Maslyn Locke ♦ 2014 Global Scholars Symposium
Title: A Comparison of Sustainability Efforts in Ireland and the United States
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to explore the differences in sustainable lifestyle practices between the United States and the Republic of Ireland. The study looks at differences in consumption of plastic bags and electricity, as well as differences in legislation and accountability in both Ireland and the United States. The overall premise is that, because Ireland is held accountable by the European Union, differences between the two countries in a sustainable lifestyle arise. There are interesting points regarding cultural differences and similarities between the two places, especially when considering the close ties Ireland has to the United States. The Republic of Ireland and the United States have a relationship that can be considered to be one of admiration and similarity. As such, differences in sustainability are quite intriguing, especially when considering the fact that Ireland is far ahead of the United States in terms of sustainable lifestyle. The United States is a country that, culturally, prides itself on excelling in all fields that “matter” in the global society. Why is the United States behind the Republic of Ireland in terms of sustainability, when Ireland has been an independent nation for less than 100 years? This research examines this question, attributing the answer to Ireland’s membership in the European Union, as well as cultural differences between the two nations.