Environmental watchdog Heal the Bay wants people to stay green after St. Patrick’s Day by following a few simple steps. Here are their suggestions:
• Use a designated driver: When you carpool or take public transit to your local pub you reduce harmful emissions that foul the environment. 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 the grocery store. Plastic bags create loads of unnecessary litter and choke waterways. (Ireland, by the way, has decreased plastic bag use by 94 percent since introducing a levy on plastic bags in 2002.)
• Hold onto 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.