Sunday was a big day for those of us whose Irish eyes are smiling.
Now, technically, I am not of Irish descent, but I grew up in Dublin, Ga., and we all thought we were Irish. So my heart still does an Irish jig for St Patrick’s Day. For all of you out there who are longing to “wear the green,” here are some ideas to live the green life through the wisdom of an Irish blessing:
“May the blessing of God’s soft rain be on you,
Falling gently on your head, refreshing your soul.”
Rain and water are truly blessings. Water refreshes our lives. Unfortunately, here in the United States, we are water hogs. According to epa.gov, a family of four in the United States uses 400 gallons of water every day. And before you start thinking “my family certainly does not use that much,” remember you are using water every time you brush your teeth, shave, bathe, cook, flush, water the grass and on and on.
How can you honor that blessed rain? By conserving water in your everyday life. Here are some tips:
1. Turn the water off while you brush your teeth and save more than 2 gallons a minute, according to practicallygreen.com.
2. Fix dripping faucets and running toilets. A leaky faucet that drips at a rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons a year, according to fema.gov.
3. Save water and money by choosing efficient showerheads, dishwashers and other appliances. Look for the Water Sense label.
4. Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they are full.
5. Dispose of chemicals properly at a hazardous waste drop-off center. Don’t pour them on the ground, into the sewer or down the drain.
6. Avoid using pesticides or herbicides on your yard and garden. The chemicals can contaminate groundwater and streams, and also can hurt kids and pets.
7. In the yard, use mulch to keep moisture from leaving the soil and minimize the need to water.
8. If you must water the lawn, water in the early morning or evening and try to avoid watering on windy days. This will limit the amount of water that is evaporated by the sun or blown onto sidewalks and driveways.
9. Plant a rain garden to add beauty to your yard, while absorbing and filtering runoff. Water absorbed in a rain garden will filter pollution otherwise headed for streams.
10. Use a rain barrel to collect rain and help water your plants. Forty percent of the average homeowner’s water use is outdoors, according to americanrivers.org. Rain barrels reduce the stress on municipal water systems during the dry summer months.
“With the sweetness of little flowers newly blooming.
May the strength of the winds of Heaven bless you…
Sparkling… in the sunlight.”
Flowers and growing plants are more blessings for the Irish. But even more blessings may come to you by planting a garden to enjoy.
Join us in Think 30 this year as we plant 30 community gardens to honor the 30th anniversary of Keep Liberty Beautiful. There are plenty of places in our community that can benefit from spots of color and greenery. Schools, churches, public spaces, businesses and parks can be enhanced by a garden.
If you cannot do this, consider planting a little garden at home. Even containers can make great gardens if you have nowhere to plant. Growing things can brighten every day and keep those Irish eyes smiling.
“May the blessing of God’s earth be on you,
And as you walk the roads,
May you always have a kind word
for those you meet.”
I may sound like a broken record all these years, but we have got to de-litter our roads and highways. No self-respecting Wearer of the Green would want our roadways to be uglied up by trash.
Have some respect and be a good neighbor by helping keep our roadways clean and green. We have a number of volunteer litter cleanups in our local communities during the next month. Join and make a powerful statement to others that litter matters. If we want to receive and enjoy the blessings of God’s Earth, we need to take care of it.
To find out more about these green activities that any Irishman would be proud to be a part of, call 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and may the road rise to meet you. Hopefully, it will be a clean road!
Saturday, March 23 — Municipal cleanup Midway. To volunteer, call 880-4888 or 884-3344 or email email@example.com.
Win-dex Award Nominations for our area attractive businesses are being accepted through March 31. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 880-4888 or 368-4445 for a nomination form.