‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.’
We are committed to minimising the impact of our business on the environment, and are very proud to have been awarded the Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme since opening in 2007.
View our Responsible Visitor Charter – things you can do whilst on holiday to help us promote sustainable tourism.
Our aims are to contribute to sustainable tourism in Scotland, and to improve the experience for visitors by reducing as far as possible Sithean’s environmental impact in terms of energy consumption, waste production and visual impact, and to encourage and protect local biodiversity.
Sithean has been constructed using environmentally benign materials where possible, and promotes materials which can be re-used and re-cycled. We have used hemp insulation, and the house is clad with European Larch which does not need to be chemically treated. The brick walls upstairs are built using unfired earth bricks for thermal mass and moisture control, covered with earth plaster to give a very natural textured surface. This gives a sense of intimacy and cosiness in contrast to the openness of the space in the living area. The design of the house minimises energy usage and loss, maximises passive solar gain potential and makes the most of the natural daylight. We sought professional advice on environmental efficiency, and an architect who specialises in green building technologies. The house has been carefully designed to have minimal disturbance on the natural contours of the site, allowing visitors to feel a strong connection to the environment surrounding the house. In 2013 we extended the decking area which now has a spiral ramp up to a table and benches (made from wood reclaimed from the old pier at Craignure on Mull). The views from the elevated picnic area are stunning. We have also just made and placed two benches in gorgeous spots on the farm. One is ten minutes away from Sithean, and is on ‘The Cow Park Wander’, a route we have way marked. Sitting on the bench you have a bird’s eye view across to Mull in the West, Loch Etive and peeping into Glen Coe to the North East. The other bench is further out in The Fisher’s Glen and offers spectacular views across to Ben Cruachan.
‘Sit in such a way that you feel light, relaxed, happy, and free’
Thich Nhat Hanh
Low energy light bulbs are fitted wherever possible, inside and out, and appliances are all A-rated. There are natural indoor and outdoor drying facilities. The underfloor heating is controlled by zoned thermostats, and there is a wood-burning stove with a supply of local windfall wood. All windows are double glazed and the house is fitted with solar panels.
Water and Waste
The water supply to Sithean is natural spring water, treated to the necessary standards. We avoid chlorine bleaches and use only eco-friendly products which are provided for guests’ use. We have installed low-flush toilets and water efficient appliances, and waste water is treated via septic tank and reed beds. Guests are encouraged to recycle and compost using the bins provided.
Guests staying at Sithean will find environmentally friendly cleaning products, hand soap and shower gel, and recycled toilet paper. We also supply organic fair-trade tea and ground coffee to welcome our visitors. The business uses recycled stationery wherever possible and advertising is done electronically to save on paper. Our purchases are sourced locally if possible.