GTBS Wales Gold

Sustainable Living

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The following extract is from Wikipedia:

“Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and his/her own resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet. Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity’s symboiotic relationship with the Earth’s natural ecology and cycles.”

That may seem a bit intense for most of us and you may think that you cannot make any difference, but by just taking part in your Local Councils recycling scheme you are making a difference. Remember, 10 years ago hardly anybody was recycling but now it is normal household practice. UK households produced 30.5 million tonnes of waste in 2003/04, of which 17% was collected for recycling (source: Recycling rates for households across England and Wales have risen to 39.7% and are continuing to rise on a yearly basis.

If we divided our 30 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions between our 6 billion population we would come out with a figure of roughly 5 tonnes per person but, as we already know, there are a few inequalities in how the weight is distributed. UN statistics put the UK per capita emissions at 9.4 tonnes but, if we take into account international travel and importing, it is more likely to be around 11 tonnes of CO2 (The Carbon Trust). These figures still do not include our daily transport needs. That equates to 3kg of CO2 per day. Due to the measures we have taken your carbon footprint (before travel) is 0.15kg of CO2 per day. 

Tir-Cethin’s Carbon Certificate for April 2013 to April 2014 is

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Transport is a big one in the UK. It may be a far bigger problem in the USA and Australia but that doesn’t give us any reason to relax. Going back to averages, a typical British car carrying a typical 1.2 people (scary in itself that this is the average amount of people in a car) emits 0.18 kg of CO2 per person per kilometre travelled. So a daily commute of say 20 miles to work or 32 km would produce 5.76 kg which over a year would be 1.4 tonnes of CO2. And that’s not taking into account the indirect emissions to make the car or its upkeep.

In comparison the average emissions when you take the train are 0.04g of CO2 per person per kilometre and the same for a coach. For the same daily commute that would be 0.3 tonnes CO2 which is at least a quarter of that of a car. 

Here at Tir-Cethin we have tried to “just do our little bit ” in setting up and running our business in an environmentally sustainable way. With this in mind we have come up with an Environmental Policy and Visitor Charter that is the cornerstone to everything we do. We would like you to try to implement these measures during your stay. If you take 1 measure home with you, that would be a bonus.

Tir-Cethin Farm Visitor Charter

Tir-Cethin Farm is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Wherever you go and whatever you do, your visit will always have an impact on our local environment. There are many ways you can get involved during your visit to minimise this impact and ensure it is just as special on you next visit, and for future generations. This will also support our commitment to educate guests on ways of having a more environmentally sustainable holiday and lifestyle.

Be a responsible Visitor – Seven things you can do to help.

Conserve energy – Reduce energy by switching off lights and closing windows if heating is on. The energy Saving Trust provides information on what you can do at home.

Give the car a rest – Leave the car behind, if only for a day, walk, use public transport or cycle. We have bicycles here for you to use free of charge.

Shop local – use local products, they give you a flavour of the area and help support local communities. We are fortunate to have some fantastic producers of food, drink, and arts and crafts in our region. Ask about local markets or local and regional produce.

Reduce, reuse, recycle – Try to avoid overly packaged goods and say no to that extra carrier bag. We ask you to recycle all items in the bins provided. Here in Wales we have legislation that forces retailers to charge for carrier bags so use the shopping bags provided.

Be water wise – Please use water wisely. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and adhere to towel policies or other water saving initiatives.

Respect nature – Help us to look after the landscape and Wildlife by not littering, guarding against fire and using footpaths and cycle ways responsibly.

Support Green Tourism Business – There are hundreds of businesses trying to reduce their environmental impacts through the green Tourism Business Scheme. Businesses are awarded bronze, silver and gold for their efforts to be more environmentally responsible. See for more information.

And most importantly, have a good time when you are here, we’d like you to come back.

Tir-Cethin Environmental Policy

As owners, we recognise the importance of maintaining tradition, but also the importance of using modern technologies to provide this area with sustainability for future generations.

Each individual barn has been renovated using the latest building materials in conjunction with traditional building methods. Modern, eco-friendly ground source heat pumps and solar energy have been provided to cater for all the heat and water needs.

We have therefore undertaken to implement the following measures:

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle the waste generated by us.
  • Supply all barns with eco-friendly cleaning materials.
  • All energy used is provided by either ground source or solar energy. Low energy light bulbs are fitted.
  • Guests are encouraged to arrive by public transport, for which 5% discount will be given. Bicycles can also be provided on-site.
  • Bird, bat and owl boxes are situated around all the barns, and flowers, shrubs and herbs are planted to encourage wildlife.
  • Tir-Cethin Farm is covered under the Welsh Assembly Governments Tir Gofal (Glastir) scheme. Tir Gofal (Glastir) is an EU funded scheme which promotes the use of environmentally friendly farming practices to reduce its impact on the surrounding area. Vast tracts of the farm have now been set aside to encourage a diverse range of wildlife.
  • We make every effort to ensure waste products and materials are recycled in a responsible way.
  • We ensure our operations comply with current legislations, and continue to improve environmental issues.
  • We ask our guests to minimise waste consumption i.e. turning taps off when brushing teeth, having showers instead of baths.
  • We encourage guests to shop at local shops where organic and local produce can be purchased.
  • We try where possible, to only use suppliers who can show good environmental standards.
  • We are trying to raise awareness that many of our environmental practices are easy to implement by all of our guests.
  • Continue to look for ways to continually improve our environmental and sustainable practices.

Through our friends at WDS Green Energy (, who are  local  suppliers & installers of environmentally friendly and low carbon heating and hot water systems, we have decided on a Dimplex (  Ground Source Heat Pump. we have had to bury 500m of pipe 1m undergound to act as a collector for the pump.We will supplement this with a Dimplex solar thermal to supply up to 60% of the hot water requirements with the GSHP supplying the rest.

This will work out at a much more energy efficient way of heating and supplying the water needs to our guest. We have calculated that the saving by using the technology  will be 75% compared to Oil, which would be the only real option due to where we are situated.

A heat pump heating system consists of 3 components: the heat source, the heat pump itself and a heat distribution and storage system. Heat pumps are able to produce more energy than they consume by using the conventional refrigeration cycle to absorb heat from the environment and raise it to a suitable level for heating.

  • 75% of the energy is taken from the environment i.e the air or ground and transfered to the heat pump.
  • 25% of the energy is sourced from the national grid in the normal way of supplying your electricity. This is used to operate the heat pump but with very low consumption

The energy from the air or ground is transferred to the refrigerant inside the heat pumps evaporator. This causes the temperature of the refrigerant to rise and change state from liquid to gas. The refrigerant gas is then compressed, using an electrically driven compressor, reducing its volume but causing its temperature to rise significantly.

A heat exchanger (condenser) then extracts the heat energy from the hot refrigerant to heat water for central heating, underfloor heating or domestic hot water. After giving up its heat energy the refrigerant turns back into a liquid and is able to absorb energy from the environment, allowing the cycle to begin again.

Heat pumps are among the most efficient heating and hot water systems available today. Approximately 75% of the energy needed for heating comes from the environment. This means that for every 1kWh of electricity used to power the heat pump compressor, between 3 and 4 kWh of heating energy are produced, giving the heat pump an efficiency of 300-400% or higher.

The heat pump’s “efficiency” is known as it’s “Coefficient of Performance” (CoP). This is simply a ratio between the proportion of the total energy supplied that can be extracted from the environment and the amount supplied by electricity to run the heat pump compressor. The higher the CoP, the more “free” environmental energy the heat pump is using! The CoP for our system is 4.32, or for the layman, for every 1 unit of energy we put into the system we get 4.32 back, or 3.32 free!

Phew!!! Now you know!! Please do not ask me to explain it!!

To make sure that as little of this free heat is lost we have generously insulated the barns exceeding what is required by building regulations and added argon gas to the window units to reduce heat loss from the galzing.

All the water that falls on the roof of the barns is chanelled into a 4000 litre storage tank. It is then filtered and recycled back for use in the toilets and washing machines, which are two of the main water users in the barns.

We are honoured to have been awarded the coveted Gold Award form the Green Tourism Business Scheme. for detail on the scheme please go to

The GTBS is the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. Originally developed in partnership with VisitScotland, it is now the only national scheme to be independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland. “GTBS provides excellent value for money to a wide range of tourism firms with first class environmental advice and auditing.

Businesses opting to join Green Tourism are assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas, like energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and more.


Our Friends

Below is a list of our friends who offer ideas and advice on environmentally sustainable holidays and ideas.

Green Day Out is a friendly online directory of days out in the UK,  for all ages and in any weather. Check out

If you would like to find other accommodation providers in other parts of the UK that share our ideals check out

For simple, direct information on greener ways of living visit

For information on the most energy efficient electrical appliances check out