By: Christina Welty, MA
St. Patrick’s Day – lots of history, celebrations and definitely green everywhere!
According to the History Channel, Saint Patrick (the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland) was actually born in Roman Britain. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. Perhaps the most well-known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.
Saint Patrick was believed to have died on March 17, 461. Since the ninth or tenth century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17. Read more about the history here:
Did you know?
- The first parade held to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place not in Ireland, but in New York City in 1762.
- The Chicago River is dyed green each year. The practice started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye would be a unique way to celebrate the holiday. They released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river and the river was green for an entire week! Today, only 40 pounds of dye are used (to reduce environmental damage), and the river turns green for only several hours.
- There is a disagreement between Chicago and Savannah relating to who came up with the idea first to dye the river green?!
- Until the 1970’s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17.
At Partners, “green” has taken on a new meaning. Here are three ways we have incorporated green into the mix.
Spend your “green” for a good cause
For the last few years, we have donated to a charity in December. Instead of staff contributing money during the most expensive time of year, it was decided that starting in 2015, we could donate spare change throughout the year. Staff got to vote on their favorite charities and the two selected were the local chapters of the Humane Society and the Wounded Warriors Project. In addition to wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day, we are allowed to wear jeans if we buy Jeans Day Passes. All proceeds will go towards the charity. Dress casual AND donate to two good causes? I’m in!
Our staff is pretty good about turning off computers and lights after hours. Some even have a “think before you print” message at the bottom of their emails. Several years ago, a couple staff members researched more ways our office could help the environment and ultimately created a recycling program. We have a High Grade Paper Recycle Bin for the office used to collect white paper, colored paper, office mail, envelopes, letterhead, etc. There’s an area to place broken down cardboard boxes and bins were placed in the kitchen to collect plastic, glass and aluminum. Each week, a staff member is assigned to take all of these materials to the City of Tallahassee recycling bins in our office complex. We are making a difference!
Eat your “greens”
Many of us have started focusing on eating healthier and exercising. (Now, that’s not to say that we don’t enjoy the cookies, candy and other sweets brought into our office almost daily!) However, many people bring their lunches and we even incorporate veggies into our potluck lunches!
As you can see, your office doesn’t have to go green ONLY on St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrate throughout the year! How will you incorporate green into your daily office routine?