Dublin in a new light

The past few weeks in Dublin have been quite the ride…literally. Some of us went to Phoenix Park, the largest Urban Park in Europe, for a bike ride last week. The park is an ideal place for a stroll or bike ride and hosts the Dublin Zoo, free roaming deer, and swans. Let’s not forget the Irish President and the American Ambassador of Ireland both have their residences there. Visiting Phoenix Park is a definite must if you are visiting or studying in Dublin.

Eventhough we haven’t yet found the moxie to take our rides out into the city. Bicycling is a large part of travel for people living in Dublin, as it is quick, cheap and easy to get around, not to mention healthy for the environment.There are also an assortment of buses and railways throughout Dublin and the surrounding area that are a great way to travel farther distances, or perhaps to avoid the rain. I knew coming into a city that there would be many more buses and much fewer cars, however I did not expect such a vast difference. When people speak of Ireland it is often about green fields covered with hundreds of sheep. I had never heard of Ireland in conversation about energy renewability or recycling methods.  Being from Vermont and living in Burlington I am used to hearing things like energy efficiency, carbon emissions, and sustainability. I came to expect these things from Vermont, but am finding them evermore present during my semester here. Ireland has several books we could all take a leaf out of in creating a cleaner environment and public transportation is just a start. Other examples? ATM’s do not print receipts here unless they are requested, conserving thousands of pieces of paper each day. Drying clothes on a line rather than in a dryer is the norm here.  In retrospect, this makes much more sense than throwing every load into the dryer as it conserves both energy and water, but we forget to question things that are so ingrained into our culture.

In both my International Relations and Non-profit/Social Marketing classes, we have discussed environmental issues, and Ireland’s growth in concern towards them. This has perhaps been even more beneficial to our personal awareness as we learn how the different cultural perspectives of our professors and local acquaintances can be utilized in our own cultures.  I hadn’t expected to find a little piece of home in Ireland’s sustainable thinking, but I ended up with a few ideas to bring back home and some great fun getting around the city.

Want to learn more about how Ireland is becoming more sustainable? I did too! Here are some links I found interesting:


-Nicole Tetrault
Marketing Major, Champlain College Class of 2013

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