Blue Reef Cottages are committed to providing a premium quality service while also minimising the environmental impact of our activities. A symbol of this commitment is our membership of the Scottish Tourist Board’s Green Tourism Business Scheme. This Scheme provides accreditation and encouragement for tourism businesses to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. By encouraging sustainable practice it ensures the continued enjoyment of the environment on Harris for future generations.
The whole of Harris is designated as a National Scenic Area and is administered by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). We are committed to an environmentally-friendly practice and since we opened in 2003, we have received the Gold Award from the Green Business Tourism Scheme.
At Blue Reef cottages our Green activities include – recycling waste, using low energy light bulbs, using local, fair trade and environmentally friendly cleaning products. We also encourage our guests to use local suppliers, who source locally and seasonally available foods. All this contributes to keeping money within the local economy and supports local businesses. There is plenty of information available in the cottage on local transport, walking and cycling (electric bikes are available for use) and every consideration is given to the needs of our guests during their stay.
These provide a good wildlife habitat where ‘Machair’ flowers can be seen growing out of the roof during the summer months. A green roof can absorb up to 75% of the rainwater that falls on it, also the insulating properties of a turf roof enable it to effectively regulate the temperature inside the cottages.
Wind Turbine/Air Source
In October 2011 we installed two 5 kw wind turbines at the base of the hill behind the house. One serves the house and one serves the cottages. They are currently producing sufficient energy for all three properties.
The Evance R9000 5kW wind turbine has been engineered to ensure maximum energy yield by generating energy at low wind speeds, and by running continuously and safely at high wind speeds. The design results in a modern and visually pleasing wind turbine which has a minimum visual impact on its surroundings.
ISHGA (skincare products) – The name Ishga is derived from the Gaelic word for water.
Extract from Ishga website – “The Outer Hebrides have some of the cleanest waters in the world where we sustainably hand harvest our seaweed to produce our 100% organic ingredient for our skincare range. Scientific tests have shown that Hebridean seaweed contains natural anti-oxidants that have anti-ageing properties which help protect the skin. As a result of our processes, the seaweed content in our products are extremely high. By harnessing the potent powers of the finest Scottish seaweed, Ishga products work on every skin type. They really can make a positive difference to the health and appearance of your skin.
Fresh hand-harvested Hebridean seaweed is used to prepare the extracts and powders used in Ishga skincare products. The extracts are produced using a low temperature extraction process and the powders are produced by gently drying and milling the seaweed. The harvesting methods used are both environmentally friendly and sustainable.