Going green on St. Patrick's Day

As a woman of proud English lineage married to a mostly Armenian man the 17th of March is always a bit tiresome as my barely 25% Irish heritage husband frolics about the house dancing his interpretation of an Irish jig and speaking in what may be the world's worst Irish accent.  Oh, and he curses the English.  Basically its a mish-mash of confused cultural impressions and does nothing but irritate me.  Likely the point.

"We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English." --Sir Winston Churchill

However, this year I am determined to reclaim St. Patrick's in my own way and focus on how being engulfed in green can be of benefit--not in the green beers and trashy 'kiss me I'm Irish' (or God forbid 'kiss me I'm Iowa-ish') t-shirt way, but in going green and making a commitment to sustainability.

Each year blogger Julie Urlaub of the Talga Company writes about going green on the world's greenest day.  You can read her posts from the past three years here, here and here.  Each post is a nice reminder that there is much we can do to make small changes in our every day lives that can make a really big difference.  With this inspiration I give you, the first annual SJVCEO "Get Yer Green On!" St. Patrick's Day challenge:

I thought we should make year one easy...so easy even a drunken leprechaun could manage.  So, this year the team at SJVCEO challenges you to Get Yer Green Beer On!  No. Do not--I repeat DO NOT--add artificial food coloring to your cheap brew.  Instead, select your golden goodness from a green-leading brew!  Huffington Post ran a piece on the top eight green U.S. breweries, with Fat Tire and Sierra Nevada leading the pack in sustainable business models and taste.

So what should you be looking for in a green brewery?  Well, New Belgium Brewery (maker of Fat Tire) uses renewable energy in production to prevent 8 million pounds of coal from being burned, recycles waste product, and uses sustainable lighting in their facilities. The Alaskan Brewing Company reuses CO2 produced during the fermentation process and one percent of sales are donated to the non-profit Clean Oceans Depend on Everyone (and I really like their label...). Brooklyn Brewery pays it's electric utility, Con Edison, a premium rate so that all the energy it uses every year is replaced by energy produced on a wind farm. And, Great Lakes Brewing Co. composts the brewery's restaurant food, gives left over barley to local farmers and makes deliveries with a biodiesel fleet.

"Here's to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold beer--and another one!"