Environment – What we are doing

 

Treshnish & Haunn Cottages – Award winning Eco friendly Cottages: in 1997 we made a strong commitment to become sustainable and to lessen our impact on the environment. We joined the Green Tourism Business Scheme in 1999.

The Treshnish & Haunn Cottages Green Policy 2016 is here.

We Reduce (our consumption), we Recycle (whatever can be recycled on the island) and we Reuse (whatever we can). We have adopted site-appropriate domestic scale renewables (wind, solar) to generate electricity – we are currently generating over 80% of our annual energy need.

The farm is managed to benefit bio-diversity and wildlife, the eco friendly cottages are managed to reduce our carbon footprint whilst providing a wonderful environment in which to stay.

On this page you can see what we have been doing, and some ideas for what you can do too, while you are staying with us.

We have been lucky at Treshnish. When we moved here these Isle of Mull cottages were in need of attention! We have had to restore and renovate them from scratch, over the last 20+ years. This has given us the opportunity to make them as eco-friendly as possible from the start.

Explore what we are doing

(or see what you can do whilst you are here)

Members of Walkers Welcome Scheme

On Friday and Saturday there is a scheduled bus from Salen to Calgary which passes the road end. This makes it easier to come by public transport. Look here for the Argyll and Bute Council Transport Guide for Mull and Iona guide.
In addition to clothes dryers in each cottage, we have a drying space available in the wood-chip boiler room which guests are welcome to use.

Electric Cars Welcome

Part of the Mull Electric Charging-point Network
In November 2014, as part of an island network, we installed a dual charging-point for electric cars. This means you can bring your electric car to the island, and charge your batteries whenever you need to, whilst you are staying here. Please contact us for further details if required.

Cyclists Welcome Scheme

Member of Cyclists Welcome Scheme
Bus and train times are here
We have dry storage for your bicycles in the Recycling Shed
There is additional clothes/kit drying space available in the Boiler House

cycle_welcome

Cottage Renovations

Environmentally friendly cottage renovations
Double glazing throughout with airtight doors to reduce energy wastage
We use local suppliers wherever possible, and employ local tradesmen
Our eco friendly cottages meet or exceed current insulation in building standards – in some cottages we have used sheeps wool insulation, and in the farmhouse we have used wood fibre insulation
The wood fired central heating in Treshnish Cottages use thermostatic controls
We have fitted low energy fittings as standard, and now installing LED where new fittings are required
Natural paints (Earthborn, Ecospaint, NewLife Paints) used throughout, though sometimes necessary to use non natural paint (such as yacht paint on external doors!)
Wood burning (no coal) stoves

Renewable energy

Our renewable journey started with a Renewable Energy Study which we had done in 2005
Our aim is to produce as much energy as the business uses (self sufficiency goal)
We can now generate in excess of 80% of total annual electricity usage on site (Treshnish Farm, holiday cottages, farmhouse)

4.2 sq.m of solar panels for hot water on Toechtamhor and farmhouse 2006
Proven 6kW wind turbine October 2009 – supplies Studio, farm office/laundry
3.7kW Solar PV panels in 2011- supplies workshop, woodchip boiler pumps
Kingspan 6kW wind turbine November 2012 – supplies farmhouse

Additional electricity imported at Treshnish (farmhouse, cottages, office, laundry) is from 100% renewables source (Ecotricity)

Biomass heating

We installed a District Heating Scheme with a Froeling Biomass boiler (wood chip supplied by local community woodland company from timber grown a few miles away) in 2009. This supplies the farmhouse, office, laundry, 4 Treshnish cottages (saves an estimated 50T of carbon a year)

Wood fuel, not coal

Woodburning stoves in 7 out of 8 cottages
Supports local firewood suppliers (North West Mull Community Woodland Company)
Uses Mull grown timber (softwoods)

Low energy laundry/drying room

Converted decaying old shed into Laundry – cut down on heating costs/energy use
Using passive solar gain from south facing windows for drying laundry
Concrete floor and masses of insulation to store solar heat
Heated by woodchip
Uses wind turbine electricity
We use outdoor drying lines whenever possible for drying bedlinen and towels

Recycling

Recycling shed/log store built in 2010
Bins for glass, plastics, paper, batteries, tins/cans, plastic bags, jam jars, compost, milk bottle tops
Each cottage has a compost bin and we use collected vegetable waste to make compost in our garden
Reduced waste going to landfill by 40% between 2010 and 2014.
Responsible disposal of redundant items
Use local recycling facility, both for recycling items we can no longer use but also for shopping – Castaways in Craignure (funds raised are distributed locally)

Eco friendly cleaning materials

Ecover, Bio D cleaning materials sourced in bulk from workers co-operative, saving on packaging and journeys
Supply eco-friendly cleaning products in the cottages including Ecover dishwashing tablets and soap powder for washing machines. (soft water means only half the amount is needed)

Monitoring energy use & reducing consumption

  • Monitoring of electric and heating use helps identify energy wastage/room for improvement
  • Monitoring energy production v. energy use
  • Guests take responsibility for their own energy use through metered usage
  • Turning thermostats down by a degree – better to turn it up than waste excess
  • We source the most energy efficient appliances – 95% are A+, A++ or A+++
  • We keep records of Energy ratings of new appliances
  • Minimmum standard of low energy light bulbs
  • Programme of upgrading light fittings to LED
  • We supply kettles with cup marks on the side to make it easier for you to only boil the water you actually need each time, thus saving energy
  • Outdoor washing lines & indoor clothes airers for each cottage
  • To comply with Visit Scotland requirement for tumble drier, we have one at the farm that guests can use

Supporting local producers, tradesmen and suppliers

  • Great local produce available on the island for visitors – details in cottages
  • We actively support Dervaig Producers Market, fortnightly during summer months
  • Dervaig Village Shop – recently extended – you can get almost everything you might need here
  • We supply guests with our own free range eggs when we have enough
  • Our own beef and mutton/lamb for sale most of the year
  • Would like to supply home grown vegetables but haven’t got there yet…
  • We are part of a small group of producers who set up the ongoing Mull & Iona Food Trail in 2015

Carbon footprint

  • We are working to balance our Carbon Footprint through energy savings, energy generation and carbon offsetting
  • In May 2014 we offset 75 tonnes of carbon dioxide (estimated consumption from 2014 to date) via ClimateCare, where the money is used on ‘greenhouse gas reduction projects in order to reduce the rate of global climate change’

Planting trees, putting up bird boxes

  • Planted over 2500 native broadleaved saplings
  • Fenced off 10 hectares of woodland and open space to protect existing wooded areas, and encourage natural regeneration
  • Swallows: When we converted farm steading into Studio, swallows needed replacement nest sites – so we put swallow boxes up in the new farm building (now used by sparrows!)
  • Housemartins: to encourage visiting pairs we put a Housemartin box on north wall of farm steading
  • Barn Owls: 2 barn owl boxes put up in 2010. Barn owls seen at Treshnish regularly in 2012 – not in our boxes though!
  • Various other bird boxes in woodland and trees.

The Green Tourism Business Scheme

We strongly support the principles and strict monitoring of GTBS
Members since 1999, Gold Award holders since 2002
We were awarded the GTBS Goldstar Award 2011 and the GTBS Carbon Footprint Award 2011
Involved in organizing Holiday Mull ‘eco conference’ Feb.2012 to try and encourage further GTBS membership on Mull & Iona

Mull and Iona Eco Charter

Supporters of this local initiative supporting energy saving and encouraging local produce