A Sustainable View of Dublin
29 June 2022
Hi there! I’m Madison, and I’m interning with aparto and studying abroad in Dublin with the Dublin Business School and FIE for the summer. I’m originally from South Florida in the USA, and I study marketing and sociology at the University of Florida. I’ll be in Europe until the beginning of August, and I hope to share some interesting facts and experiences here!
You’ve probably heard that Ireland is referred to as the Emerald Isle because of how green it is. That’s one of the biggest reasons I chose to study and live here. I love exploring the outdoors and seeing all what mother nature has to offer. Accompanied with this, is my love of the environment and sustainability. I lived in the Netherlands with my parents before I came to study abroad in Dublin, and I've noticed many small ways that life seems more sustainable here versus the US.
Below I’ve listed some things I’ve noticed on my short journey while living at aparto Binary Hub, that might be fun or somewhat helpful to others who want to live a little bit greener!
As I’ve been living in my student accommodation in Dublin over the summer, I’ve been gifted with long hours of sunlight and perfect temperatures. What's great about aparto is that the lights switch off automatically when not in use and the residences are always kept at a lovely warm temperature of approx 24 degrees so there's little to no energy wasted. Another special concept in aparto Binary Hub is their use of switches for every outlet. This lessens any wasted energy from being used if the plugs aren’t being occupied by something plugged in.
Besides saving energy, Dublin offers a lot of other little sustainable things that can add up. The closest grocery store to me is Lidl, which encourages customers to bring their own grocery bags, like the aparto tote bag! I also read in an article that Lidl will be introducing a buy-back system by 2023 for their plastic bottles and cans. So hold on to those water bottles and beer cans! You could make some money back on them.
Another thing to compare against the USA is the amount of sorted recycling bins I’ve seen. They sort mixed recycling, general waste, paper recycling, and glass or metal recycling in each apartment. This can drastically reduce the waste in landfills as well as the labor hours required to sort this recycling. This not only happens around the city, but it’s also prevalent all across the aparto residences across Dublin, UK and Italy!
One of my favorite parts of living abroad as a student so far is that Dublin is a hotspot for charity thrift shops and vintage second hand boutiques. Back in the US I primarily shopped in thrift stores, but the area I lived in had a much smaller interest in thrifting and not nearly the selection that exists here in Dublin. Each shop I’ve visited has a different vibe, and it’s become a fun treasure hunt to find some great items. Some of my favorite thrift shops are: Nine Crows, Lucy’s Lounge, and Oxfam. I’ve only been in Dublin for a few weeks, and I’ve already found a cute pair of sneakers, a white blouse, and a beautiful silver ring.
Taking the time to look around and find these unique pieces is not only a fun way to spend a day, but it’s also super sustainable! When you shop second-hand you’re avoiding fast fashion and closing the fashion cycle. These clothes aren’t being thrown into landfills and instead are getting a second life. Not to mention, thrifted clothing is usually way cheaper than anything you might buy brand new! If you're living at aparto Binary Hub, the team encourages residents to donate any unwanted clothes for their annual Thrifting and Feel Good Fashion Show.
Where to walk
Since Dublin is a bigger city, it’s much easier to walk or take public transport than use a car. Since I’m only living here temporarily the efficiency with their bus systems and train systems like the DART are super impressive because where I come from transportation is car-centric with hard walkability. Not only is transportation accessible here, but it’s also cheap and easy to go to cool places. Dublin also recently reduced their prices for lots of public transport, giving me and my friends the chance to take the DART to Dun Laoghaire to see the Irish coast and it did not disappoint!
Besides being reasonably priced and convenient, public transport also majorly reduces carbon footprints for the mass population. Considering how many people are on these trains or buses, just think of that as one less car on the road.
Along with public transportation, walking is great exercise and has allowed me to see many places I wouldn’t have seen otherwise if I were driving past in a car. It has allowed me to find fun bars, nice shops, and cute parks even just on my walk to my classes. My favorite discovery has been an Asian food store on the route to DBS called Bengal, where I am able to buy some items I want but haven’t been able to find in Lidl!
As I continue to explore Dublin and notice other small details about the city and sustainability I hope to update again. But for now I will leave you to explore the city and thrift some cute clothes, bye!