Green on Green on Green

As we spent a beautiful Friday exploring the Cliffs of Moher, Galway City, and the Irish countryside, it is important to consider the impact of tourism on the country, its land, and its people. For Ireland, being a smaller island nation, tourism helps to support the country and its economy in big ways. However, as a result of this booming tourism industry, this also comes with negative environmental effects for the island such as an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Ireland is actively trying to address these environmental issues and climate change as they continuously look for new ways to reduce their environmental impact in order to preserve their beautiful country. In our travels to western Ireland today, one thing I took notice of was how much of the rocky, coastal area we visited was under Ireland’s environmental protection. This area is The Burren National Park where the land is to be undisturbed in order to preserve the natural ecosystem and landscape. Protection and preservation efforts such as this one are essential to maintain in order to limit the negative impact of tourism on the island. As travel begins to pick up again from the easing of restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for Ireland to find more sustainable ways to accommodate tourists. It is in their best interest to become as green as possible in order to not only support and grow their economy but to ensure that Ireland’s stunning landscapes are preserved for generations to come. If I were to make a sales pitch about tourism in Ireland, I would make sure to highlight how best to travel sustainably to limit your environmental footprint while also supporting the local economies. As most of our stops today on the day trip were quite short, I would love to visit Ireland again someday. In order for this to become a reality, Ireland must continue to evaluate themselves and their tourism industry with close scrutiny as I too must evaluate how best to be a tourist sustainably.

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