Climate Conscious Actions at the Lighthouses
As we all try to lessen our impact on the environment, whether that’s cycling to your lighthouse destination, leaving wildflowers untouched or taking your rubbish home with you, we’re sure you’ll be glad to know that our wonderful lighthouse partners are taking lots of sustainable steps to make the lighthouses as climate conscious as possible too!
Summer is a great time to visit or stay at the many Great Lighthouses of Ireland. From stunning sunsets glimpsed atop a lighthouse tower, to spotting whales and dolphins splashing about in these coastal waters, an unforgettable trip is most certainly on the cards.
Have a look at some of the sustainable actions our lighthouses have been taking and make sure to be a guardian for our coastal environment during your own lighthouse visit too.
Giving water a second life and smarter bin use
At Fanad, Loop and Hook, you’ll find segregated rubbish bins on site, making recycling that much easier. Fanad also has compost bins and uses biodegradable/compostable food and beverage containers in any refreshments they sell; while Loop does likewise, using compostable cups and wooden stirrers instead of plastic ones.
At Valentia, water supply is captured from the pristine hillside and filtered for use on the visitor premises. Intent on reducing waste, any waste water from Valentia’s coffee shop and toilets is processed through a ‘reed bed’ system which uses natural filtration to treat water before it’s discharged back into the environment and returned into the natural water circuit.
Also at Valentia’s visitor experience is a new eco-room which details lots of interesting information about marine life in the area and raises awareness about our precious seas.
Back up at Fanad, the team there also harvest all that invaluable Co. Donegal rainwater for reuse on site. The Fanad team recently took their climate conscious efforts even further and participated in a two-week Community Climate Challenge.
They explored their personal carbon footprint and took positive small actions to live a more climate-friendly lifestyle. These actions included wasting no food, eating local fruits and vegetables, reducing the use of indoor heating and switching off any unnecessary lights at home.
The overall challenge saved 36,854.50kg of CO2 – equivalent to using 67,891kwh of energy and roughly the same as powering an entire house for 1,219 days! The Fanad Lighthouse team’s own collective effort saved 81.96kg of CO2 – the same as using a dishwasher for 126 hours.
Heritage with a sustainable twist
At the six lighthouses looked after by Irish Landmark Trust, guests are encouraged to try to minimise their environmental impact where possible. That means properly recycling waste and conserving resources like water and electricity.
Lighthouse managers at these sites, which include Blackhead, St John’s Point in counties Down and Donegal, Loop, Wicklow Head and Galley Head, also use eco-friendly products when cleaning and maintaining these heritage buildings. And when it comes to giving them a wee makeover? Yep, only sustainable paint is used!
All aboard a very sustainable ferry
As you’re sailing around Cork’s mesmerising Fastnet Rock, the Cape Clear Ferry you’re aboard will be working hard at making sure no drop of water goes to waste. In the toilet facilities of the ferry, any sink water used goes on to refill the toilet cistern! Smart stuff indeed.
Cape Clear Ferries also buy lube oil in bulk and holds it in large 1000-litre IBC containers, while a second container stores the waste oil which gets pumped into the local council’s oil recycling storage facility – reducing the use of single use of plastic and toxic waste. Great work!
EVs, energy efficiency and fewer food miles
Those of you with electric vehicles will be delighted to hear that Hook has an EV charger on site, making your lighthouse trip stress-free. Also at the 800-year-old lighthouse and visitor area, timers are fitted to all boilers and lights for energy efficiency, while all cisterns have blocks to reduce unnecessary water consumption too.
Like your lunch as local as possible? Hook is part of the Wexford Food Family, which brings together the makers of some of the very best food in Ireland.
Under this initiative, Hook’s award-winning cafe treats visitors to delicious food from 10 local suppliers.
As we welcome visitors to our lighthouse sites/attractions over the summer, we encourage everyone to embrace the stunning beauty of the lighthouses and explore the vibrant nearby villages, towns and communities brimming with local businesses and attractions too.
Check out some of the ways to explore and enjoy the areas around Irish Landmark Trust lighthouses here.
Don’t forget to approach your visit with a #CoastalKeeper mindset, that’s caring for our coastal environment and being true guardians for it as we travel, explore and enjoy it.