The environmental damage caused by plastic bags is enormous. Plastic makes up 80% of the volume of litter on roads, parks, and beaches and makes up 90% of floating litter in the ocean (BEC). In every square mile of ocean there are over 46,000 pieces of plastic. This puts an enormous strain on the environment.
When plastic bags find their way into the ocean they kill endangered turtles. Plastic bags are injested by turtles who confuse them for jellyfish, their primary food source. The turtles then suffocate. Plastic bags wrap themselves around living coral and quickly kill them.Tiny flecks of floating plastic swim in a swath of seemingly pristine Atlantic Ocean at least two-thirds the size of the United States.
1. This State’s first St Patrick’s Parade took place in Dublin in 1931. New York lays claim to the world’s first planned parade in 1762, but Boston claims an inpromptu one for 1737 when a meeting of the new Charitable Irish Society spilled on to the streets and turned into a procession of rowdy paddywhackery.
2. St Patrick’s association with green is just a couple of centuries old. For over 1,000 years St Patrick’s hue was blue and today St Patrick’s Blue is the official colour of the President, the National Stud and UCD’s sports teams. Before partition, the strip of the Irish national football squad was St Patrick’s Blue.
3. St Patrick’s Day did not become a public holiday here until 1903 when the Westminster Parliament passed a bill introduced by the Irish MP James O’Mara. Twenty years later, O’Mara would do his best to ruin the day for millions. (See No 5)
4.Before independence, the puritanical Gaelic League waged a campaign of moral intimidation against publicans, demanding they shut their doors all day Paddy’s Day. The bullying worked for a few years until the publicans, realising there was no law to force them to close, defied the republicans.
5. With Independence in 1922, the new political elite made a ban on Paddy’s Day pub opening a top priority. James O’Mara led the way as chief killjoy. In support, one TD said “the drowning of the shamrock” was “a direct insult to the Saint” that must be “obliterated”.
A senator insisted that if St Patrick came back to life he’d drown anyone drowning the shamrock. Countess Markievicz stressed that in addition to pubs, hotels must also stay dry because “I do not see why rich people should not be kept off their drink as well as poor”.
6. In Australia, Melbourne’s city fathers also tried to stamp out Paddy’s Day drinking in 1922, but from a different angle. The pro-British officials opposed Irish independence. Cork-born Archbishop Kevin Mannix led a campaign of civil disobedience and the parade passed off. At the next Irish general election a woman stormed out of the polling station shouting that if she couldn’t vote for Archbishop Mannix she’d vote for no one.
7. The pub ban became law in 1927, but TDs worried about sales from the head shops of the day, so-called ‘dairy shops’ with names like Hyacinth, Bluebell and Tulips. These were openly selling wine on Paddy’s Day, as were the country’s chemists. One TD worried about women getting a prescription filled and slipping a sly bottle of port into their handbags.
8. Guinness gave most workers the day off. With no pubs open, the lucky ones were those who had to work the holiday. They received triple pay and as much stout as they could guzzle.
9. For decades, all adverts were banned on St Patrick’s Day, which was devoted to traditional music, religious services and uplifting back-from-the-future speeches such as Taoiseach De Valera’s 1943 pep-talk looking forward to returning to a Brigadoon world of “happy maidens dancing at the crossroads”.
10. From 1927 to 1961 the RDS Dog Show was the only place to legally drink on Paddy’s Day. Huge crowds turned up. One TD complained it was a grand occasion “except for all the damned dogs”.
11. The independent republic of Limerick openly flouted the opening ban, with thousands of drinkers flooding the lawless city. Limerick police gave the publicans the ‘Nelson’s Eye’, after the admiral who ignored orders by turning his blind eye to semaphore signals.
12. Nelson’s Pillar on Dublin’s O’Connell St was half demolished by a terrorist bomb a week before Paddy’s Day 1966. The Army blew up the stump two days before the parade, causing far more damage than the bombers. RTÉ and the newspapers obeyed a government request to censor out the wreckage from parade coverage.
13. In a Simpson’s Paddy’s Day special, newsman Kent Brockman calls it “the day when everyone is Irish, except the gays and the Italians”. The NY parade’s ban on gays remains upheld in law because it’s deemed a religious event.
14. There was a diplomatic incident in Rome in 1969 when Italian VIPs received invites to a Paddy’s Day bash at the Irish embassy. The bigwigs were miffed that unused invites from 1968 had been recycled, with the ’68 date crossed out and ’69 inserted.
15. This year’s Moscow parade has been abandoned on the grounds it would cause traffic disruption. Some believe the real reason is Ireland’s recent expulsion of a Russian spymaster for forging Irish passports. A miniature indoor party will replace the parade.
16. As Tourism Minister in 1996, Enda Kenny oversaw the extension of Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade into a week-long festival. At the other end of the scale is the Cork village of Dripsey which stages the world’s shortest parade, which runs 23.4 metres from The Weigh Inn pub to The Lee Valley bar, which bookend the hamlet.
17. St Patrick’s Day 1959 saw the birth of the least successful ever Irish export to the US. The brainchild of Irish-American businessman William Curtis, The Shamrock was a gas-guzzling saloon. Sadly, the engine was far too puny to carry the big, heavy frame, and it was impossible to change a punctured tyre without dislocating the entire axle. Ten thousand were supposed to flood the US market. Eight were completed before the kitty ran out.
Recycling is not new but the different ways it can be utilized are constantly being explored.
So if you are looking for an eco-friendly way to enjoy those summer days check it out Splaff !!
Cliff Drill, the founder of Splaff, came up with the idea in 1997 while on a surf trip in Mexico. After discovering traditional huarache sandals, which were made using recycled tire bottoms, Cliff decided he would improve on the design by replacing the leather with hemp and bicycle rubber.