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Great article about Glenribbeen by Melissa Wilcox.

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Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Holiday in Ireland

Ireland is famous for its un-spoilt landscape and beautiful scenery and visitors flock from all over the world to enjoy Ireland’s countryside and views. Increasing numbers of people are enjoying holidays here with 5,406,000 overseas visitors coming to Ireland in 2013 compared to 4,623,000 in 2010. With a rise of nearly a million in just four years, it’s more important than ever that holiday-makers don’t have a negative impact on the environment. Luckily it’s easy to enjoy an eco-friendly holiday in Ireland in stunning, natural locations. Award-winning bed and breakfast Glenribbeen Lodge is situated between Cappoquin and Lismore, right in the middle of South East Ireland’s prettiest region, County Waterford. It goes the extra mile to ensure that guests enjoy the holiday of a lifetime, without the footprint. 

Choose an eco-friendly location

In the past couple of years, hotels and guest-houses of all standards have become more adept at proving their eco credentials. Now luxury holiday locations all over the world try to earn their stripes by offering environmentally friendly get-aways. It’s not just luxury holidaymakers demanding more, as low-cost holidays can be eco-friendly too. But you don’t have to stay on a campsite to get close to nature. ‘Living hotels’ give you the chance to get back to nature while enjoying a relaxing holiday. Glenribbeen Lodge provides the perfect escape in a beautiful location and takes a holistic approach to conservation. From the way they heat the rooms to the food it serves, guests can feel confident that the environment is cared for every step of the way. Food is either grown organically or bought locally, with a focus on guilt-free Fairtrade goods. Energy bills are also kept low through water-powered electricity courtesy of a nearby steam, vegetable oil is collected for the central heating and solar powers are installed around the property. Throughout this emphasis on sustainability, guests can enjoy all modern luxuries in a beautiful location. The lodge is an ideal example of how eco-friendly locations can focus on reducing the carbon footprint of holidays, without reducing the experience.

Think about how you travel

Often the largest portion of the carbon footprint of a holiday will be getting there. Flying is officially the worst form of transport for carbon emissions, with aviation contributing a 2-3% share of global CO2 emissions. If you’re based in the UK, then consider getting to Ireland by public transport, such as via the many ferry routes. Buses and trains can also reduce your carbon footprint when travelling to your destination. If you have a large family to transport, then driving will give you freedom of movement around the area. Driving is an excellent way to see Ireland’s countryside, and if you don’t want to bring your own car, then there are many places to hire a car in Ireland. More and more car hire firms are even specialising in low-emission vehicles, such as hybrid cars, so you could even hire a car for the week which is more environmentally friendly than the one you’ve left at home. You can also offset any carbon emissions by leaving the car behind on days out when you get to your destination. Glenribbeen Lodge offers free use of bikes to guests, meaning you can hit the open road with the wind in your hair. It also has canoes for hire, so that you can enjoy Ireland’s waterways in a peaceful environment.

Get closer to nature in Ireland 

Ecotourism focuses on enjoying the best natural experiences available in a sustainable and responsible way. Ireland is full of action-packed activities which mean you can get close to nature, so it’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors with minimal impact on the environment. Supporting the local economy and visiting local independent businesses is an essential part of eco-travelling. County Waterford is home to the Copper Coast, recognised by the United Nations Economic Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), as having has geological interest, as well as the Comeragh Mountains. While visiting these majestic locations, you can enjoy horse riding, sustainable angling, slow boat cruises and guided walks around the area. You may also be able to spot some of the local wildlife, including 28 species of butterfly, and join Glenribbeen BatWatch at the Lodge to see some of these majestic creatures.

Come to Ireland for eco-friendly holiday

With so much to see and do, Ireland is the ideal location for a perfect family holiday. Glenribbeen Lodge, winner of the prestigious EU Green Flower Award for sustainability, can offer an environmentally friendly holiday in a stunning natural location, without leaving a trace. Get closer to nature at this ‘home from home’ B&B, and you won’t ever want to leave.

 Melissa Wilcox.

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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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