Simple Steps to Sustainability 3

Over the summer months, I am attempting to give some really quite easy-to-implement steps that will improve the sustainability of your tourism activities, whether you are a provider, for example of accommodation, or a tourist.

For this third instalment, I’m going to look at :

1. Water

2. Detergents

3. Signage

Water –

By reducing the pressure at which your water travels around your property, you will save money and reduce water consumption. Think about it – you may not be able to limit the length of time guests spend in the shower, but you can reduce the water consumed each time.

Also, install ‘push down’ or PR-activated taps, wherever possible. Such taps bring to an end the problem of taps left running, which waste water.

If you don’t have dual-flush toilet cisterns, install them once feasible. If that can’t be done in the short term, place used 500 ml water bottles in the cistern, with stones in, to reduce the flush volume.

Detergents –

Ecover ecological cleaning products

Ecover ecological cleaning products

‘Ecological’ detergents, such as Ecover, contain fewer or no environmentally damaging phosphates than regular cleaning products. Irish brands include Lilly’s Eco Clean.

These products will certainly cost a little more than regular brands, but simply reduce the quantity employed each time to compensate.



Signage –

Nice signage made of wood, Poland

Nice signage made of wood, Poland

If you are responsible for erecting tourism information signs, please do consider the material you employ, as well as languages.

Wood, from a sustainably managed source, looks much more attractive than metal and blends into the environment better. Protect it from rain, especially here in Ireland.

Also, here in Ireland, do always use both our national languages – that too will help in the sustainability of Gaeilge.


Interesting Research on Nature Based Tourism

A new research article from PLoS (Public Library of Science) in the US has concluded that visits to Protected Areas is on the increase in 15 of 20 countries studied. The main exceptions are the US and Japan.

Growth in visits to protected areas is put forward as an argument for increased spending on and general public interest in nature conservation. The authors point out that nature-based tourism has the potential to generate funds for nature conservation effort and to shape people’s attitude towards the natural environment.

The perceived concern about a growing disconnect between people in wealthier nations (e.g. the US and Japan) and their natural environment needs to be further researched, according to the authors. Increasing urbanisation and the trend towards sedentary forms of entertainment, such as video games and tv, are blamed for a decrease in ‘getting out’ into nature.

Nevertheless, it is good to see that such visits are not on the decrease in many countries.

Click here for the full article.

Authors : A Balmford, J Beresford, J Green, R Naidoo, M Walpole, A Manica.