Our Environmental and Ethical Policy
When we were busy painting and decorating the hostel we came across the handsome old cast iron YHA signs that used to adorn the outside walls. The 'mission statement' as its called nowadays still resonates with us and what we'd like to achieve here at The Old School Hostel, Trefin. Just as the Youth Hostel Association set out to do in the 1930's our aim is to provide comfortable, clean, safe accommodation available to all and particularly to keep prices low enough so that anyone, young or old who may not be able to afford a holiday otherwise, can do so.
Arriving on foot, by cycle, bus, sea kayak, microlight - any 'low impact' means of transport and you'll get an 'eco discount' in our double, twin and single rooms.
We use a small amount of bottled gas for the three hobs in the kitchen so electricity is our major energy source at the Old School Hostel and therefore the main cause of our CO 2 emissions. We've signed up with Ecotricity and they supply us with electricity that comes entirely from renewables. Or rather they feed into the national grid the amount we use. Last year they invested more per customer in building new sources of green energy than all their competitors put together. It wasn't the cheapest deal we could have got but it was competitive and demonstrates that if we, as budget accommodation providers can do it then companies who say they can 't afford to go green are telling big porkies.
THE BEST TIME TO PLANT A TREE WAS 20 YEARS AGO. THE SECOND BEST TIME IS NOW.
We're sceptical about the concept of carbon off-set. Planting a few trees to neutralise the CO2 emissions from a long haul flight, for example, doesn't really stack up we feel. However, trees are crucial to life on our planet and despite this, humankind, having chopped down most of them, seems hell-bent on chain-sawing the rest. Trees generate oxygen, play host to a spectacular variety of wildlife, offer us tranquillity, inspire us and refresh our souls. Best of all, we reckon, is the simple act of planting them. Kids love planting trees and the earlier they do it the better. Plant one when you're ten years old and it'll grow into a fine young tree to visit and pay homage to throughout your adulthood. Planting trees is an investment in the future. It's all about hope. There are ambitious plans to plant a billion trees worldwide this year and we're going to play our little part in that.
EVEN IF I KNEW THE WORLD WAS GOING TO RACK AND RUIN TOMORROW I WOULD STILL PLANT MY APPLE TREES.
Martin Luther King
What else? We try to do all the small stuff. Recycling, composting, using low energy light bulbs, recycled loo roll and eco-friendly cleaning products. We support our local shops and businesses. Our breakfast and packed lunch ingredients are mostly a mixture of fair-trade, organic and local produce. Our business bank account is with the Co-op, the only high street bank with an ethical and environmental policy. Some of our profits go on chipping in on buying and preserving rainforest in South America through a charity called Rainforest Concern. We're not smug or complacent about this - ( is even a so called 'green' lifestyle sustainable? ) and we'd like to hear any ideas ( no matter how radical! ) about how we can take our environmental and ethical policy forward. It's easy to think what's the point too. Politicians make big speeches but in reality do next to nothing and meantime the small-scale stuff we can do as individuals and small businesses is just a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of things. To end on another quote though, this is our favourite:
NOBODY MADE A GREATER MISTAKE THAN HE WHO DID NOTHING BECAUSE HE COULD ONLY DO A LITTLE.