At all times, in all places and in as many ways as we can we try to always consider our sustainability in our office and with each holiday we offer you. Below is what we do in our office environment and under Eco-Ethos you will find our holiday principles outlined.
Use of Energy
We are very lucky to have our office in a beautiful old building which was built in 1857, Collis Sandes House in Tralee, but this brings its challenges in regards to energy efficiency. For this reason we work closely with the building owner to ensure we use the most energy efficient methods available to us. Night storage heaters are used for general heat with top-up if necessary from Dimplex Eco Oil Free Column Heaters worked on timers. The office has 300mm of insulation in the roof & under floor (between levels & at base level) to ensure maximum retention of heat. All unessential appliances are kept off at all times as well as any lighting. These are turned off at night & during lunch times where applicable. We use energy efficient lighting currently and our landlord is phasing in a change to LED lighting throughout the building which will be coming to us in 2015. Electricity is supplied by Electric Ireland who provide 30.2% of renewable energy.We have a PO Box for all office post – therefore reducing our carbon footprint with An Post.
We use as many Eco-recognised houses as possible. We encourage all our accommodations to follow sustainable practises in as many ways as possible. We have now introduced a Eco checklist to our accommodation contracts to help us gather as much information about what the accommodations are doing in relation to Eco tourism. As well as this we are highlighting the fact we will be more inclined to use accommodations who follow Eco tourism principles and practices.
When buying equipment and office supplies we buy in bulk where possible – i.e. 4 new computers in one go during 2014.We take responsibility for all our office waste –we have bins to separate our waste from recycling and from here we take the waste to our domestic bins at home for collection each week. This allows for composting & recycling of as much of our waste as possible.
To facilitate our aim of paperless billing we ask all clients to pay by online banking or via our website and we pay all our suppliers by online banking. We receive as many of our office bills as possible by on-line Invoices.
As part of our Pre-Departure information we encourage clients to bring their own water bottles & lunchboxes for their picnic lunches. We intend to buy and brand water bottles in the future and give them to all clients by 2016.
All our guides are briefed on the need to communicate our Eco tourism message to our clients during their tours and the guides are also responsible for ensuring any picnic waste is then brought back to accommodations and recycled or composted through their household refuse.
Within the office 99% of all water used in the buildings comes from our own well and toilets are flushed by well water. Drinking water is mains supplied and we currently use an average of 10lts per day. Drinking water is mains supplied and the near future we will begin supplying branded refillable water bottles to all of our clients on tours.
Detergents and Disinfectants
The only detergents or disinfectants that we use in the office are soap in toilets – which is “Faith in Nature” or “Ecover” soap, and also washing up liquid for washing dishes – again we use “Ecover” or Eco-lily brand. We actively encourage all our suppliers to use environmentally friendly products – such as “Eco-lily” or “Ecover”.
Sewage and Greywater
All our office waste water goes to a septic tank which is emptied twice a year & is treated to the highest EPA standards managed by Kerry County Council at our local water treatment centre. We minimise pollution from greenhouse gases, noise, light, runoff, ozone-depleting compounds & air or soil contaminants in every way possible in our office and during our tours. We encourage all our accommodations to ensure the highest possible standard of water waste is adhered to.
We address pollution from greenhouse gases, noise, light, runoff, erosion, ozone-depleting compounds, and air and soil contaminants in every way possible in our office and during our tours. Our new Bus is a 2.01 TDI using Blue Motion 114BHP, so reducing pollution as much as possible.
We also ask clients to consider their impact in travel to and from Ireland. We offer a carbon offset for clients who wish to avail of it. We ask all our supplier’s to be aware of their impact from pollution and we highlight the fact we would prefer to work only with suppliers who adhere to Eco Tourism practices.