My Green Story

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A Journey to Slow

I have always been very conscious of the damage we are doing to Mother Earth, worrying about Climate Change long before it was fashionable to do so. But the reality was, I still found myself greeting visitors that had flown here on big airplanes and spending days driving around in a diesel vehicle – printing out glossy brochures and offering complimentary spring water in plastic bottles to all my guests.  

Then came Covid, the planes were grounded, and I was left reflecting on my business – and yes, the hypocrite I had become. And so, the change began.  

Firstly, I changed direction. Foreign travel is a massive contributor to the climate crisis, and I no longer wanted to be part of the problem. I shifted my focus to people living in my own country and especially the surrounding counties. I put my little van Gobhnait up for sale and began building up my walks – highlighting all that is magical, wonderful and utterly precious in the natural world. I developed workshops that focused on helping people reconnect with this magic. I taught them how to make their own soaps, salves and syrups, balms and broths: things our ancestors made and used, all with zero waste and completely sustainable. And people loved it! 

My office went paperless and tossed aside the glossy brochures, favouring instead little postcards made with recycled, compostable paper. 

Instead of spring water, my guests received a glass bottle filled with a delicious sparkling nettle drink made by a sustainable brand, just a few miles from my home.  

Tree planting and biodiversity repair came next – and thanks to the wonderful Jesh from Seal Rescue Ireland and organic seeds provided by Irish Seed Savers, we have planted an assortment of wild herbs, plants and trees in Courtown woods and its surrounds.  

I also got involved with the Protect Courtown Woods campaign, and while Wexford County Council eventually sold these woodlands, I continue fighting to ensure its future safety. 

I discovered too, that there is an interest in living a more Pagan lifestyle. So many people are keen to know about honouring Earth Goddesses, Tree Rituals, and celebrating the ancient Celtic agricultural festivals. I stepped out of the broom closet and embraced the witch in me! 

Today Gallivanting is unrecognisable from what it was, and we are proud to be a business that is a Green Tourism provider committed to slow travel in Ireland. We are currently awaiting grading from Green Tourism and continue to seek new ways to reduce our carbon footprint while helping clients and visitors to North Wexford reduce theirs.  

While on my journey, and to my delight, I have met many others following a similar path: the forester who now is an organic gardener. The clothing boutique owner who today repairs and upcycles old clothing. And the techie who sold his company to live in a tiny house and plant a forest.  

And while it remains true that the vast amount of carbon going into our atmosphere comes from a handful of large corporations, it is still important that the rest of us make every possible change for the better in our personal and work lives. We CAN make a difference. 

I hope you’ll share your Green Story with me when next we meet.  

Come Gallivanting!