The Carbon Neutral Life on the West Coast

The Carbon Neutral Life on the West Coast

 

Under the Paris agreement, the EU has committed to carbon neutrality by the second half of the 21st century. A remarkable hotel in County Clare should be an inspiration to all small business to help achieve this goal.

 

Hotel Doolin in Co Clare became Ireland’s first and only carbon neutral hotel.
Recently, the hotel changed its electricity from brown to green meaning their electricity consumption is carbon neutral. They also changed from oil heating to an air to water heating system in July 2018 and are already see the positive effects this had their carbon footprint.

The hotel has committed to planting 10 trees per wedding. As it hosts approximately 90 weddings a year; that’s a total of 900 trees per annum. For them it is so important to protect the wonderful environment that they truly value living and working in.

Speaking with Áine Martin, Hotel Doolin’s Green Team Leader to us “We aim to purchase 70% of food produce from a 50km radius of the hotel”.

In order to offset their carbon footprint even further, the hotel work with the charity Hometree. Hometree are founded on a pretty basic idea, plant more trees. Based on the Atlantic coast, they first started a community garden, in an unused plot of ground about 100m elevation and about 600m from the coast. When they planted the first apple trees they were told they were mad, trees would find it difficult to grow here, but that wasn’t the case, they grew tall and strong and produced delicious apples. This was their reconnection to trees, seeing the birds come back and the soil in the garden improve, biodiversity, more life on the hill and the seeds of change blew in all directions. They are a group of people inspired by the lack of trees in County Clare and hope that they can do their part in regenerating and reforesting this beautiful and mythical part of Ireland.
They welcome all to come and enjoy the trees that they’ve planted and to enjoy the forest as it grows and more life returns to it.

Hometree are engaging the wider community and ethical businesses. On their 67 acres they plan to plant over 60,000 trees. The long term plans are to build a nursery within the grounds, collect all of the seed and plant them close to where the seeds fell, so completing the loop closer to how nature would do it.

Another organisation working with Hometree are Vanderlust. Vanderlust are the closest physical business to the land where the trees are planted, enjoying the outdoors and nature is their main priority, so caring for it is paramount.

They pledge to donate 1 tree for every 100kms covered by their rental vans every year. To date they’ve over 500 trees planted.