We are very lucky to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, in the heart of Doolin and the Wild Atlantic Way, surrounded by the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Geopark. With this comes a great responsibility to ensure we protect it for you and future generations to enjoy. We’re not perfect but we believe every little bit helps and we are committed to improve on it each and every day.
- In 2016 with our new extensions and renovations to old sections we have over specked our insulation in walls, floors, attic spaces, air tightness tape, high spec windows etc. To reduce our requirement for heat.
- We installed 2 x 50kw highly efficient condensing gas boilers in November 2013 for our heating and hot water in the main building, replacing old Oil boilers. In Spring 2015 we aim to add solar panels to provide the majority of our hot water.
- We installed high efficient wood burning stoves to heat our common areas, purchasing wood from local sustainable forests. Eliminating old and inefficient Coal burning stoves.
- We continued to install thermostatically controlled 770w Farho Panel Heaters for our Annex Building replacing old 2-3kw inefficient panel heaters, purchasing renewable electricity to heat our bedrooms
- In 2013 we zoned our main building for heating and have an active procedure to manage it daily to maximize the comfort for our guests while minimizing waste.
- We installed LED light bulbs and CFL bulbs throughout the building and ground adding motion and presence detectors to public areas where possible. We estimate our lighting bill to be under €400 for a year for both our buildings in total!
- In 2012 and 2013 we added extra insulation to attics, crawl spaces and internal walls where renovations have taken place. In 2014 we will be adding extra insulation to external walls and adding more soundproofing insulation to hallways.
- In 2013 we added a variable speed pump to our hot water and heating system to added pressure only when required. This also increases the efficiency of getting heat to our rooms.
- We have added timers where possible to control wastage such as outdoor lighting. i) In 2013 we review our Laundry drying procedure and reduced our average drying times by 25-35% with our gas dryers and added clothesline which helped reduce our use of gas dryers.
- We monitor our Gas, Electricity and Oil, benchmarking year on year and against best practice properties internationally with a goal to improve year on year. Whilst improving our customers’ experience.
The RESULT: In 2013 we reduce our total energy by 23kwh/square meter from 102kwh/square meter to 88.9kwh/square meter a saving of 23% in one year. Taking into consideration we had more guests, added a Café (same square meters) adding more energy consuming equipment and requirements for hot water!
- As we continue to renovate and extend, we’ve added penny values to each tap which enables us to control the flow of water to the tap and in emergencies where a tap is faulty or leaking we can shut it down immediately until it is fixed.
- In 2014 we added water saving shower heads to maintain water pressure and give an enjoyable experience whilst reducing water waste by 60%
- In 2013 we review our in house laundry procedure reducing our water consumption by 20-30% (we are currently reviewing our washing powder and trying soap nuts which are 100% natural and environmentally friendly.)
- We added water meters to our laundry in 2014 and will further sub-meter where major water usage takes place to monitor and see where we can improve.
- In our gardens, we raised flower beds where possible and added local hardy plants which can survive naturally.
The RESULT: In 2013 our water usage was 122liters per sleeper. In 2014 we collected data and benchmarked it against best practice as we have new challenges as we pressurized the water to improve the guest experience and we are currently monitoring will set new targets for 2015.
- In 2016 we upgraded our grease traps to improve the removal of grease and reduce the burden on our wastewater treatment plant.
- All our bins are segregated, we compost all our food waste, and recycle where possible.
- In 2014 we reviewed our menus in our Café and structured them to minimize waste in preparation.
- We work actively to participate and support Doolin Tidy Towns.
- All our wastewater is treated in a natural puraflo peat most treatment plant.
- We are a collection point for used batteries, (please leave them on our kitchen window collection point and we will dispose of them for you.)
The RESULTS: In 2013 we reduced our landfill by 56% from 4303kg in 2012 to 1874kg in 2013 or 0.2kg/sleeper in 2012 compared to 0.54kg/sleeper in 2013. While our recycling remaining virtually unchanged at 0.22kg/sleeper. Our food waste increase to 0.114kg/sleeper from 0.048kg/sleeper, but this is still well below best practice of 0.32kg/sleeper. We continue to strive to reduce this further.
Local, Community, Conservation
- In 2013 we joined the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and adhere to their Sustainable Tourism Code of Practice.
- We actively promote the Leave No Trace philosophy.
- We actively patrol the street and bus stop in front of our properties for litter an and encourage our staff to pick up any litter they see.
- We support environmental sustainable transport by providing the local Bus Eireann Bus stop, Bus information and ticket office and actively support and engage them to provide more services.
- We support environmentally sustainable tourism and have special rates and conditions for our guests with local activity providers and attractions.
- In 2014 we received the Gold Award from Green Hospitality Awards for our commitment to reducing and managing the impact our business has on its environment.
- We networked with other hostels in the Burren to create the Hostel Hop to promote the Burren as a hiking or cycling trail destination.
- In developing and operating our business, all decisions take into consideration our impact on our local environment whilst improving our guest experience.
- When purchasing equipment we consider its use and alternatives and purchase the highest energy efficiency possible.
- We employed local carpenters to make our bed-heads and some furniture using wood from sustainable forests.
- All our flooring in our bedrooms is from sustainable forests and all our duvets and pillows are eco-certified.
- We reclaim, reuse and find new uses for old furniture and products giving them a new lease of life where possible.
- We promote a healthy continental breakfast.
- We promote local produce in our Café menus such as Burren Smoke House, Burren Perfumery Herbal Teas, Mayan Chocolate, St. Tola’s Cheese, Clare Springs Organic Water.
- We monitor our cleaning chemicals and use Diversey cleaning products which have great control systems to minimize waste.
- My father Paddy grows lettuce, rhubarb and other edible delights in his garden and polytunnel next door along with herbs, berries and new apple trees in our garden to use in our Café.
How You Can Help
- Embrace Leave No Trace – A simple ethos and tips to help outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the outdoors while minimizing their impact.
- Enjoy the variety of healthy activities Doolin and its surrounding area has to offer.
- After enjoying the local attractions take your trash home with you and we will dispose of it for you.
- In the hostel, simple things make a big difference such as:
- Turn off water taps when not in use, such as while you are brushing your teeth.
- Use the tubs in the sinks provide while washing up in the kitchen.
- Segregate your waste, with landfill in bathroom bins, recyclables in bedroom bins, Glass, Batteries, Food Waste in designated bins in the kitchen.
- In your bedroom try to avoid having the heat on if you have the bedroom window open.
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room and close the door behind you.
- Buy local! Here is a helpful app called the “Burren and Cliffs Geopark App” download on Itunes or Google Play
We are enthusiastic and committed to being “Green” and would be delighted to hear of any suggestions you may have to help us continue our efforts.