Highlands of Scotland accommodation near Inverness

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Highlands of Scotland accommodation near Inverness

Environment

Sustainability is at the heart of everything that we do. Our major current project is to transform our large 1890ís Victorian country house into a completely carbon neutral base for all our activities. We will be using multiple renewable energy sources including sun, wind and wood fuel. The infrastructure is being designed both to maximize efficiency and for educational access.

Alongside this big project we are not neglecting the daily choices. For example we compost all our food waste, have a car share scheme and use low energy lighting. We either recycle paper or use it for composting and wherever possible, we avoid using printed materials and market via the Internet. For any materials we do print we use an award winning environmentally friendly printing company based in the next village.

As we are based in the UK it is possible to travel here using a lower carbon option than flying. There is an excellent sleeper train service from London to Inverness and trains and coaches from most large cities. Bringing your own car is also a good option if there is a group of you, allowing a car share. To encourage people to choose one of these lower carbon options we can help you with planning your transport and route. For those of you who do need to fly, we provide an optional offsetting scheme.

Whilst our courses and workshops are based within the community, we have close connections with the Findhorn Foundation, and the much larger community that surrounds the Foundation itself. As members of this larger community through the New Findhorn Association we support and have access to a unique eco-village model which has the lowest recorded ecological footprint for any community in the industrialised world, just half the UK national average.

Community

We contribute to the local economy in a number of ways. We grow most of our own vegetables and fruit, make our own bread and apple juice and sell some of this produce at the local Farmerís Market. When we need to buy in we source as locally as we can. For example though mostly vegetarian, when we buy meat we use a local butcher whose produce is all sourced locally to a very high welfare standard. Itís also important that our suppliers are socially responsible and employ local people. For example, many of our dried goods come from a local whole food shop that is a community owned enterprise.

We also run a volunteer program in a number of areas including gardening, cooking and the complexities of maintaining a listed building. These are skills people can then use to find employment. The program also provides a sense of community and identity for the volunteers and develops their team working and communication skills. When we need to bring in people to help with building and maintenance work, we use local companies. We also provide therapy rooms (for example, for massage or reflexology) that are used by local practitioners. We are forming partnerships with local individuals and organizations that are able to provide a broad range of educational experiences in many aspects of sustainability ranging from conservation and ecology to conflict resolution and non-violent communication. We are also starting an exciting program to foster social inclusion and local culture using a range of local performers. Within the house we feature artwork by local artists.

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