Ballintrillick Environmental Group believes that everything we do has an impact on the environment. We are committed to maintaining a high standard of environmental performance through sustainable actions, we will ensure this through an annual review of the environmental impact of the business conducted by The Benwiskin Centre. We will ensure that we maintain high eco-tourism standards.
The Benwiskin Centre aims to be proactive in implementing best environmentally friendly practices.
This aim will be met by achieving the following objectives:
In July 2008, the Benwiskin Centre was awarded the EU Flower Ecolabel Certification in recognition of their 'Green' approach to their services from the European Commission under the Tourist Accommodation category.
The EU Flower Ecolabel is a unique certification scheme, established in 1992, aimed to help European consumers distinguish greener, more environmentally friendly, products and services.
Although we no longer continue to register for the EU Flower Ecolabel we continue with our green efforts here at the Centre to include the use of solar panels, recycle waste, composting, harvesting of rain water, use of energy efficient light-bulbs and the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products.
In 2008, we also installed a wood pellet boiler, combined with the solar panels our aim was to be completely independet of fossil fuels. Unfortunately the wood pellet boiler was decommissioned in 2016 as it was insufficient to service the Centre.
The Centre is liberally supplied with information and advice for guests to encourage actions that promote and continue these measures.
Reducing the Benwiskin Centre’s Carbon Footprint
By Noreen Duignan, Group member
Since the foundation of BEG back in 1992, our consistent aim has been the enhancement and preservation of the environment. We have been very faithful to our aims over the years, particularly in our continued annual clean-ups of the locality. Combined with this, we have developed the Mill Site in The Gleniff Horseshoe as an amenity area with walks, picnic area and restoration of the stables on the site. Over the years we have planted hardwood trees, while at The Benwiskin Centre we are currently running our 12th year of our community garden.
Participants of this project learn all about organic gardening from the digging stage to the final cooking of the vegetables and fruit.
At the Centre we operate a reduce, re-use and recycle policy. As an extension of our efforts to preserve and enhance the environment, we also use solar panels.
The Benwiskin Centre was listed at number 1 in the ‘Top Five Green Hostels in Europe’ in an article written by Catherine Mack for the National Geographic’s Traveller Magazine.
Catherine Mack is an accomplished Journalist and freelance travel writer who is also an Ethical Traveller. Catherine is a passionate advocate of responsible tourism. Also in the top 5 were places in Crete, England, Southern Norway and Scotland. Catherine said about The Benwiskin Centre:
“Hire bikes and discover some of Ireland’s wildest and wettest valleys while staying at the Centre in the foothills of The Dartry Mountains. In the shadow of Benwiskin Peak, it features bunk rooms sleeping four and eight, plus a family room – all heated by solar panels and wood pellet boiler.“