Emerald Green mixing ink used in letterpress printing.
In honor of the greenest day of the year, we're celebrating the color green.
To enliven the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, individuals and businesses turn just about everything green. From green doughnuts and beer to green clothing and water fountains.
But why is green such a lucky color?
Green is everywhere
As the official color of nature, green is the backdrop behind everything outdoors. Why? A little forgotten fact from elementary school reminds us that the color green plays THE crucial role that supports all life here on Earth.
The color green symbolizes balance, nature, spring, and renewal. It inspires us to step outside, take a deep breath, destress and reinvigorate.
The green color pigments in plants, called chlorophyll, are the primary mechanism by which plants capture energy from the sun and convert it into a usable sugar molecule, called glucose, that can then be used by most other life as an energy source. Microorganisms that live in water also use similar pigments to capture and convert sunlight into energy.
This energy production process by green plants and microorganisms also produces the oxygen we breathe.
Needless to say, without the color green (sort of, see next section), life on Earth would have a hard time surviving.
Why is Green, Green?
Okay, so those green color pigments in plants, are not really green, even though they look green to the human eye. Confused?
When our eyes "see" green, we are actually seeing the wavelength of light that is reflected by color pigments. Our eyes "see" these reflected wavelengths and our brains interpret them as green.
Green plants absorb every color of the rainbow, but reflect green. That's why our eyes "see" green.
Letterpress print honoring St. Patrick's Day and the color green. Created using handset, vintage metal and wood type and printed on 100% post-consumer recycled white card stock. Surrounded by tools of the letterpress trade: forceps, ruler, coin and key combo, form brush, ocular magnifying lens, ink pen, and cutting blade.
The Good & Bad of Green
Green is the sponsor of the luckiest day of the year, St. Patrick's Day.
But the color green is not always lucky.
- think "green with envy"
- green is the color of greed
- hazardous chemicals often use green as a warning to stay away
- "green around the gills" is often used to describe someone not feeling well
Okay, sometimes the color green gets a bad rap. But there are more positive uses for green.
So, to inspire your luck for today, I'll leave you with thoughts to ponder that will have you thinking green and feeling lucky all day long.
- A "greenback" is a reference to money. Who doesn't love a little more of that green?
- If you get a "green light" on the road or at work, you're okay to keep moving.
- The prophet Mohammed wore a green cloak and turban.
- If you've got a "green thumb" then whatever you plant is sure to prosper.
- Green was the favorite color of George Washington, who by the way is on the green $1 bill.
- Starbucks is green!
- Okay, not a coffee drinker? Then, Rolling Rock and Heineken are green!
- "Green Room", the often plush room where performers and actors relax before a show.
- If you're in "greener pastures" then you've made it to the other side of the fence, because it's always greener over there.
May today be your lucky day!
Stay green my friend.