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    40 Shades Greener on Earth Day

    This year’s theme for Earth Day (Thursday, April 22nd) is to “Restore our Earth” and to reduce our environmental footprint. To add some seeds to your green thoughts on Earth Day, the first Earth Day was primarily organized by a man named Denis Hayes, whose paternal grandparents emigrated from Ireland and eventually settled in Wisconsin.  Today is really the perfect day to start making small changes to help improve our planet.

    Scenic View of Mountains in Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, Co Mayo. Photographer: Gareth McCormack. Copyright: ©Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland

    The Emerald Isle – An Eco-Friendly Destination. 

    There are plenty of options for travellers to reduce their carbon footprint the next time they visit the Emerald Isle. There are now a number of accommodation suppliers on the island who are committing to sustainability. Specialized Travel Services will be more than happy to help you to find your eco-friendly hideaway to suit your budget from hotels, B&Bs, and hostels, to luxury private rentals and cottages.

    At the Lackan Cottage Farm in County Down guests can surround themselves with birdsong, clean air, and wonderful views in a self-catering stay in an organic smallholding. In County Meath, Bellinter House uses underground heat for its swimming poo, while water waste is one of the top eco-priorities at Delphi Resort in Connemara, County Galway.

    A perfect recommendation for eco-inclined travellers is the Falls Hotel & Spa in County Clare which is a proud member of Green Hospitality. The hotel is dedicated to it’s Green Hospitality Programme, developed to reduce the carbon footprint of the hotel, by reducing it’s water, waste and energy consumption. The hotel even produces it’s own sustainable electricity through a hydro electric turbine on the river running along the property.

    Falls Hotel, County Clare © Falls Hotel

    The ‘smart’ carbon-neutral ethos of The Salthouse in County Antrim goes hand in hand with sustainability and the breathtaking views of the Causeway Coastal Route.

    Explore the many eco-friendly destinations of Ireland, including the Wild Atlantic Way, The Burren, and Giant’s Causeway. Throughout the beautiful, natural Irish landscapes there is a plethora of green activities and sustainable experiences, whether in remote rural areas, inland waterways, cycling or walking on the peaceful scenic greenways, or exploring the coastal capital city.

    The Burren, County Clare. 

    The Burren, the remarkable rocky landscape of County Clare on the Wild Atlantic Way, is possibly the leading eco destination in Ireland. A network of local enterprises in the area have joined together to help make The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark into a global leader for sustainable tourism. For 2021, Lonely Planet decided to recognize the places and people demonstrating a genuine commitment to community, diversity and sustainability across the world and named the Burren Ecotourism Network in Co Clare as a ‘Best Community Tourism Project’.

    The Burren, County Clare © Chris Hill Photographic

    Cloughjordan Eco village, County Tipperary. 

    Another Irish eco-destination is Cloughjordan Ecovillage in County Tipperary where you can learn about sustainable living. This internationally recognized destination has over 100 residents living in high-performance green homes, and tours of the eco village offers a cookery school, a community farm, Irish heritage and culture, and arts and crafts. There is also an eco-hostel for longer stays at the eco-village.

    The Giant’s Causeway 

    Embrace the giant green spirit at the grass-covered Giant’s Causeway Visitor centre, which offers panoramic views of the wind-beaten Antrim coastline. Added to create more available green space at the centre, the grass roof was one of 10 key sustainable features of the visitor centre. The mix of grasses planted on the roof and ramp was grown from seeds collected from surrounding fields to preserve the delicate local ecology. The Giants Causeway visitor centre is heated and cooled by the earth: 4.5km of pipework under the car park utilize geothermal energy for heating, while 1km of pipes in the cool earth adjacent to the visitor centre are used for cooling. Discover the series of interactive exhibits at the centre which show how the Giant’s Causeway was made, referring to the scientific background as well as the myth behind it, and local beliefs.

    Giants Causeway, Co. Antrim ©Tourism Ireland photographed by Chris Hill

    Cool Planet Experience, County Wicklow. 

    Make sure to continue your green thoughts and check out the Cool Planet Experience, a climate change museum for kids of all ages within the scenic surrounds of Powerscourt Estate & Gardens in Enniskerry, County Wicklow.

    Cool Planet Experience, County Wicklow © visitwicklow.ie

    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

    Throughout the world, we are reminded of the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. Putting these three principles to use are some of the best ways to try help restore our earth.

    Plant a tree

    One of the biggest problems in the world is the alarming rate of deforestation. Do your part to help restore our earth and arrange to plant a tree at home or in your local community.  Trees can help reduce the effects of climate change by absorbing pollutant gases and purifying the air of CO2.

    2020 ITOA (Irish Tour Operator Association) Tree planting at Dromoland Castle. © Photographer: Keith Wiseman

    Get Active

    Reduce your carbon footprint by getting active in Ireland. There are lots of activities which promote responsible travel and the conservation of the environment, including local food tours, walking tours, cycling tours, adventure sports, equestrian, golf, kayaking, Irish culture centres, yoga, meditation, health and well being retreats, and surfing.

    Waterford Greenway – Photographer Luke Myers ©Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland

    40 Shades Greener

    Eco-tourism is destined to be the next big thing when we are finally able to travel again. Our highly experienced team at Specialized Travel Services can arrange your very own Eco-Friendly vacation in the land of 40 shades “Greener” – We can incorporate luxury vehicles, local guides, deluxe accommodation, fantastic food trails, kayaking, cycling on the greenways and of course the main attraction – exploring the wild and natural Irish landscapes.

    Whether you choose a private chauffeur guided tour, or specialized self-drive itinerary, or a family reunion, we can put together a unique Irish adventure customized just for you, your family and your friends. To book your authentic green experience around the Emerald Isle contact Specialized Travel Services by sending us an email to newyork@special-ireland.com or complete our contact form. 

     

     

     

    Note: Featured image at the top of the blog is of Glencar Waterfall, Formoyle, Co Leitrim. Photographer: Peter McCabe ©Failte Ireland


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      The Burren, County Clare © Tourism Ireland
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      Giants Causeway, Co. Antrim ©Tourism Ireland photographed by Chris Hill
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      Sunset Kayaking on Lough Oughter, near Cloughoughter Castle, Co Cavan©Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland - Image Courtesy Brian Morrison

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