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Sustainable Skye a Sustainable Symbiosis  –  Caring through Action  

Our island community is remote, our heritage and environment under threat and our planet increasingly volatile. Sadly all too often, much of the blame is laid at the door of tourism, but there are many factors at play.  

Tourism has been integral to a successful island life for generations of our family. Our home has welcomed guests since it was first built, and has been the lifeblood that complimented the subsistence living, of traditional crofting. The most recent home on the family croft was built by Willie and Mae MacKay, who crofted, ran the village Post Office and welcomed guests into their home for B & B. Many happy good times and ceilidhs were enjoyed and lifelong friends made. It is a tradition that carries on down the line 3 generations later, sharing our island life and home is what we do. As with everything the solution lies in finding a sustainable symbiosis, and how we manage our business and the decisions we make impact on us all.

We believe we are custodians of the planet and that it’s our responsibility to minimise the impact of our activities on it. The recent tsunami of media coverage at times feels overwhelming but it’s also true that our behaviour towards the planet must change. We truly believe that many small steps will make progress along the path towards a more sustainable lifestyle and we have started the journey as described below.

Much has been written in the media recently about the negative impacts of tourism on Skye, however we believe that with effective planning and thoughtful consideration, it’s very possible to achieve a sustainable symbiosis that reassures both local residents and our valued guests, who are the lifeblood of our tourism economy. Considerate, responsible, slow tourism is key and both locals and visitors alike have to take ownership of delivering that. Here’s what we are doing.

Skye is a very large island with so much to do, that we encourage slow tourism and longer stays. We believe this not only benefits your visitor experience, but it lessens the impact on both the islands environment and our communities. If you consider the factors at play it is quite profound. Multiple changeovers require increased cleaning, water, energy and chemicals, that is fairly obvious. Less obvious though is the massive increase in both physical and carbon footprint with multiple changeovers of guest each week. When you think, 1 family taking time to explore all of the islands treasures thoroughly over a week, compared with 3 or 4 families changing out of the same property on short breaks in a week, all rushing to the same popular sites for a brief visit to tick the selfie photo list. Multiply that over all the rental properties and it’s easy to see why the much talked about negative impact of tourism is becoming an issue.

We have created a ‘Inspired to Explore’ pages showing where we are located and offering days out suggestions for the 6 regions of Skye, Lochalsh and Raasay. In truth every one of those destinations has enough to see and do to last a week. We hope by sharing our recommendations you can plan your days out effectively, minimising your travel footprint and maximising your fun. Escaping the hot-spots by getting of the beaten track will help you discover the Skye Experience that we believe you seek, but can at times be elusive in some much frequent locations. ‘Brochures & Guidebooks’ online saves printed resource also preventing the spread of infection.

A warm welcome and genuine Highland hospitality, famed the world over, is woven into our rich and diverse culture and we hope to be welcoming guest to enjoy our island home for years to come.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our Island Home. ‘Failte’ 

Linger Longer, Inspire to Explore

Longer breaks have less associated delivery costs and are inherently cheaper, but we also offer a ‘Linger Longer’ discount for multiple weeks, which is applied directly in the booking search. We have also created an ‘Inspired to Explore’ section in the website to help you make effective use of your time on the island, to discover its secrets, to share our favourite places, and ideas for you to create your own magical moments. With this information, it enables effective planning of your time on the island, minimises your transport footprint, while maximising your fun. Win, Win!

Covid Care, and Short Breaks 

We feel that it is not practical to maintain robust and safe changeover cleaning protocols, on back-to-back short breaks, amidst the pandemic and constantly emerging new variants. To lessen the risks and to be responsible towards both you and our local community, we have limited the availability of short breaks at this time. When you discover our ‘Inspire to Explore’ section with suggested Days Out and Brochures we are sure you will decide that with so much to do, you should Linger Longer to relax, recharge, and romance to the max.

Energy Audit

In the summer 2021 we undertook a ZeroWaste audit with the objective of mitigating against climate change by

  • Reducing fossil fuel emissions
  • Preventing heat loss
  • Reduction in energy use & costs
  • Transition to renewable energy

2022 Update. We have now implemented the first 3 of these targets.

Cutting the Use of Fossil Fuels

We committed to ceasing all use of open coal fires, for the season of 2022 and that work is now complete.  Replacing them with wood-burning stoves, has cut fossil fuel emissions and reduces heat loss via chimney drafts, while retaining the peace of mind, of a back-up heating option for those occasional power cut events. Rest assured you will be able to snuggle up by a cosy fire, watching the flames dance, as you relax and romance with your loved one. It is such a simple pleasure!

Wrapped in Insulation

We have installed the very latest insulation, under the floor, in the loft, and in the roof, to complement the existing cavity wall insulation. Not only does this make the cottage cosier, it reduces heating costs, it has reduced energy use by an average 0f 25-35%, and C02 emissions by 0.8 tonnes per year. This reduction happened when comparing the 1st very warm summer with the following significantly cooler summer, and it will be interesting to see more relevant comparisons with even greater savings anticipated. Further improvements are planned.

Renewable Energy 

Design solutions are currently being explored to transition to the use of renewable energy as may be viable. High demand and limited supplies and installers have delayed progress in this regard.

Buy Local, Seaweed Base Paint!

Iconic wee white island cottages take a lot of painting! Luckily for us, local business ‘Isle of Skye Paint Company’ recently created an innovative water based paint, from organic seaweed.  Since using their exterior paint, the finish on  our sparkling white walls and bright red chimney heads is  so much more durable, while indoors subtle contemporary colours, capture the spirit of Skye, and have a gorgeous depth and lustre. It’s a joy to use, a local, quality, eco-friendly product, which is great for the planet. We love it!

Covid Fog, 100% Organic & Vegan

The use of ‘Foggers’ has been essential in the delivery of efficient and robust changeovers. In 2021 we discovered ‘Dew products’, 100% natural, Vegan and compostable. They gave us peace of mind in our ability to deliver robust Covid Protocols, while being environmentally responsible too.  We will continue to use them in 2022 for the safety of our family, community and guests.

Beach Cleans, Skye Tidy Tidelines 

The impact on our local environment and wildlife, from marine pollution and litter is a subject very close to our heart. In 2019 we took ownership of the problem to tackle this tidal-wave of rubbish on our shores. Establishing a local beach clean group, Skye Tidy Tidelines,  we set up a series of progressive events, systematically removing rubbish and reporting data to national organisations. A growing network collaborates to share effort and everyone is welcome to join us. To date we have removed 8 tonnes of rubbish. Thank You to all volunteers.

Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose

It has always been hard to hide what you throw away on an island, so re-purposing is ingrained in our culture. You won’t be long in the Hebrides, before you find a bath used as an animal’s water trough, or a milk urn as a flower pot! At ‘Stay with us on Skye’, we aim for an eclectic blend of old and new, re-purposing timeless items of provenance, while capturing that on trend moment through contemporary colour and textiles. We aim to create an aesthetic moment in time that firmly reflects the island cottages that they are.

An Eco-Friendly Upcycle

In a recent refurbishment we sought to use fabrics, textures and colours of provenance, blending the best of old and new and buying local where possible. We choose contemporary pure wool tartan by Abraham Moon for curtains capturing the timeless essence of the island outdoors. Armchairs were fitted with new wooden legs, and reupholstered in a combination of deep rich teal velvet and Harris Tweed, woven from 100% natural dyed wool, imbued with the colour of the landscape. Off course we used Isle of Skye paint too. We do love a wee project!

Recycle Your Waste 

It is hard to be effective recyclers, when the rules vary so much from one region to another, and it may be tempting to have a holiday from it all. We provide recycling notices prominently in the apartments and separate bins and recycling containers. Glass is not collected kerbside but there are many bottle bank stations whose locations are detailed for your use too. Please help us care for our island when you visit.