The weekend before my last week in Belfast, I went on a quick trip to London, England! The final week consisted of a few concluding lectures, a visit to a historic gaol (jail) and various farewell events.
Our final field trip with Queen’s University was to Crumlin Road Gaol. This was an operating prison before and during the conflict in Northern Ireland, and only closed in 1996. Many individuals from both sides of the conflict were placed here for assorted reasons. Additionally, there were a few executions performed. Being in the jail was actually pretty creepy, especially after learning that many of those that died and were executed were buried underneath the prison grounds.
The United Nations has 17 Sustainability Goals for countries around the globe. One such goal is #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. This goal focuses on making cities sustainable, while also allowing them to thrive economically. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and is a very sustainable city. In Elms Village, where the student accommodation was held, there were frequent signs to remind you to recycle. Additionally, around campus every time there was a trashcan, directly adjacent to it there was a recycling bin. Both of these acts help to promote sustainable actions and to remind students that their efforts aid in lessening the strain of the land and water supply on Earth. Outside of school, various businesses also helped to reduce plastic consumption and increase recycling efforts. For example, when I was presented with a drink, instead of being provided a plastic straw I received a paper straw. This type of straw is better for the environment, as when it enters a landfill it can decompose faster and more easily as compared to a plastic straw. Thus, the city of Belfast promotes a large amount of sustainability efforts.
Thanks for reading!