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Green Tourism in Ireland.

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I get asked to explain my self when I opine that I feel Ireland could and indeed should lead the way in green tourism.

By dint of our own efforts we have made some headway in that aspect and below is an essay I wrote for a course i was doing with ECO-UNESCO.

The Greening of Tourism in Ireland.

1. Project Name; The Greening of Tourism in Ireland

2. My Vision is to have Ireland (rightfully) recognised as

  • i.a Green Destination.
  • ii. Ireland as a Centre of Excellence.
  • Iii A place where it becomes the norm to be eco-friendly.

3. The Goal; the goal is twofold. 1. To prove it’s worth it. 2. To prove it can be done.

4. The importance of this is because tourism is a major industry in this country and generates a lot of income at national down to micro level where even a simple B&B in a remote area can tap into a genuine need and provide a service and in return the money earned will help the local community. This however must NOT be at the expense of the environment by way of sewerage problems or access to visitor-sites etc. Sustainable development must become and remain ‘the norm’.

5. Indicators; How we will know if the project vision/aims are achieved.

6. Project Design. The design is fairly organic in that I am an accommodation provider – one that has so far achieved the E.U. Green Flower Award with 26 points. I will look at other projects  in and outside of Ireland and compare to see if anything can be learned or improved upon.

7.Results of Project; the results will far down the road though there are some figures already available to show there is a growing desire among tourists for a green approach to tourism.

8. Conclusions can only be from results of projects to date and from anecdotal evidence.

Recommendations; These I fear would be the bulk of any in-dept study as most tourist ventures are only beginning to appreciate the value of going green.

Reflections; The prayer of St Patrick’s Breastplate come to mind. .. Chríost liom, Chríost fúam, Chríost ar mo lámh dheis, … ..  ..

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge gets 5* treatment by John and Francis Brennan of the Park Hotel, Kenmare, Co Kerry in WaddelMedia/RTE’s “At Your Service ”.  Seres 1 #7

http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1053215

2. The Vision.

My vision is threefold, is to have Ireland (rightfully) recognised as

  • i.a Green Destination.
  • ii. Ireland as a Centre of Excellence.
  • Iii A place where it becomes the norm to be eco-friendly.

i. Green Destination. Ireland has a reputation for being green.

Throughout the period of the late ‘70s to the mid ‘80’s I lived in Amsterdam and travelled a lot on the mainland of Europe and to a lesser extent N. America and Cuba playing music (Irish traditional) in the evenings and regularly speaking to English classes in schools and collages in my free-time.

My favourite way to learn something of the level of English in a class (or indeed when meeting people after a gig or in shops, bars, restaurants) was to ask them “What do you know about Ireland”. Invariably the answer(s) came back as “Irish music” and “Ireland is very green”. Literature, sports, etc were rarely mentioned though particularly in East-block countries “the oppression of the people” was occasionally raised.

This ‘green aspect’ of peoples perception of Ireland goes back as far a the Greeks when Ireland was known as both “The Island of Light ”, or  “The Green Isle” right up to today when tourists arrive to our B&B and state with wonder in their eyes “Ireland is SO green”. By careful sustainable marketing and a commitment to a clean-green environment this is a feature that would NOT take much to promote, enhance and eventually lead the way for others to follow. That aspect itself attracting groups who come to see how it can be done. A simple reference point here Ref;1)  is the way that since we at Glenribbeen Eco Lodge won the E.U. Green Flower Award we have had many visitors who come specifically how we heat the house or recycle to the point that we haven’t put a rubbish bin out since August 2007.

(Application for E.U. Green Flower Award HERE Ref 2

ii.. Although I never thought then I’d work in a tourist ‘business I became keenly aware of the potential Ireland had to exploit the conception foreigners had/have of Ireland. Particularly so as myself and my sister had stayed in Doolin, Co Clare as the first musicians to play every night (for 3 years) and watched it become an international success. We also helped prepare the food for the first 2 Lisdoonvarna Festivals.

I strongly feel that by Fáilte Ireland CCE and non-affiliated music centres linking up to provide a music trail there can be huge benefits for all concerned. This music trail can of course be reached – generally by people coming to “experience the music of Ireland” by modern communications. There are apts for everything these days, from parking a car in a busy city to bus-times, instant local weather updates to on-board (iPhone, GPS, computers etc)  guides explaining what one is looking at, at a certain point on a road, walk, wherever. The apts would be regularly updated (i.e. once a month for larger events and a simple text to one site, say for smaller events –  to allow musicians to let the world know they’re off to a session) to ensure accuracy and the benefits are; better exposure for events, sessions, Booley-houses, shows etc. It would allow availability to tourists of information that is instant and immediate and by using this technology and combining with one will get fresh reports of music sessions/gigs/theatre- events and Loc8 will bring them with computer accuracy to within 6meters of the venue. It is of course in the interests of the participating musicians/organisers/managers to ‘get the word out there’.  But I feel that as it catches

on more and more tourists/musicians/listeners/dancers will take care of the communication side of things via FaceBook, Twitter or even a new Irish system geared specifically at the aforementioned market. We could call it Sessium.org Users would be known, collectively as Orgies.  Ref; 3 some apts will even give details of parking attendants in an area – why not music sessions.

  1. A place where eco-tourism is the norm.

The ‘Green Box’ in Ireland’s North West has been pushing for eco–friendly tourism for some years now. Ref; 4.  See also Last page of References.

Ian Wassons who completed the survey on Glenribbeen Lodge (as it was then) has a wide experience in dealing with ‘green-tourism’ Be it ensuring that all environmental safeguards and conditions are met – to badger-spotting and bat-watching.

He describes his role as such; Ecotourism experiences he’s been involved in creating can be accessed here: LINK

From a tourism destination point of view I can provide practical assistance in the following areas:

  • Sustainable tourism, Ecotourism, Responsible tourism research and development.
  • XTraining development and delivery.
  • XCommunication and marketing strategy and planning.
  • XInstitutional assessment, destination planning and funding.
  • XWebsite design advice and content advice
  • XEnvironmental assessment and planning for implementation, particularly in relation to the hotel and accommodation trade and visitor attractions.
  • Sustainable and ecotourism product development across a range of tourism interests. (Accommodation, Marine, Walking, Nature, Relaxation, Adventure etc).
  • Sustainable tourism and ecotourism standards and certification/accreditation (Including training and mentoring for businesses engaged in the accreditation process, training of mentors, as well as auditing of businesses)
  • Monitoring and evaluation of sustainable and ecotourism destinations including benchmarking of progress (jobs created, businesses supported, businesses accredited etc).
  • Awards and recognition.
  • Networking with the sustainable tourism and ecotourism trade including industry bodies, marketing bodies, media and tour operators.

All of the above bar those marked X would as I see it be the basis of a good sustainable environmentally  aware green tourism package to be self administered with a backing group such as The GHA (the Irish Green Hospitality Awards) as advisory role as well as to monitor and educate.  Ref; 5. Under GHA guidance over 150 hotels, guesthouses and recently B&B’s are learning, being monitored and appreciating the value of being green. Even Electric Picnic, Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann and the Wexford Festival Opera were all grasping at sustainability – monitored by Morris and GHAThis year restaurants aree coming on board. “Our newest development is our programme for restaurants.  More and more consumers are looking for Irish restaurants to be more sustainable and responsible and to promote and offer Irish Produced Food –  We have some of the best food in the world in Ireland and these food items are the ones that should be offered to consumers – this also helps in sustaining Irish jobs and in keeping money in Ireland” .

Green restaurants can serve food cooked in any style of cuisine from around the world but focus on using Irish ingredients.  Our Green Restaurants also manage their environmental footprint by minimising consumption of energy and water and reducing the volume of landfill waste.

Environmental conscious raising awareness IS becoming the norm.

.

List of Guides for B&B and Guesthouses –  See ref Pgs

Hotels and Large Accommodation providers – See Ref Pgs

Environmental Charter; See Addendum Pgs 1,2,3.

GHA Sample Environmental Policy and Objectives. LINK

See also Addendum Pg 4.

An example of how Glenribbeen made massive savings on CO2

(and in cash savings).

An electricity usage was borrowed for a week to test how much phantom load we were using and where. This was a small device (€6,- in Lidl) that sits between any British/Irish electrical plug (male 3 pin)and the wall socket (female). We estimated we were making huge losses over the year at various points because of electrical goods left on ‘standby’. These losses are referred to a Phantom Loads. Phantom loading is considered the energy a device consumes when it is not actually turned on. (According to U.S. figures (U.S. Department of nrgy – DOE,) “In the average home electricity 75% of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off”). We found a ‘Hot Spot’ while doing our house electrical survey in the corner where we have our TV, DVD, satellite box etc.

This in spite of the fact that I was aware of the fire-hazard of leaving TV’s on stand-bye as I’d renovated several houses after housefires caused by TV’s on standby while living tn the Netherlands. Though I’d usually turn it off – nobody else did.

While changing the light bulbs for CFL’s and fitting  PV-powered spots to the exterior of the house we re-checked our appliances that they were indeed all ‘A-rated’ we added a double-pole switch on the side of th fireplace that powers-off the entire sound-system, TV, various recording/playing units and the Sky-Box satellite box. We can now tell guests (and family) going to bed – simply flick the switch down when retiring to their rooms. All will be well.

The upshot was a “S.W.A.T. team” arrived from ESB (we hadn’t changed to Airtricity at this point). They charged up the drive in 3 trucks. Two went behind the house – I presume to the meter-box – one took me aside to soft-soap me and ask what was happening to our electricity consumption and 3 others ran into the house – I never found out where thy went or what they did. ’Mr Nice Guy’ told me that 2 weeks earlier we were ‘Red-Flagged’ on their computer system for a large drop in consumption  I explained we’d done a ‘power assessment’ and had changed most of our light bulbs and gotten rid of the external flood-lights. As an aside I mentioned the new switch to power off the TV etc. He became even more animated and demanded to examine it and asked specifically if the Sky-box was on the circuit. When I assented it was so he called off the others, apologised for the ‘disturbance and they left. Later we found we were saving €42,- per month. Even now we run our home and B&B and Self-catering for €60,- peer month of electricity.

It’s a lesson that’s not too late for the learning.

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge promotes Ireland’s leading on-line Eco-store; http://www.econatural.ie/
Goals – To prove it’s worth the effort.

To prove it can be done.

Simply we at Glenribbeen Eco Lodge have done it and our figures are up each year since we started on the eco/sustainability road. Just as importantly we have slashed our costs thus raising our profits so proving that we can do good by being good.

Our ‘end of year figures’ are rising at a time when isolated accommodation providers figures are sinking, some by 80%. At a time when Fáilte Ireland registered B&B’s are tumbling Ref 6 (the costs of membership are high plus the B&B becomes assessable as a business and must pay signage,  rates, water, income tax etc), the industry is in dire need of a serious boost. The world out there has been robbed, raped and pillaged to the point where some scientists fear we might be too late even trying to save what we have never-mind improving things. By spending a little now accommodation providers can save a lot later on – governments too must learn to spend now to save later (Economic Impact of Climate Change Could Surpass $200 Billion Annually
Read more: Ref 7 ).

In Kerry Many B&B’s and others have joined up with a UK Green Accommodation Providerswebsite. http://www.green-business.co.uk. This is a UK run business that also looks to thee Green Flower to set it’s standards by.

Many other green accommodation and transport providers link with us.

Examples are Bus an car hire in cities like Barcelona– Spain. Rabac – Croatia.

Or cylling organisations throughout thee world eg N. America. Or Cycle USA

Bed Breakfast and Biking lists bike-friendly B & B’s and inns along or near the bike trails and byways throughout the state of your choice. The innkeepers along the bike trails offer hospitality and respite for travelers. They will be happy to help you plan a trip using their B & B as a base or as one of several stops on your biking (or hiking) vacation.

Here at Glenribbeen Eco Lodge we make a special effort to all those that arrive on foot, by bike or by public transport. We have a dedicated wet/dry room and shower for outdoor adventurers and safe lock-ups/repair facilities for cycles and other gear. We also offer bikes and canoe to multiple-night guests. If you know of any cycling/walking groups that might be of use to us and/or our guests let Peter know.

Other companies are now coming to me to see if I can help them market to the ‘green-customer’. A local farmer has bought Canadian canoes and trained up to be able to take even beginners out on the Blackwater – he get to indulge in his pass-time and make some pin-money while visitors to the area (and some locals) get to see the river as it should be seen.  Ref 8

Education should be seen to be the first step in raising awareness indeed just in Jan 2011 Richard Attenborough claimed that “Climate change and habitat destruction are problems facing our generation and those of our children”.  “Veteran presenter says nature classes should be on a par with maths and English for children ‘estranged’ from the natural world”. Ref 9 Link HERE

To that end I see myself as an educator to other accommodation providers (and I’ve also helped with lighting & draft-doors in pubs and restaurants locally). I’ve a given short lecture at Clonmel Transition Town on “Powering Down in a Time of Peak Oil.” And helped format discussion on the T.T.

To start with; The single most important thing in trying to go green, save the environment (and money) is to count ones blessings.

These are usually in the form of heat, light, water supply and drainage, availability of food and transportation. We must fully understand how we use all of the above, how we can improve on their usage and how we can then cut down on wastage and ill-use.

We started out by counting the light (bulbs) usage and the amount of water we were using. Wherever possible energy saving CFL’s were used (the ole iridescent lights were kept for places where they are only used very briefly- cabinets, closets, food cupboards. Ref 10.

Since these reports were done we have added LED lights to the equation and though the 2011 Audit is not yet ready it must be soon to fulfil the requirements of the GHA.

Ireland’s only energy auditing company that also gives it’s members free classes on Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.  GHA: http://www.ghaward.ie/

We are further developing the basement apartment with a second passive-solar room that as well as provide a ‘quiet-spot’ in the apartment it will also draw in heat from the sun in the morning via a large East-facing window.

Why It’s Important.

Eco-friendly, sustainable development, green issues, alternative power … … These are all words and phrases that have taken on an almost mantra-like importance. Where people of faith used to argue how many angels could sit on a pin we now have environment ‘specialists expounding the loss of habitat, ice-shelf, frog, or the abundance or otherwise of “evidence” of this change or not. Whether the global warming (even in this winter to beat all previous winter records) is man-made, natural or farted out the rear end of ruminant – these words have emotive value. Hard-nosed as it might be – “Businesses are in Business to do Business”.  We in the accommodation business in Ireland can do well by doing good.

Taking the Eco-friendly route isn’t all about winning awards – though it has helped in that we are seen as a place where others come to learn how to improve – and as my mother would say – “You can always learn from someone else – if only how NOT to do something”. As a music teacher for 45 years she must know something.

Winning awards means I can seen as someone others may learn from and it keeps me on my toes as I am judged not for what I have done but what I do. (The easiest way for laurels to wilt is to sit on them). We are often asked about costs and returns but I find that by spending a little – up front – wisely and by reasoned thinking and a with a bit of imagination a lot can be done that will save a lot later. My 3 guiding principles when it comes to the house is – insulate, insulate, insulate. Then count the lights and the taps. Fit CFL’s wherever possible and LEDs wherever they can be fitted. If like us they can’t all be done at once – do what one can. CFL’s were very expensive at first too. Changing a 50W down-lighter to a 1,5W LED in a hall or kitchen costs about €10,-  but saves over the years. If for instance the hall is lit 24/7 like in most hotels then 1 light costs €87.60 per year to run. A 1,5W LED costs. €2,63

The LED payback is in 6 weeks. Imagine that most hotels and lots of guest houses have dozens – even hundreds of these 50W downlights costing 438kW per year EACH.

Like the Long March. Saving the eco-system can begin by changing one lamp at a time.

LED lights (a cool way to light up) use 90% LESS power.

Ref 11 Link HERE (Glenribbeen’s Eco list).

As well as trying to be good eco-friendly people in our normal lives we try (gently) to influence others to aim towards a similar way of life.

We also try to encourage other eco-friendly businesses to work together and we gave them a chance to get on national TV last Sept by attending the occasion of the raising of the E.U. Green Flower Flag by Park Hotel (Kenmare) owner. The idea was that the various businesses would be caught in-camera during the filming.

Amateur footage of the flag-raising can be seen; LINK

Why it’s Important to us;

When we started on the eco-journey it was a mixture of personal belief and a course attended by Peter in Clonmel IT “Domestic Sustainablity” that drove us. We always felt at one with nature and saw our role as ‘guardians’ of the part of the earth we live in and also where we visit. We feel strongly that people can be lead by example. Dump trash in a corner and others will too. Make one side of a roadside clean and clear of rubbish and (eventually- we’ve found) others will too- at least they won’t dump there any more. By involving others in our projects we’ve found they take a new-found interest in THEIR eco-ways.

On a visit to Bali – by way of ameliorating our carbon Footprint we used;

Bali Budaya Tours strives to provide the most environmentally and culturally friendly cycling tours on the island of Bali. The tours offer guests an authentic Bali experience that goes beyond the typical tourist experience in Bali, including trips to small Balinese villages and plantations, local temples, and natural areas.

How to Start a Bicycle Hire Company; Glenribbeen EcoBlog

Another way w found to learn and share experiences was with Transition Towns.

Clonmeel Transition Town Video – the rough cut. Peter plays a part in the discussion. http://vimeo.com/10111995 (check out at 04.00mins – Raise the awareneess levels – Educate –  educate – educate ) Thanks Pg 8 of references.

Advert to local (eco-friendly) businesses coming up to Sept 23rd 2009 the Glenribbeen Eco Lodge rebranding and Flag Raising Day

Following the success of Waddel Media/RTE’s “At Your Service” first transmitted Oct 2008 and repeated 5th August 09 the cameras revisit Glenribbeen to check on progress and film the “Flag Raising Day”.

Among other fun things to do several eco-friendly businesses will have their wares on display and Peter will be demonstrating how to make paper-briquetts and bio-diesel. Organic meat will be BBQ’d in the adobe oven and a short discourse will be held on raised-beds for vegetables and on hens/eggs and all things recyclable.

It is hoped to have at least one electric vehicle on site and hands-on experience of other renewables as well as eco-friendly supplies. A “Medieval Armourer will be on hand to show how bows and arrows were made”.

All are welcome in this effort to show how Ireland can lead the way to provide a “Green Holiday Experience”

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge; “A Holiday Experience Without the Footprint”

http://www.epa.gov/recyclecity/ Learn more here.

http://earth911.com/recycling/ U.S. based but some useful stuff.

For County Waterford; LINK

Other countries too are making waves about how we trash our (only) plant.

Celebrating a tourism fair staged this week to promote Spain’s biggest industry is a new hotel in central Madrid whose maker freely admits is rubbish.

German sculptor H.A. Shult used 12 tonnes of recycled junk to build the hotel in central Madrid’s Callao Square and draw attention to the amount of flotsam spoiling Europe’s beaches. Full story; HERE

for greener ideas and shopping. ETHICAL

More eco-friendly sites; http://www.glenribbeen.com/links.php

Copy of note from NSAI advising us we had passed their requirements and that the European Union representative would be in contact with us vis the award, flag, plaque etc.

E.U. Green Flower information; http://www.eco-label.com/

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge; waste management plan.

1.     we don’t generally accept parcelling/wrapped goods.

2.   we return to sender all unsolicited mail. N.B. This keeps the P.O. happy too.

3.   we don’t buy packaged good’s if loose is available.

4.   plastic bags are re used for waste, shopping, or recycled.

5.   paper is rotted in rain water (no chemicals to hinder process) and made into briquettes.

6.   plastic packaging etc is collected and with (crushed) tins brought to recycle centre.

7.   larger sacks (coal) are returned to supplier or used under garden paths to restrict weed-growth.

8.   building rubble and some fire ash is used to make cement blocks.

9.   chimney foul is used to darken cement for a more naturalistic effect.

10. some waste- bike-tyres, cord, elastic-bands etc is used in the garden to help train plants.

11. ash is used in compost if only wood/paper was burnt or it’s used to help build weed-free paths.

12. anything that CAN be recycled IS recycled.

13. anything that can be considered as good insulation is used as such.

14. arrangements are being made with Mr Bin and the Waterford Co Council to pick up our waste (vacuum bag waste, toiletries waste and such) on a pay–by-weight basis.

15. bicycles and other items “rescued” from tip, repaired and re-used.

16. use is made of fallen wood (branches etc) in stove.

Please note our last “pick-up” was 42 full months ago (as of Jan 2011) and we expect to last another year or more before even one of our two grey-bins get too heavy for me to wheel 150m to main road for eventual pick-up.

Conclusions; – as we progress further and add to our projects (waste veg. oil-to-diesel and passive-solar to warm the basement area (and thus the rest of the house) we have learned that Rome wasn’t built in a day. There were Irish tradesmen back then too. Most of the work w have to do ourselves as it’s so cutting-dg there is no-one around here that has any understanding of it. We feel the need to continually educate ourselves – AND disseminate. That said only by working with others can we truly be said to be working at all.

Recommendations; Simple and straightforward

Organise events for accommodation providers the way that Fáilte Ireland have been doing for the last 2 years to bring people together and educate them in the environmental ways that Irish accommodations can go green, save the environment and save money, CO2 emissions and money.

I strongly recommend that Maurice J. Bergin of the Green Hospitality Awards Ireland lead the programme to make Ireland’s Accommodation Sector the cleanest, leanest, greenest in the world. It IS doable.

Ireland already has a great Green REPUTATION

–       LET US BUILD ON THAT!

References on separate sheet/page.

We have several composting areas.

1.  old metal oil drum for some cooked food waste. (Kept for approx 10 months, then added to normal closed black compositor.

2.   several black compositor for non cooked foods and smaller garden waste.

3.   a large raised (railway sleepers) area – 10m2 – for larger amounts of garden waste and grass.

4.   an area of heavier garden waste up a slight rise to the SW corner of the South garden is allowed to ferment and feed the garden as nutriments leach naturally into the ground. (Behind the archery boss/targets.

5.   two brown-bins on wheels are used to ferry garden waste to and fro in a simple manner and when not in actual use provide a “starter” before they’re added to the black bins. This allows a certain amount of aeration.

6.   the vermiculture unit takes care of most cooked food waste.

7.   the chickens; well … they’re insatiable.

8.   water butts gather water from the roof and are fed nettles and sassafras to provide iron and phosphorus.

9.   near empty beer-cans are strategically placed to catch alcoholic slugs that rot in the beer and provide great nutriments for the plants they would otherwise have ravaged. After emptying and crushing the cans are recycled in the “tin-bag”.

10. nails/screws found in the boiler ash are used or brought to recycle area as “waste” metal.

ALL guests may read our short notes on our policies and are very actively encouraged to respect our values. Mostly we encounter no problems.

During occupancy the apartment will be designated several bins for various sorts of “rubbish”, we’ll encourage and if needs be sort out ourselves.

Indicators of a Job Well Done.

 

Peter wins nomination for Fáilte Ireland Business Chalenge Award 2010

 

 

Above Peter wins a nomination for the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Business Challenge 2009 for his efforts on Eco-tourism.

 

Peter & Francis Brennan of the Park Hotel Kenmare raise th Green Flower Sept 23rd, 2009

 

 

The  E/U/ Eco-label award is raised at Glenribbeen by top hotelier Francis Brennan. It’s the only Green Flower Award in entire South of Ireland.

GLENRIBBEEN ECO LODGE  ECO-FRIENDLY PRACTICES

1. Environmental Awareness. We keep in touch with the eco-news, continue studies.

2. Waste Reduction / Reuse / Recycle. No bin out since Aug 2007

3. Energy Efficiency control and 40% reduction.

4. Alternative Renewable Energy. Mass-boiler, PV and Solar all in use as is passive solar.

5. Water Conservation. We collect seedlings and bring them to gardens schools and roadsides in West Ireland when visiting. Or give to departing guests along with rosemary as car-air-freshener.

6. Indoor Air Quality. We won’t use chemical air-fresheners. We use flowers, rosemary and thyme from garden.

7. Biodegradable Products. Mostly Ecover.

8. Organic Products self-grown or bought (mostly) locally.

9. Responsible Transportation. We advise on bus routes etc and collect when necessary.

10. Landscape/Soil Conservation. We’ve planted bushes along stream and keep river-paths clear while planting indigenous plants and cutting back on invasive foreign species.

11. Supporting Local Community. I teach music, archery and ‘organic-living’.

12. Own eggs – from hens fed on kitchen waste, stale bread from shop and garden pests.

13, Glenribbeen Bat Watch run in conjunction with Heritage Week.

Further examples of Green Creds;

ACTIVITIES

Cycling, Golf, Hiking, Horse Riding, Bat-walks, Bird Watching, Walking, Fishing,

GREEN CREDENTIALS

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESOURCES: we use wood to heat the house, solar panels (tubes) to heat the water and PV for outside lighting.
DIETARY SELECTIONS: Mainly a vegetarian diet.
WE TAKE ACTIONS TO: conserve heat, conserve water, install eco-friendly lighting, reduce gas carbon emissions – new condenser-boiler, compost waste food, recycle wherever possible, use bio degradable cleaning agents, use reclamation building materials, use renewable natural furnishings, source food locally, offer local employment, instruct staff in green practices, include green room info packs, conserve/care for wildlife in our area –kelp children make bat and bird boxes (from recycled wood), offer guests books, binoculars and information on walks, animals, geological and historical places of interest. 

We also offer guests bikes, kites, garden-games (horse-shoes, boules, garden table-tennis, garden swings, gardening experience etc). Also offered is a sail-surf-board, Canadian canoe, small sail boat and various musical instruments.

When we bought a car last year we bought a used 7-seater so we can facilitate group pick-ups either for arriving departing guests or for walkers pick-up/drop off.

.Other ventures such as the wheelyboat for disabled anglers has also helped focus attention on using the river in a quiet and sustainable way. The boat has been acquired by the Cappoquin Salmon & Trout Anglers Association with help from its sister charity The Wheelyboat Trust, Handicapped Anglers Trust (HAT) – Ireland has just supplied its first Wheelyboat to the Republic of Ireland. I am a designated captain

We are proud to be involved with (as a part-time tour-guide) to help people learn about the river from historical and ecological terms by taking a ½ day or whole day trip with Tony Gallagher http://www.blackwatercruises.com/ an ex fisherman who now takes tourists and wildlife-watchers on his 30’ boat ‘The MV Maebh’. This ‘slow-boat to Cappoquin’ involves a few stopovers at (some ruins – some whole) Castles, monasteries, genteel garden-parties etc where guests are regaled with a mix of stories, lies, legends and a whiff of romance.

On a contrary note to all this feel-good a project to have am ‘Air-boat’ on the Blackwater was shot down (figuratively).

General information.

National Bus lines http://www.buseireann.ie/

Local Busses – Déise Link:  058 20845 or Austin O’Brien: 087 2256666 (also Skype)

http://www.deiselink.ie

If all else fails – we will come and collect you IF we are given enough notice.

Interesting note – for anyone wondering how much energy is available from the sun each day pr square metre – I’ve worked it out to be;

Diameter of the Earth = 12,000 km
Surface the Earth presents to the Sun = PI * d = 37,700km2 = 377.10(8) m2
Maximum solar irradiance on Earth = 1400W/m2

That doesn’t gel with what I was taught – 3kWatt /m2.

Clonmel Transition Town video (“rough cut”) is available to see on the Glenribbeen EcoBlog.

https://pfiddle.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/clonmel-transition-town/

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge promotes Ireland’s leading on-line Eco-store

http://www.econatural.ie/

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About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

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  1. Rathlin Island : Heaven for birdwatchers, walkers and outdoorsy types, Rathlin Island off the coast of Antrim also has an interesting history, writes DEIRDRE DAVYS

    IF NODDY and Big Ears had boarded the Puffin Bus in Toy Town nobody would have batted an eye. It is quite another matter to discover the Puffin Bus up in Rathlin Island off the coast of Antrim. Given the traditional hardships of island life you don’t expect something that sounds quite so “jolly”. But there it is – waiting at the harbour as the ferry docks to take you to the Seabird Centre at the western most end of the island.

    If you can’t wait to see the birds hop on the bus but, if you are up for a bit of exercise, head in the opposite direction – go right or east if you prefer and follow the signs for the bicycle hire shop and get yourself a mount. Now you are free to explore at your own pace.
    For ornithologists this island is a true paradise for, apart form the aforementioned birds, it is possible to watch buzzards, peregrines, ravens, kittiwakes and many others including fulmars which are members of the albatross family.
    rathlinballycastleferry.com walkni.com

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