Miniature Toiletries

Boyne Hill House, Exclusive Country Estate is joining the growing movement to eliminate miniature shampoo, conditioner and body-wash bottles worldwide to reduce plastic waste. In the UK alone (no numbers for Ireland) up to 200 million of these bottles are dumped into landfills each year and will remain there for hundreds of years! As a result we are phasing out all miniature plastic toiletries and will be switching to bulk dispensers and ceramic containers by the end of this year.

Thanks to our guests for their understanding.

We’re taking the Flop out of the Flip-Flop!

As part of our commitment to sustainability here at Boyne Hill House, we have decided to phase out the practice of our Brides bringing in flip-flops for their guests for late-night dancing. Most flip flops today are made from plastic threatening the health of the ocean with many travelling oceans and becoming a routine find during beach clean-ups. Plastic flip-flops also wear down easily transporting microplastic to the ocean through our waterways. 

A few facts :

  • From 30.000 items collected during a research mission on a remote island in the Indian Ocean, 11.000 were flip flops!

  • One of the largest pollutants in the ocean is polyurethane from flip flops and other shoes that have been washed or thrown into rivers and flow into the ocean (1)

We believe that prevention is far better than cure when it comes to plastic pollution: Our recommendation to brides is that they ask their guests to bring their own flat shoes to change into, but if they insist in providing flip-flops, there are rubber alternatives available to buy. H&M for example, does a sustainable flip-flop for 5euro. It costs more but they can buy less of them and feel better about doing their bit for the environment.

1: (Source https://theoceanpreneur.com/plasticfreenomad/make-positive-ocean-impact-with-your-flip-flops-flip-the-flop/)

A Climate Emergency

Well we’ve finally done it. Ireland is the second country to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’. Individual action is required and while we won’t save the world on our own, we at Boyne Hill Estate believe that any action we take will hep to make up part of the solution.

Actions we have taken to date:

Over the past few months we have been eliminating all single-use plastic across our operations:

•       We’ve replaced plastic straws with paper ones

•       Our in-room complimentary water is Ballygowan in glass bottles

•        Any waste that can’t be composted or recycled goes in bio-degradable plastic bags and we have invested in a machine that compacts the cardboard to improve efficiency of waste pick ups.

•       We have installed low energy bulbs across the estate.

We are renowned for our delicious food here in Boyne Hill Estate and we buy local produce from the Boyne Valley where possible. However, we know we can improve in this area and we have longer-term sustainable ambitions for our 38 acre Estate which include:

•       Reducing food waste

•       Introducing more meat-free menu options

•       Growing as much of our own food where possible to reduce food transport.

To date, we have planted a range of berry bushes; raspberry; strawberries; blueberries; goji berries as well as tomatoes, potatoes and rhubarb. These are all in our Victorian Walled garden. We will add to these over the coming months and years. This ‘Farm to Table’ approach is something which we are very excited about and I walk through the garden every day to check on their progress… let’s just say a watched plant doesn’t grow! Our Chef is also waiting patiently for a planned herb garden so we hope to get started on that before the end of the summer.

We also hope to partner the local bee-keepers association in Navan to see if we can get our own bee-hives and start producing some honey to go with Chef’s delicious home-made brown bread…yum!

Cider-making is also an option we are pursuing as we have a range of apple trees in our walled-garden some of which are rare breeds.

I could go on and on outlining our plans to make Boyne Hill Estate one of the ‘Best Private Venues in Ireland' but let’s just leave it there for the moment…. 

Triona (Owner and planner extraordinaire!)

Doing Our Bit For The Environment

Over the last 16 months, Boynehill house has invested heavily in making its operations more efficient and reducing its Carbon footprint. Apart from installing more efficient heating systems across the Estate and eliminating single use plastics where possible, the company is continually looking for ways to reduce its impact on the environment. Commenting on the rationale for these and other positive actions being taken at Boynehill Estate, Owner and CEO, Caitriona Power says: “I think sometimes as individuals we can feel that the scale of the environmental issues we face are overwhelming, but if small companies such as ours do their bit to reduce the negative impact that they have on the environment then, these small steps can combine to have a broader effect with more positive global outcomes.”

Outlining some of these steps Caitriona goes on to say: “As part of an ongoing 500k upgrade and refurbishment programme, which kicked off in 2017, we have improved our energy efficiency drastically by upgrading the existing heating systems. In the 35 courtyard rooms we have swapped traditional convection heaters for A+ rated infrared heating panels. All rooms have their own thermostats but most importantly we can control the heating system remotely so once our guests have checked-out we are no longer wasting energy by heating empty rooms. This system is also very cost efficient.  

“When it came to the Mansion House, heat retention was one of the biggest issues we faced. The Georgian house is spread over 4 stories, with 8 en-suite bedrooms, 2 large reception rooms, a bar and basement. The issue for us here was the heat escaping through the old sash windows. Before tackling the heat we decided to employ Energlaze to fit all existing windows with heat retaining glass, while doing that they refurbished the sashes and we now have all working traditional sash windows. According to their sales pitch “the double glazing is 82% better than the single gazing, eliminating draughts and cold spots”. Before replacing the glass in these sash windows, it was sometimes colder in the house than it was outside!

Caitriona continues; “We then went on to strip out the existing old and inefficient oil boiler and replace it with an up-to-date system with controls on each radiator. The house is now divided into zones and allows us to control the heating remotely avoiding unnecessary and wasteful heating of the house when it is empty.” 

“Apart from making significant investment into improving our heating systems we are making smaller changes across all our operations, such as;  changing all our lights to low energy bulbs and when replacing any electrical appliances we look for the most modern and energy efficient option. Caitriona concludes by saying; “All in all we feel that over the last 16 months we have made great strides towards lowering our energy emissions but we are constantly looking for more ways to reduce our energy output and benefit from lower heating costs”.

Read the Boynehill Estate blog next month which takes a look at how they are eliminating all single-use plastic from our estate and improving our waste management system.