Be Really Green This St. Patrick's Day

Stay Green on St. Patrick's Day, shamrock, Heal the Bay

Guinness, corned beef and...clean oceans? With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, Heal the Bay offers some useful tips on how to have fun while also protecting our beaches and watersheds. Think six-pack rings and trips to the loo...

Use a Designated Driver When you carpool or take public transit to your local pub, you reduce harmful emissions that foul our oceans. If you’ve been imbibing, you also keep the roads safer.

Beware of Six-pack Rings Guinness may not use them, but plastic rings from other brewers can entangle and trap marine animals after they get in the waste stream. Cut them up before you throw them out.

Keep Your Trash to Yourself If you’re out on a night on the town, reduce your impact. Keep trash off the street and out of storm drains – lest all that parade and party debris end up in the ocean. Cigarette butts remain the No. 1 item that volunteers find at beach cleanups.

Sack the Plastic Bag Loading up on corned beef, cabbage and potatoes? Bring your own reusable shopping bag to grocery store. Plastic bags create loads of unnecessary litter and choke our waterways. (Ireland, by the way, has decreased plastic bag use by 94% since introducing a levy on plastic bags in 2002.)

Hold Onto Your Balloons All those helium-filled shamrock-shaped balloons may be cute, but they can blow away to the sea and harm animals. Always pop balloons and put them in the trash.

Don’t Be a Drip Too much green beer means more trips to the loo. Use water wisely by turning off the faucet when you don’t need it and installing low-flow toilets. Conserving water helps sewage treatments plants do a better job.

Give Back If you’ve overindulged, you can pay some penance the “morning after” by getting involved with Heal the Bay. Volunteer for a future beach cleanup, adopt an animal at the Santa Monica Bay Aquarium or download our Beach Report Card mobile device app.