By / 31st May, 2015 / Environment / Off

Slievemoyle Cottages have been travelling on the road to becoming a ‘green’ business for many years. Our cottages are 200 year old stone buildings which have been tastefully restored using, where possible reclaimed or salvaged materials.

Our home, office and laundry facilities have been heated from the outset by a geothermal heat pump (the first to be installed in Northern Ireland). The hot water in two of our cottages is heated by solar panels and a significant proportion of the electricity used in the complex is generated by a 4.2 kw solar panel system.

Our guests are strongly encouraged to recycle materials where possible and this is facilitated by providing separate bins within each cottage for recyclable materials.

We are progressively replacing existing halogen light bulbs with more energy efficient LED bulbs and, as appliances become due for replacement, only AA rated models are being installed. Harsh chemicals are also avoided when it comes to cleaning both our own home and the cottages. We NEVER use chlorine bleach!

We are in the process of reducing water flow rates in all of our taps and replacing high volume shower heads with eco-friendly models. Our guests have reported that these new aerated, low volume heads give an excellent showering experience.

We are both involved in community enriching activities, both locally and overseas. Maureen has been a volunteer at a local charity shop and is involved in regular support of vulnerable families with Home Start. Greer has helped run Alpha courses in the area and is an active participant in the local community based rowing club. Both of us have become involved with the recently established food bank in Downpatrick.

Together we support a project which provides employment for a group of families in a slum area in Bangkok. This we do by selling jewellery and hand crafts manufactured in the slum across Northern Ireland with the proceeds going back to Thailand to provide much needed fair trade wages. This jewellery is on display in our office should you wish to support the project.

Becoming members of this latest Green Tourism initiative is simply a recognition of our on-going commitment to operate in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

Our fields surrounding the cottages have been farmed organically for many years, with no chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides being applied. As a result, it abounds with a wide variety of flora and fauna – a fact often remarked upon by past guests.

We love to encourage our guests to park their cars for the day and head out on foot or by bicycle to get a bit closer to nature. We can suggest several options, ranging from a walk in Castle Ward to cycling around Lecale.

We enjoy living in the beautiful County Down countryside and want you to come to appreciate it as much as we do!