April 22nd is Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, it aims to build support for environmental protection by raising awareness of environmental issues and encouraging people to take action. More than one billion people take part each year making Earth Day the "largest civic observance" in the world.
At Ullapool Youth Hostel we work hard to make every day an Earth Day celebration by making our destination more eco-friendly. We are committed to working in a sustainable way and aim to minimise waste created by the youth hostel and our guests. We've even been awarded Gold by the Green Tourism Business Scheme - the largest and most established sustainable certification in the world. But we're not stopping there...
This winter, our bedrooms had a revamp with new sprung mattresses replacing the foam ones. The old mattresses have found new and varied homes - in vans, caravans, spare rooms, a yurt and a play den.
Our repurposing strategy continues with old towels are going to the local Munlochy Animal Aid Centre and the huge pieces of wood that formerly divided up our dorms are being re-used by the high school art department. We hope to get pictures of the works created so watch this space!
Guests using our self-catering kitchen are asked to reduce, reuse and recycle - as well as our compost bucket and 'feed the birds bowl' we now have a ‘chicken treats’ bucket for the community chicken project based at the local allotments. We continue to recycle glass, plastic, paper, card, aerosol cans, batteries and Tetra Pak cartons and all bedrooms contain two waste bins. By encouraging guests to support our recycling aims we can minimise the amount of waste we send to landfill.
We love our lochside location on the shores of Loch Broom with its wonderful ever changing views and rich marine life. We regularly clean our beach and have been busy in the local community this month with Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch beach cleans.
Despite the dreich weather during our last beach clean, volunteers managed to clear 27kg from Am Pollan Beach and a further 17kg of rubbish near the harbour. The latter beach clean was organised by the high school Duke of Edinburgh students who aim to clean this section of beach every weekend.
All are welcome to join us on 17th September 2016 for the Big Beach Clean on Shore Street. If you can’t make it to Ullapool then check out mcsuk.org/beachwatch to find a beach clean event near you.
We ask visitors to Ullapool and our youth hostel to help keep Ullapool beautiful by: following the ‘bag it and bin it’ principles, reducing use of unnecessary plastics, disposing of cigarette butts and other rubbish thoughtfully and picking up litter while out enjoying the wonderful surroundings. Small acts can have a large and lasting impact.
Check out our responsible visitor charter to see how you can celebrate and protect the earth every day whether at home or travelling around our network of youth hostels.
- Debbie, Ullapool Youth Hostel Manager
Biography for SYHA Hostelling Scotland
Scotland's best known network of youth hostels in stunning city & rural locations. Go on a #SYHAdventure! As a not-for-profit organisation, we encourage guests to join SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits including dual membership of Hostelling International, providing access to more than 4,000 youth hostels in over 90 countries worldwide. Membership and guest overnight income supports our charitable youth programmes and the maintenance of the hostelling network, particularly in rural Scotland.