Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why so Green?

There is something to be said about coming into a country almost completely blind, the findings to be found are completely unwarranted and met with an open mind. Dublin is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to a communal city in comparison to many of the cities found in the US. As has been ingrained in my head--- sitting through five hours of class four days a week, Ireland has gone through its fair share of hardships. To my surprise, although both the age and the composition of the society suggest otherwise, the community is very closely knit and well aware of its roots. The people share ethical similarities and work together to make strides towards an even “greener” country, if you will.

From day one pressure on American students to be more conscious have not only been verbalized, but made clear in a completely tangible way.  We were all allotted 4 “energy cards”, a system that works similarly to pay as you go. Its essentially a way to rationalize the amount of energy we use and make us all aware that once its gone, its gone. Turing off lights, turning off hot water, as well as turning off our appliances is a must if we plan to take hot showers by the end of our trip week five.

In addition to energy conservation, plastic bags are a rare find. Everyone here shops with reusable bags, if you need a bag there is a cost attached. Despite efforts for this in the States, Dubliner’s do a much better job at sticking to this idea. Even if you are in need of a bag, because I don’t know… lets say you forget to pack it along with your essentials for the day i.e. an umbrella, chances are you’ll be given a paper bag, which if there is one thing to be learned- paper bags are hopeless when it rains.  Perhaps that’s the reason reusable bags have caught on so well here? 

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