Celebrate Ireland’s True Green Colors!

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When many of us celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, we are not only remembering Saint Patrick, but the country in which his story takes place – Ireland! Shamrocks, the popular image of clover leaves, and other green decorations fill the day’s celebrations. Anyone who can claim a drop of Irish blood proudly wears “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” somewhere – a button or tee shirt. Potato-based dishes, cabbage and corned beef are on many menus this day.

Considering what green means to us, we’ll be celebrating another aspect of Ireland this month. We’re celebrating the country’s choices to protect the integrity of its beautiful land and waters. Check out these four wonderful ways that Ireland is green!

What happened to all the plastic?

Ireland, also known as The Emerald Isle for its many shades of green, has made a bold move to end the widespread use of plastic bags – and it worked! Ireland’s government started charging a tax of 33 cents per bag back in 2002 and saw a 94% drop in plastic bag use within weeks! Who would have ever thought that it could be so easy? Talk about instant green gratification!

There are three R’s in Ireland, but they’re spelled WEEE!

5 years ago, the Irish started with WEEE, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling program which is used all throughout the European Union. But they beat every other country in the EU – recycling more than double the program’s target. If there were a Recycling Olympics, Ireland would be earning the gold medals! On a real family level, the Irish are a shining example of how recycling fits into a green lifestyle – check out this report that 88.7% of Irish households recycle!

Even Irish wine is green!

In Ireland, you can have your wine and save the Earth, too! “Green energy” wine has arrived in the Emerald Isle via sailing ship – a ship that is over a century old, and the last of its kind. For eco-friendly galas & parties, or even just for relaxing evenings in an Earth-minded household, Irish wine drinkers know that their drinks were shipped without taxing the planet’s resources. Fascinated? Read more here!

No mutant “frankenfoods” in the Emerald Isle.

Imagine living in a country in which the land is protected from the damaging effects of genetic modification. When fruits, veggies and grains are genetically mutated in science labs, they are able to resist the heavy environmental damages caused by pesticides. For the majority of natural foods, it isn’t even necessary – but for mass-produced crops such as corn, soybeans, canola/rapeseed, cotton and sugar beets, genetic meddling has unleashed the power to produce incredibly huge amounts for use in processed food additives, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), cheap food fillers and many more unhealthy, unnatural uses.

The great news is that Ireland isn’t allowing GMOs to become the status quo. GM-Free Ireland is a group of people cooperating to protect their land and their people from genetically modified crops. They hold the government accountable and call for a mandatory GM labeling wherever “frankenfoods” are found – even in pubs and hotels. That’s the power of people who believe in green!

We’re curious…what other countries are showing their true green colors? Let us know!

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