Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I’m one-eighth Irish, so it is my right—my duty!—to mark the day with a celebration. I’m not much into green beer (or any other color beer, for that matter), and corned beef and cabbage actually hail from New England, not Ireland. However, having visited the Auld Sod, I can attest that it is very, very green. It is so green that the green grass reflects in the clouds, and they look green! The Blarney Stone (in the castle shown at left) has green algae growing on it (all those kisses add to the slime factor). And green is my favorite color.

Therefore, in honor of St. Pat,  today’s blog is all about things that are green.

According to Wikipedia, “The word green is closely related to the Old English verb growan, ‘to grow.’” One of the primary reasons I love green is that I associate it with plants. As we learned in elementary school, plants are green because they contain chlorophyll, the chemical that allows them to make food from sunlight and water. You can see the chloroplasts (little sacks containing this vital molecule) when you look at plant cells under a microscope. Very cool.

Human eyes are actually more sensitive to green than to other colors. (For this reason, digital camera sensors record twice as many green points as either red or blue.) Artists and decorators assure us that green is soothing, but controlled scientific studies on this topic are notably lacking.

American dollars have been green since the Civil War. Green ink was used to make counterfeiting more difficult.

Green these days can mean a variety of things. On maps showing world religions, green usually represents Islam. Green shows up on the flags of a variety of mainly Islamic nations. However, on the Irish flag green represents Catholicism. (The other color, orange, is for Protestants.)

As a gardener, I hope to have a green thumb. The Green Bay Packers had their hopes fulfilled this year. And if you’re proposing a project, you hope to get a green light from your boss.

What would Thanksgiving dinner be without green bean casserole? And how about girl scouts, gall bladders, and the Incredible Hulk?

Most recently green implies environmentalism. We have green cars, green appliances, green maps, green political parties, green energy, and on and on. Presumably, green was picked for its association with growing plants.

Sometimes, being green is bad. No one enjoys being green with envy, much less green around the gills. A green recruit  (or a greenhorn, or someone who is green around the ears) sure doesn’t know much.

Dr. Seuss made green eggs and ham famous. Green ham sounds pretty dubious, but we love the green (actually they range from olive to turquoise) eggs laid by our Ameraucana hens. It’s fun to bring a dozen eggs as a hostess gift, and watch their expression when they open the box. We mix them with the brown and white ones, and it’s all very pretty. They taste the same as any other chicken egg, and contain the same nutrition values.

Finally, what post about all things green would be complete without Kermit?

What do you like best that’s green?

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