So a little under two weeks ago we moved into a small, but modern townhouse in the Dublin town of Stillorgan. Our ecological footprint is so much smaller here than it ever was in Canada. Part of that is the climate — you just don’t need to burn so much fossil fuels here with the milder winters. But that aside, many other factors contribute to a massive reduction in our footprint. Here we don’t own a car — it’s self-propulsion and efficient public transport. Our place is small, but designed to use the limited space effectively. The water heater is tankless — it heats water on demand with natural gas. To compare, our Edmonton home keeps a full tank of water boiling hot, 24/7. You know, in case I want to have a shower at 4am. Here, we only heat the water as needed. The shower is an electric unit that heats the water right in the shower unit. The appliances are all energy efficient and small in size. Everything’s smaller here. It seems the Irish public is more concerned with being efficient and ecological. Part of that, I think, is due to the necessity. Being a tiny, formerly impoverished island nation, everything is much more expensive. It makes sound financial sense to be efficient. Secondly, the country is small, and there’s a clear need to not squander the limited environment. In Canada we are spoiled by our riches of land and nature. We can do a lot of destruction without feeling any true loss or pressure to our lifestyles. In many ways, our abuses are hidden by the vastness of the land.
Ahh, sorry, I got away on a little bit of a tree-hugger rant there. As you were.