Water

The vast blue waters are a resource of the utmost importance in Ireland. The abundance of water and rainfall plays a role in Ireland’s immense green fields and its vibrant ecosystem to combine for the perfect the tourist destination. Despite this, Ireland suffers from a recent historical scarcity of clean water on the Aran islands. The three islands have been forced to institute water bans in which the water sources are shut off at a time in the evening and are re-opened in the morning. Shutting off the water during non-peak hours saves a lot of water, as almost 800 million liters are lost to leaks each day.

Island landscape

During my time here in Ireland, I did not see a refillable bottle even once. In America, we emphasize using refillable water bottles because it is beneficial for the environment and does not create unnecessary waste. I’m sure that they have them at some places here in Ireland, but the Irish contradict themselves by overusing plastic bottles when they had passed legislation 17 years ago to get rid of plastic bags at shopping marts. The plastic builds up without a proper place to dispose of them, and has a negative impact on the environment.

 

Walking into bathrooms, there are usually not only two doors, but two faucets as well. At one point in Achill island, I walked into the pub bathroom and was confronted with another red-haired man. Upon making eye contact, I said something along the lines of “aye” to which he replied, “having a good night mate!” We both had a good laugh when another man walked in. I said “OK, so these troughs I’ve seen before at baseball games, but the hell is up with these two faucets?!” Both the men burst out in laughter about how piping hot one and could not give me an explanation besides “that’s just the way they are.” I guess the faucets are just another aspect of water that is an integral part of Irish life that they accept for the norm.

 

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