Our founder Michael Bradley is supporting a road trip with a difference. Sean Molloy and Cory Kilbane, both from Achill, are hoping to prove that it is possible to get around even the most rural parts of Ireland in an electric car and so they have embarked on a challenge to travel all 2,600km of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
Sustainability is at the heart of the trip and therefore the travellers are intent on finding the people who are making a difference to their communities or helping other people, whether through involvement in community projects, developing renewable energy, protecting the environment, animal welfare or setting up sustainable businesses in areas that, although amazingly beautiful, are sometimes hard to make a living in.
Donegal Airport – touch down on the Wild Atlantic Way
An example of such a place is Donegal Airport. Situated on the west coast of Donegal at Carrickfin near Kincasslagh, it provides badly needed connectivity for the region with twice daily flights to Dublin with Aer Lingus and five flights weekly to Glasgow with Loganair.
It has been named Most Scenic Airport Approach for the past two years. But that wasn’t the only thing that impressed Sean and Cory; it is making serious efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
Airports and sustainability are two words you don’t often hear together but Donegal’s is the first Irish airport to be awarded the EcoMerit Environmental Certification for its commitment to continuous environmental improvement.
Reducing energy and water needs
Under the EcoMerit scheme, which is about empowering businesses or organisations to become more sustainable, the airport management looked at waste, energy and water management with a view to reducing energy consumption and waste output. Airport lighting was upgraded to LED reducing the kilowatt hours used (kWh) by 50,000. The heating system was switched to an air-water heater which reduces the energy demand by 10,000 kWh. Those savings would cover the electricity needs of the average house for over 14 years!
The airport reduced its water consumption by harvesting rain water for its fire vehicles. In the airport café the use of food packaging, straws and so on was reduced. Plans are in place to install EV charging points in the carpark.
Watch the episode on Donegal airport here.
Sean and Cory are getting an incredible response from the locals wherever they go. “We’ve had great feedback from the businesses and attractions we’ve featured, and many have experienced an increase in business following the exposure they got on the page,” explained Sean. The videos have been watched by over one million people. Their fame spread across the Atlantic when Irishcentral.com, the website for the diaspora set up by journalist and author Niall O’Dowd, wrote an article about them last week.
We’ve had great feedback from the businesses and attractions we’ve featured, and many have experienced an increase in business following the exposure they got on the page.Sean Molloy
No range anxiety
As for their mission to travel the route in an #EV, so far so good. The Tesla Model S they’re driving has a range of 370km and its GPS system is able to work out the power usage of each journey, telling the driver what level of charge will be left in the battery when the destination is reached.
Sean and Cory have a wealth of videos on their Facebook page telling the stories of fascinating people and the sustainable businesses they are running. A favourite is the episode shot at the famous traditional music mecca Leo’s Tavern which features Moya Brennan of Clannad, sister of Enya.
Follow ‘Stories’ as they make their way south along the Wild Atlantic Way. If the Donegal segment of the trip is anything to go by, this initiative will do wonders for Irish tourism.