EcoTour Traveller Rating:
Tourism Pure is a leader of small group walking / hiking tours around the counties of Mayo and Galway in Ireland's West.
Three days walking in conifer forests, stunning cliff-top walks, an uninhabited offshore island and on beautiful sandy beaches and low-lying hills with wonderful ocean views in all directions. Stay at an eco-friendly guesthouse, boasting real Irish warm hospitality, solar powered hot water and geo-thermal underfloor heating. Eat locally produced food. Learn about local culture and meet the locals.
Four days of great hill walking. Climb Mayo's four highest peaks - Nephin,
Croagh Patrick, Mweelrea and Slieve Carr. Experience the blanket bog covered
landscape of this western edge of Europe. Stay in a 3 * environmentally
conscious locally owned hotel. Great views all around during the day and a
great chance to sample Ireland's welcoming people in her lively pubs at
Tourism Pure offers guide-led nature walking tours, for small groups, in remote areas of Counties Mayo and Galway, Republic of Ireland.
It is my firm policy that Tourism Pure will pursue a goal of giving tourists a memorable, enjoyable and educative time in the West of Ireland, while ensuring that our groups minimise their impact on the delicate natural environment, its flora and fauna.
This Environmental Policy covers:
3. Energy consumption
1. Waste :
We ensure that :
a. All packed lunches include no removable packaging whatsoever (e.g. no chocolate wrapping, no cellophane, etc.).
b. All packed lunches are in re-usable and ultimately recyclable containers.
c. All travellers are asked not to drop any litter anywhere.
d. As a group, we leave no trace.
e. Solid human waste is correctly removed from the countryside.
f. Liquid human waste is deposited sufficiently far away from water courses.
g. All raw food waste is composted.
h. No food waste, whether cooked or not, is left out in the environment.
i. When we encounter small scale waste (plastic bottles, etc.) on our walks, we collect it and dispose of it correctly.
2. Conservation :
We distribute information on environmental damage minimisation, covering the following points :
a. That travellers make every effort not to damage the natural environment, flora and fauna.
b. Specifically, that travellers not pick flowers or other plants, break branches of trees and shrubs, intentionally disturb animals or their lairs and nests, etc.
c. That travellers stick to the paths and not trample on plants.
d. That travellers take their lead from the tour leader as to where to walk and where not.
e. That travellers not leave the walking group to pursue their own path.
f. That travellers “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and kill nothing but time”. We take these principles very seriously.
I am a registered Trainer of Leave No Trace principles with Leave No Trace Ireland.
3. Energy consumption :
In my own home, we have two space heating wood-burning stoves. We do not burn coal or turf. We have reduced our electricity consumption as follows, over the last four years :
2005 - 6,431 kWh
2006 - 6,314
2007 - 5,023
2008 - 5,012
We use Airtricity (renewable energy from wind) as our electricity supplier,
have a well insulated attic and employ energy efficient CFL bulbs.
The mountain bothy we use as accommodation, while out walking, uses no energy whatsoever. The guesthouse and self-catering apartment we employ uses 100% renewable energy and low-energy LED bulbs throughout. They are also customers of Airtricity.
The hotel we employ won a Gold Medal at the 2009 Green Hospitality Awards, in recognition of improvements in its environmental management.
4. Water :
I distribute information on water conservation to all travellers, covering the following points :
a. That travellers not leave taps running unnecessarily.
b. That travellers only use as much water in showers as is necessary.
c. That travellers not take baths.
d. That travellers not waste water.
5. Suppliers :
Where possible, we use only local, County Mayo based suppliers of food. Where this is not possible, we purchase non-local food from exclusively local-owned retailers. We do not purchase from large national or multi-national supermarkets, etc.
We insist on the same from our accommodation providers.
All accommodation providers and additional local guides employed on a sporadic basis are local to the areas walked in.
We use three accommodation facilities. The first is an unserviced mountain bothy (refuge), with no running water or electricity. The second is an eco-friendly self-catering apartment and guesthouse. This is heated uniquely by a geothermal ground source heat pump and its hot water is provided by solar panels. It does not burn fossil fuels. The third is a locally owned environmentally conscious hotel, taking real steps to lower its environmental impact.
The boat we use to access the Iniskea islands is run by an environmentally responsible operator and he has been given a copy of Ecotourism Australia’s relevant guidelines for motorised boats from their Eco Certification programme.
6. Transport :
We encourage tourists to come to Mayo by public transport (bus or rail).
While in Mayo, where possible, we use public transport.
However, as Mayo is very rural and under-populated, this is not always possible. In this case, all vehicles we require for local transportation, where privately held, are recent models, in good condition and cause minimal pollution.
It is our overall aim to provide travellers with a fantastic holiday, at
little or no cost to the local environment.