At Decoy Country Cottages we are committed to operating our business in a manner that maintains a balance between helping the environment and the community in which we live and providing guests with the highest quality selfcatering holidays possible. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce the energy used to run the cottages, the amount of water we use and the amount of waste we produce.
As a consumer, ultimately, it is you who makes a difference by choosing destinations and businesses that are commited to the environment.
At Decoy Country Cottages, we were fortunate to have had an opportunity during our reconstruction, to avail of the latest technology when installing our heating and hot water system. We opted for a geothermal system with a hoizontal collection area that means we use no fossil fuels for our heating or hot water needs. In addition to this, the electricity used to power the system is generated by a green energy provider that produces a minimum of 88% of its elctricity from wind energy. This makes our carbon footprint extremely low, as well as helping to reduce your own!
Our water is provided by a well on site that is treated to the highest standard. This means that we can monitor the quality of the water regularly.
Our waste water is disposed of on site by a treatment plant, that uses no chemicals and that discharges clean water. We limit the amount of cleaning products used and use environmentally friendly products where possible. The use of microfibre cloths reduces the amount of cleaning chemicals we have to use.
As the houses are newly converted, they are insulated to a very high standard, reducing their energy requirements. Also, where possible, CFL bulbs have been used and we have a policy of replacing bulbs with a more energy efficient equivalent as improved technology becomes available.
During the reconstruction, natural materials were used wherever possible. A local company was used for the buiding and local labour is used for on going maintenance.
We actively encourage recycling. All kitchens have dual bins, one for recycling and the other for ordinary waste. We also provide composting caddies for food waste. Bins liners are bio-degradable. Information is available to guests on what can be recycled and this is made easy with a dedicated recycling area with special bins for waste batteries, light bulbs, recyclable refuse and ordinary waste. In addition to this, we have recently added a green cone to take raw and cooked food waste avoiding this unessessarily ending up in landfill.
This year we hope to install a microwatering system for pots and hanging baskets. In addition we only water in the morning and evening.
Our welcome baskets are made up of locally produced items where possible and all tea, coffee and sugar is Fairtrade.
We encourage wild life by having bird feeders and a nesting box, and provide information to guests on local flora and fauna,
We have bikes that can be used by guests and provide information on car free days out. We can pick people up at the local bus stop and drop guests there if they want to use public transport while here.
We have recently placed a booking engine on our web site that allows not only for electronic booking but also booking confirmation, delivery of brochures and directions etc dispensing with the need for paper forms of this information. We also give clients the choice when making a booking to offset their carbon emissions for their journey. It is our policy to always buy recycled paper, envelopes, kitchen roll etc.
We readily make available to guests information on local amenities and attractions to not only support local employment and crafts but also minimise carbon guests carbon footprint. We also suggest car free days.
We hope soon to offer guided walking, bird watching and photography holidays.
We are fortunate to have an ecology centre on our doorstep and encourage guests to visit it. The centre has an organic garden, a riverwalk, an eco-shop a cafe and also provides courses on environmental issues. You can check it out on www.sonairte.org
How You can Help
By working together we can reduce the impact of tourism on our environment. We ask our guests to :
Use the recycling facilities.
Please Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.When buying produce, please avoid unecessary packaging
When the heating is on, please do not leave the front door and windows open
Please turn lights off when leaving the room
To conserve water, take a shower in preference to a bath
Please do not leave the taps running when brushing your teeth
We have a policy of a weekly towel and linen change unless you request a more frequent change
Please turn towel rails off when not in use
When leaving the property, or going to bed please turn appliances off standby
Please do not flush inappropriate waste or chemicals down the toilet - use the bins provided in the bathroom.
Please use only the ecological cleaning products we supply
Please buy local produce and crafts while you are on holiday to support the local economy and buy products with less packaging
When visiting local tourist attractions, please do not litter and respect the country code
For further information on the Eu Eco-label, please go to www.ecolabel-tourism.eu
Thank you.....and enjoy your stay!