Mount Brandon Cottages is located in one of the most gorgeous areas of Kilkenny, Ireland. Protecting this incredible Irish environment is extremely important to the people of Leinster and to Mount Brandon Cottages.
We continually improve our environmental practices in a variety of areas including energy, single-use plastics, and water use.
We are Silver Award Certified. If you have any questions, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see below our green journey to date:
Since 2022 we have been participating in the FIFTY SHADES GREENER programme, where we were received our SILVER AWARD in December of that year.
VISION GREEN MANAGEMENT has done a carbon footprint assessment and we have been nominees for Carlow County Council Chamber “Sustainable Initiatives” award.
Over the past few years we have worked hard to reduce our environmental impact.
Our green efforts include the following:
Installation of PV solar panels for energy production
Installation of a charging point for EVs
Switched all lighting to LED energy saving bulbs
Installed timed or motion activated light sensors (PIRs)
Ask guests to turn off lights and/or turn down heating when they are leaving for the day
Reduce printed materials, instead send links to guests
Insulated the houses properly (e.g. attic or cavity wall insulation)
Replacing dated appliances with energy efficient ones when their day has come
Recycling –guests are encouraged to separate their waste, making it easy for them by offering clearly labelled bins for glass, tins, dry recyclables, paper and cardboard
Line-drying linen and towels (rather than using energy-hungry tumble dryers) – they smell so much fresher after having been out in the air
Encouraging guests to support local shops, pubs, cafes, craft shops, but also local cultures, such as the local GAA etc.
Recommending the local bicycle hire
Supplying re-usable shopping bags for guests’ use
Encouraging guests to drink tap water rather than buy bottled water
Offering composting facilities in various locations throughout the property. Composting is easy and great for the garden
The leaf mould gathered in the autumn is used in the garden the following season. Not cutting the entire lawn area, but leaving some areas to go wild – thus becoming pollinator friendly. That way we have successfully attracted hedgehogs, various types of butterflies etc. back into the garden
Gathering rainwater to water the garden
We have installed lots of bird boxes, including some owl boxes to house our resident barn owls, which many a guest got to see (and definitely hear) over the past few years. J And have you heard or seen our woodpeckers (Great Spotted Woodpecker), who is a regular visitor to the bird table?
Following SDGs (sustainable development goals) as set out by the UN as best we can
Paying fair wages
Gathering rainwater to water the garden
Promoting wellness – asking guests to slow down, to take in their surroundings, to get back to nature and just breathe in this calm and beautiful environment
Where are we all at?
I am sure that with the increase in electricity costs nearly all of us have been replacing our old, traditional light bulbs with more energy-efficient LEDs. In fact, you would struggle to find the old type of light bulb for sale anywhere at this stage. The kettle probably gets boiled a little less and items that are not in used get turned off at the socket! That’s the spirit!
But what about waste?
Are you leaving the outside packaging in the bins provided by most supermarkets rather than taking it home with you, where you then have to dispose of it?
We have our waste segregation down to a fine art at this stage. Recycling is top of the agenda and we encourage our guests to help us with our quest of as little waste into landfill as absolutely unavoidable.
Any kitchen waste goes directly into one of our many compost bins. This is easy for us, as there is no meat or fish to worry about which would attract vermin to visit the bins. All we have are vegetable peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds etc.
Reducing food waste is the climate action that every one of us can take every single day! And that is empowering!
If we do not buy food we don’t eat, we do not have to dispose of it, thus not adding to landfill and reducing carbon emissions. So if we don’t produce food waste – that in turn means that we did not have too much food to start with. So this produce did not have to be stocked onto shelves, be transported, or be grown and harvested and possibly chilled in the first place. All these stages from field to plate were saved, which means greenhouse gases were saved or not produced in the first place and that is a big win.
And why not grow your own?
If you have a bit of land, a front/back garden or indeed a balcony, you could start by growing a few herbs or have a few tomato plants.
Not everybody is in the lucky position to grow most of their vegetables like we are. It is a healthy and very rewarding pastime, which I would recommend wholeheartedly. You know what you eat and you exercise while tending to your plants. And think of the transport costs that were avoided.
I was 13 when I decided that I did not want to eat meat anymore and have been vegan for a few decades now (well before being vegan became “popular”). How about having a couple of meat-free days a week?
When a large budget retailer such as LIDL are changing their strategy,
we should listen up!
In early February 2023 LIDL unveiled its latest strategy to reduce the amount of meat it sells and ‘motivate’ shoppers to opt for plant-based proteins instead.
The retailer believes that it has a moral imperative to become more sustainable, to move away from animal products and push plant-based foods “since there is no second planet.”
The environmental impact of meat versus vegetables is staggering. A serving size of meat compared to a serving size of vegetables is linked to 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions. It also takes 100 times the amount of land as consuming vegetables. Unprocessed red meat has twice the water impact of nuts.
Source: University of Minnesota and Oxford University
So give a few veggie days a week a go – and don’t buy too much! ☺