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ECO ETHOS

As individuals with a 'grá' for nature and the great outdoors and the parents of two young children we believe passionately in the importance of protecting our natural environment. Simply taking a stroll around Lough Mardal is a humble reminder of the wild beauty of nature that surrounds us and how precious it is. Watching the life cycles, the synchronicities and interdependencies instils a sense of wonder and the inevitable recognition that we ourselves are inseparable from nature.   

Someday soon hopefully green tourism, or ecotourism, will simply become standard tourism. As a new tourism-provider we know our responsibilities. We do not claim to tick every eco box but little by little we will be endeavoring to offer a more responsible holiday experience to the ever-increasing number of people who, like us, now wish to live...and holiday...more concientiously.  

 Some of the eco practices at Lough Mardal Lodge: 

  • The Lodge amenity building is an eco building constructed almost entirely with natural materials with minimal impact on the environment; a locally sourced timber frame and roof, strawbale external walls and the internal walls were made of cob (mud, straw & water mixed together - one of the oldest building materials on the planet). There is a 'living' green roof alive with grasses and wildflowers excavated from the earth around it. Old wine bottles were repurposed to create artistic interior touches.
     

  • Sewage and waste water from the Lodge is processed through a natural reed-bed and wetland system, a sustainable method for harnessing natural ecological processes for the breakdown of the organic matter in wastewater.  
     

  • The yurt platforms were built using recycled tyres and the wooden flooring is upcycled old wedding marquee flooring, danced upon many times in its previous life! 
     

  • 9,000 native broadleaf trees have been planted on the land to create new woodland, thereby increasing local biodiversity. More details here.  
     

  • We try to be as low waste as possible and as part of this we request that guests do not bring any plastic bottles onto the site. We ask guests to separate and recycle as much waste as possible in the bins provided in kitchen. All food waste is composted and used on our organic vegetable garden. 
     

  • We harvest our own pure well water which runs from through kitchen taps. Large glass bottles are provided which guests can re-fill during their stay.
     

  • We use energy efficient lighting and A-rated appliances. Much of the lighting in the Lodge is operated by motion sensor to avoid lights being left on unecessarily.  
     

  • We try to promote environmental awareness and support local conservation efforts and try to show sensitivity towards the local biodiversity. eg.  habitats not being disturbed during breeding season.  
     

  • We grow our own vegetables in an organic garden (not a single slug is killed!) applying permaculture principles. Our additional food needs are locally sourced and organic as much as possible. 

  • When possible we encourage courses and workshops in the Lodge, eg. alternative sustainable building methods, alternative and renewable energy systems, composting, permaculture, etc.  
     

  • We keep free-range hens which produce very tasty organic eggs! 
     

  • The Lodge hosts occasional wellness retreats, eg. spiritual speakers, yoga and meditation  
     

  • Books and information about the natural environment as well as methods of natural building are made available to read in the Lodge.
     

  • Eco-friendly firelighters made with woodchippings and wax instead of conventional firelighters are provided for the wood-burning stoves in the yurts and Lodge.
     

  • Our purchasing policy is, as much as feasibly possible, organic and biodegradable, cruelty-free and Irish sourced. Guest toiletries are by The Handmade Soap Co. an Irish company and cleaning products Lillys & Bio D are all bought in bulk refill containers.
     

  • We adhere to responsible office practices, eg minimal printing, printing double-sided pages, printing on recycled or FSC approved paper, recycling ink, sourcing ethical supplies and computers turned-off or to put to sleep when idle.  
     

  • We rebuilt a traditional Irish old stone cottage that was on the land, which is now a workspace - protecting our cultural heritage 
     

Rhododendron grows wild at Lough Mardal. Although beautiful when flowering in May it is an invasive species and unfortunately thrives at the expense of native plant species, eg heather and mosses. It also attracts many important pollinating insects away from the less showy native plants.  As such it has a devastating effect on local biodiversity.  Rhododendron spreads with such voracity we need all the help we can get in managing it. So if you're out for a walk and pass a young sapling feel free to pull it up!  Every little bit helps!