G is for Green.

Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle mainly due to a combination of rolling hills of green and the poem “When Erin First Rose” written by Belfast-born William Drennan in 1795.
Over the past decade Irish tourism has grown to factor in green credentials with emphasis on supporting local people and the environment in order to enable sustainable tourism as visitor numbers grow.
wild atlantic way sligo

Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy.

I find these eco friendly businesses  fascinating as they are often created in the starkest locations against all odds.
One example is the organic flower farm ‘BumbleBee Farm’ in beautiful West Cork which rests on top of a windy mountain yet produces delightful blooms of all colours for use in wedding bouquets.
bumblebee-farm organic flowers
Last year I travelled around the country meeting many of these eco entrepreneurs experiencing for myself the hard work and passion that each has poured into their particular endevour.
Many were an eye opener in recycling and sustainable living offering comfortable accommodation and an array of unique family fun activities throughout the year as well as workshops that utilise their natural environment.
I met Emma who adores (& rescues) rabbits, dogs and alpacas and welcomes visitors to enjoy a beautiful riverside walk and meet the alpacas.
I noticed how much each eco related business in an area work together to promote one another- by providing locally produced food or services and suggesting one another to visitors. This community led attitude results in making their destination more attractive to visitors who can easily find all they wish to make for a memorable holiday.
This is widespread in Ballybunion Co Kerry with local guide Danny of EcotrekBallybunion taking us to meet Mike of the Bromore Cliffs along the WildAtlanticWay and of course along The Sheepshead Way also in West Cork which incidentally Graham Norton recently named as his ‘favourite place of 2015’ on his BBC radio 2 show.

Going Green doesn’t mean less luxury or facilities – in fact these green experiences give back so much more than they take – the G spot for your next break!  😉
If you’re considering a new take on life and are interested in creating an Eco business then check out this useful Failte Ireland Green-marketing-toolkit for top tips on getting started.