How Green Is Your Irish Pub?

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This column just might be the most in depth, investigative candidate for the Pulitzer I have ever done.

After a lifetime of immersion into the culture, and 15 years of extensive local research, I present to you, my thoughts on Saint Patrick’s Day.

I get to celebrate two of my favorite things: Irish culture and green, as in sustainable thinking.

Several local Irish pubs were contacted to discuss how they might be going green, and their plans to celebrate on March 17.  Unanimous feedback was, “We’re green every day.”

That is how I feel about Earth Day, or a Beach Clean-up, that I live it every day.  That I don’t just participate in the green culture at an event, I celebrate the green culture every day.

St. Patrick is the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland.  Irish folklore holds that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to Irish people.

St. Patrick is also known for driving snakes from Ireland. Although Ireland likely never had actual snakes, the story is possibly symbolic of putting an end to pagan practices, represented by the serpent.

When I visited Ireland, I was comfortable in the culture.  Looking back, I believe the lifestyle is consistent with a sustainable lifestyle, with core values that are simple and focus on community, relationships, friends and family.  When you don’t have many trees, or other resources, conservation is a necessity.  Peat, the dominant heating source, is a sustainable energy source.  My custom Irish sweater was hand made by the women of the Aran Islands.  Think “must keep the fisherman warm”-type of handmade, generational-quality item that will last my lifetime.

Here is some of what the locals are doing to care for the environment, and to enjoy March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.

Skosh Monahan’s: 2000 Newport Blvd.

The Costa Mesa mayor’s place is leading by moving away from Styrofoam, ahead of pending ordinances.  Their produce has a low carbon footprint being transported across the parking lot.  They compost at home much of the vegetable trimmings.  If someone would like to pick up buckets of high-value compost, they will save them every day.  And yes, they have a bike rack.

Tom Tilly band will play on St Pat’s Day.  Only place to get Paddy’s Whisky, wash it down with a pint of Smithwicks’s, served with cute smiles.

Muldoon’s: Fashion Island

Sustainable  feedback received from this family-owned tradition is exceptional.  Sunday Brunch has always served Certified Organic eggs, same goes for Certified Organic Chicken.  House roasted turkey is free range, and all beef is Certified Angus, grass-fed.  Muldoon’s purchases a large percentage of California grown produce, always fresh, never frozen, and hand-cuts their own french fries every day.

Energy Star appliances, non-disposable napkins, and to-go cups made from post-consumer products.  No Styrofoam for more than 20 years. Waste glass and plastic is recycled by a staff member, and the bus line picks up and drops off at the front door.  Muldoon’s gets it.

Plans for St Patrick’s Day are to continue a 36-year tradition with live music all day, great food – try the award-winning Irish Stew – and Irish culture to match their sustainable achievements.  Opens at 10 a.m.

Get in the spirit early with tha 9th Annual Sexiest Kilt Contest on Saturday, March 13, 1p.m.

Malarky’s: Balboa Peninsula

Overall, Malarky’s conserves where it can, and holds regular staff meeting to come up with ideas.  To reduce water, the new parking lot features high-grade artificial grass.  To improve water quality, so close to the beach, a water clarifier filters water before it enters the storm drain.  The most convenient parking is in their bike rack.

Two-hundred pounds of corned beef will be prepared for a special menu to include Corned Beef Tacos, Corned Beef Reubens and Corned Beef Sliders.

The Shamrock Bar & Grill: PCH

Surfrider has verified their no Styrofoam compliance.  They proudly recycle their grease, serve 100 percent Angus Beef, import Irish bacon, changed all light bulbs, have a bike rack, and pour a good 20 oz. Imperial Pint that is sure to sustain you.

Their special, if you get in, is two live bands and a limited Irish Food Menu to make sure you get a little Irish in you.

Rudy’s Pub & Grill: Balboa Peninsula

Outdoor seating in this climate is a necessity.  The 40-foot retractable roof allows natural light and warm ocean breezes for passive heating and cooling.  Cooking oils become fuel. Bio-pack to-go boxes are made of sugar cane.  All plasma TVs and computers are recycled.  Biodegradable soap and tankless toilets, waterless urinals.  Food is efficiently utilized, as unused fresh table bread becomes croutons to cut down on waste.

Yes, they will be slinging Corned Beef specials.  Opening Day of March Madness meets St Patrick’s Day, add some sun and what a day.

The Harp Inn: 17th St. and Newport Blvd.

True to their culture, no response.  Or, perhaps, they were jealously guarding trade secrets.  Either way, I am sure they will have a band and lots of fun, as always.  Appears I will need to do some more research…

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, please celebrate and care for the planet, responsibly.

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