Is This Thing On?

While I was packing for this trip, it did not once occur to me that the electrical outlets in Ireland are much different than the outlets we have in the United States. For one, the outlets in Europe are different in practically every country– I truly do not understand the point. Regardless, I am thankful that my family consists of many world-travelers who know all about what to and what not to buy in preparation. When we arrived at our first hostel, I was rather confused upon seeing the setup of outlets. Unlike the two-hole setup we are used to in the U.S., in Ireland there are three: one at the top, and two on the bottom. As well, there is a switch that turns the outlet on or off, which is a method designed to conserve energy. To be honest, it took me a few tries to figure that one out after I returned to my hostel room with my phone still completely dead after flying in the day before. This incident led me to think about my energy usage at home: my mom and I leave everything plugged in all day, everyday simply because it is inconvenient to go around unplugging each appliance around the entire house. Since I do not pay the bills, I am uncertain exactly how much our monthly bill costs, but I imagine the price is relatively high due to our habits. If we had a switch on our outlets the way outlets in Ireland do, it would be much easier to conserve energy– rather than unplugging every appliance, the only effort required is flicking the switch. Although this would not make a significant impact on the cost of energy in a home, the adjustment is a step in the right direction towards energy conservation. I believe that the United States should incorporate this method into our outlet systems– even though the process of transferring would likely be tedious and costly, conserving energy should be one of the nation’s top priorities in light of ongoing climate change.

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