practicing good environmental conservation. We've come across a few great ways that you can go green.
When remodeling or building a home, choose furniture and cabinets made from real wood and avoid pressed woods or composites which might contain toxic chemicals. Selecting carpets and window treatments made from natural fibers will also cut down on harmful toxins, like pesticides and chemical cleaners. Install flooring made from Bamboo or other rapidly renewable resources.
Energy can be conserved by turning down the thermostat and using ceiling fans in both summer and winter months. When buying major appliances, make sure it has an Energy Star rating. Installing low flow plumbing fixtures like faucets, toilets, and showerheads can save you on both water and water-heating costs.
When moving, don't burn those boxes and packing material - recycle them. And for getting rid of old paint cans or chemicals? Contact the waste management service in your town to find out how to dispose of them properly so they don't drain into the ground or water supply.
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