10 easy tips from our carbon footprint journey


We live and work in Dornie so we are very conscious of our cottages’ impact on the environment – both cultural and natural – and our journey to reduce our carbon footprint.  We want to enthuse our guests to share our journey with us.  That’s part of the reason for having a blog.  So that we can tell your our story as it progresses, what we’ve learnt and how you can help us make Dornie an even more special place.

The picture shows cattle grazing the hill during the summer.  Cattle are an important part of maintaining a diverse environment and also part of the crofting heritage and economy.   Dùthchas – the connection between people and the land This concept is at the heart of how we live.  Our Gaelic language and heritage is closely entwined with the place that we call home and looking after it and the land are central to ensuring that future generations can benefit and enjoy what we have inherited.  Others have created material about dùthchas in much more depth and you’ll find some more information in the links below.  They are all in English with lots of interesting information about Gaelic words, concepts and ideas.

The deep connection between people and place – a short video

Read about the different names and events in the Gaelic language which are linked to the winter and solstice – NatureScot celebrates winter and solstice in Gaelic

Rachel Sandilands is a well-recognised writer and creative artist whose website is full of interesting articles which explore this concept.  You’ll find her articles here.

How to measure your carbon footprint

On a more prosaic level, luckily we saw a post on LinkedIn from a Gaelic-speaking friend who works for the Royal Bank of Scotland.  It was about the chance to participate in Climate Springboard, run by the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute and so we signed up straightaway. There were lots of great things about the workshops.  Obviously learning more about what the climate emergency is, how to measure your carbon footprint, what actions you can take to reduce it but also meeting other businesses from the Highlands and Islands and hearing about what they are doing as well.

Dornie Croft Action Plan

Dornie Croft Carbon Footprint

We used the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Climate Change hub which has lots of resources including a carbon footprint calculator.  From that we worked out that our footprint is 3.32tonnes of CO2 each year. We also looked at what we can do to reduce that footprint.

Next steps – actions we are going to take

Our action plan sets out the different things we are going to do in the coming months.  This includes five main actions.  You might not notice these if you’re staying with us but we’ll be working on them along with advice from the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute and also Business Energy Scotland. Another way that we’re improving what we do is by participating in the Green Tourism scheme.  You’ll see this on our website and more about it in our welcome and information pack if you’re staying with us.

Next steps – actions you can take

Whether you are staying with us at Dornie Croft or you’re at home, there are small, simple actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint.


  • Switch off lights when you don’t need them – have the opposite of a lightbulb moment 😊
  • Switch off any appliances that you’re not using.
  • Where possible, dry your washing outside. We’ve fitted a drop-down airer to the rear of the house and there are clothes pegs under the sink.


  • When you’re brushing your teeth, only turn on the tap when you need to instead of it running for the 2 minutes that you’re meant to brush your teeth.
  • Choose a shower instead of a bath. You use about 80 litres of water for a bath.  An 8-minute shower uses about 62 litres of water.
  • Make your shower shorter. Instead of an 8-minute shower, take a 4-minute shower.  We have fitted low-flow shower heads so these would use about 24 litres.

Energy and water

  • Always fill the dishwasher instead of using it half-empty and use the eco-setting.
  • Same thing with the washing machine, use it for a full-load and choose a shorter wash time at a lower temperature.

Reduce waste

  • Drink tap water instead of buying plastic bottled water. Scottish water is very high quality.  Chill it in the fridge if you prefer it cold.
  • Use a refillable cup for your coffee and tea; and a refillable bottle for your water. This cuts down on the amount of waste going to recycling or landfill.

Hopefully this has stimulated your interest in what we’re doing and given you some ideas of what you can do to make a difference to the world we live in.  Happy travels.