Mala Rua and its Environment
We are fortunate indeed to live in the beautiful surroundings of Mala Rua. This truly is an area of outstanding natural beauty, encompassing both rural and coastal environments.
In hosting our B&B we are very keen to do what we can to limit our impact on the environment and to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of our daily surroundings.
We are conscious that our house in not a suburban one and that some features of town houses would be inappropriate in the countryside. For example it would be out of place for us to have hard surfaces around the house allowing rain water to run off into the lane and possibly cause flooding. Even though we do not have street lighting it would not be in keeping with the natural environment for us to have lights all around the house at night time.
Our garden also has to sit comfortably within its situation of forest and farmland. The trees and shrubs we plant are native and appropriate to the setting. We need to encourage 'Saoirse' the hare and 'Glic' the fox to continue to visit us on a regular basis! They and their families have been around these parts much longer than us.
As a member of Milford Tidy Towns, John picks litter between Bunlin Bridge and Milford once a week in the summer months.
We encourage our guests to join us in the greening of Mala Rua by using our recycling facilities and by spending time in this beautiful environment.
100% of the electricity we use in Mala Rua is produced by renewal energy through electricity provider Airtricity.
We are replacing all incandescent light bulbs in the house, and have nearly completed this initiative.
The central heating is oil fired and we obviously try to use this minimally while providing a comfortable environment for our guests.
Our wood burning stove uses hardwood timber from sustainable sources and can be considered as carbon neutral. The ash by-product is used as garden fertiliser.
We do not light the outside of the house at night time unless visitors are out or are expected.
Our kitchen is quite new so we were able to purchase A or AA rated equipment. We have a water metre and therefore try to ensure maximum use of water used. We use the Ecover range of products in the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms throughout the house. We also use products from Faith in Nature for soap and shower gel.
Most of the internal paint used in Mala Rua is produced by Farrow and Ball. The VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) levels for most Farrow & Ball paints are so close to zero that the leading finishes, including Estate Emulsion, Modern Emulsion, Estate Eggshell and Exterior Masonry, are classified as ‘Zero VOC’ when tested to US Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Our bed linen policy allows for a change every three days unless guests wish for a longer change over. Towels are replaced each day again unless guests request otherwise. Towels placed in the shower tray will be replaced.
Our garden is fairly young and as yet is not used for any food production other than some herbs. Our plan is to develop a garden that will supply us with our own organic vegetables over the next few years.
We have installed water butts in the garden to reduce the amount of water we use, and composting bins to reduce the level of waste for landfill.
We are on a water meter and would ask guests to use water sparingly, particularly when washing their teeth.
We have a two weekly cycle for the emptying of our blue bin used for recycling. Guests are welcome to leave newspapers, bottles (plastic or glass), magazines etc for recycling or fire lighting.
We have a septic tank which we successfully manage with liquid bio flow.
We encourage wildlife to visit our garden by leaving log piles for small mammals and insects. A bee house has been added recently and our planting is undertaken with bees and butterflies in mind!
We encourage our guests to explore the locality by walking and to this end we provide detailed walks within a 15km-20km radius of Mala Rua.
Our preferred method of communication with potential visitors is through e-mail thus saving paper and delivery miles on posted mail.
There is limited public transport available in the locality. If guests attend a reception in the Milford Inn at the weekend we will be happy to leave them to the hotel. The hotel operates a free taxi service back to Mala Rua.
We use local produce where possible.
We use Fairtrade produce where available - in practice, this means tea, coffee, sugar and bananas.
Each year we donate 10% of our B&B income to women’s education projects in Africa via the Irish aid organisation Trocaire.