Sure, all of Ireland was green. The color green, I mean. Seriously, green plants and grass are everywhere. They don't call it the Emerald Isle for nothing. But I saw some environmentally green things going on in Ireland as well.
Here are a few:
- No plastic bags. In 2002, Ireland placed at 15 cent tax on each plastic bag. People stopped using them very quickly. All of the stores I was in used paper bags - but I refused them and put stuff in my back pack. The only plastic bag I was given while I was there was the clear plastic bag that my duty free items were placed in at the airport.
- Eco Cabs. In Dublin, we were given free ride in a man powered Eco Cab. I'll be writing more about that next week when I begin a new writing job when I'll be telling you about soon.
- Individual toilet paper squares. Many public rest rooms (do you ever feel like you spend half a vacation looking for a bathroom?) had toilet paper dispensers that gave you little square and a half sized papers. Sure you could take more than one, but it's a good idea. I'm sure it cuts down on the amount of unneeded toilet paper used.
- Very few disposable cups, plates, utensils, etc. Even the smallest of places that we stopped to eat used durable items unless we specifically ordered something to go. Coffee was always in a coffee mug. Drinks were always in glasses. We weren't given plastic silverware or disposable plates anywhere but the airport and the plane.
- Tiny little showers that discouraged long bathing sessions. In the B&B's we stayed in (which were above pubs) the showers were all business. Get in, get out. The one place even had a button to push to get the water that only dispensed (COLD) water at ten second intervals.
- Lots of bicyclists - even in the hilly mountainous northwest.
- Very few SUV's, a few minivans, lots of small fuel efficient cars.
Those are just a few of the things that I saw that I think are helping to make the world a greener place. I wasn't specifically looking for green things. This was a non-working vacation. But because I'm trying to make being green a natural part of my life, it's hard not to notice these things.