I am part of a group that was formed earlier this year where a number of businesses came together – some from the island and some from the mainland – and have been successful in getting funding from Invest Northern Ireland to do a scoping study on reducing our carbon footprint. The aim is for the island to be carbon-neutral.
The ferry is one of the bigger carbon footprints in the group, so we would aim to reduce the footprint of the ferry, but this is also the goal for other businesses and residences on the island. Rathlin Island is a good place to pilot this project because just 50 years ago, people lived there in a carbon-neutral way, and many of those people are still alive and are familiar with not having a carbon footprint. It would be nice if we could have modern comforts without destroying the environment.
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Work with what you have; for example, we will still keep all the facilities on the island, but just with alternative sources of energy. It is easier to work with a finite number of people at first, and use this as an example to model how you can have all your facilities become carbon-neutral.