Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ResponsibleTravel.com - I Know a Great Place

This week responsibletravel.com launched IKnowAGreatPlace.com – a new online travel community with support from Michael Palin and TV Presenter Kate Humble.

IKnowAGreatPlace.com aims to become the best resource for local travel ideas in the world. No one knows your destination like you do, so it would be great if you can share your local knowledge with the community and give the best advice and tips on what your destination has to offer. We would like you to bring your knowledge to the community by adding local tips on great things to do and the best places to go, fantastic images of your destination and by answering questions about your destination in the travel forums. As someone who is passionate about local and authentic travel we hope you or your marketing team will get involved.

To put your destination on the map register here

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Setting up WWOOF Ireland

Hi All

Please see email below received at the Greenbox office:

SETTING UP WWOOF IRELAND! (please respond!)

With the support of WWOOF International and WWOOF UK, as well as WWOOF Independents, who have organised WWOOFers for us in Ireland since the demise of WWOOF Ireland 7 or 8 years ago, I am in the process of re-establishing WWOOF IRELAND. To that end a new website is being developed which will go 'live' in the new year and through which all WWOOF hosts in Ireland and WWOOFers to Ireland will be able to register for next year.

Although I am happy to continue running WWOOF in Ireland as an independent operator along the line of WWOOF Independents, I am contacting you in the first instance with my ideas for a consultation process for the setting up of a new WWOOF Ireland. I will be pleased to get any comments or other proposals, but hopefully in the setting up process and the meetings I am proposing here, there will be plenty of opportunity for debate and discussion to arrive at the best possible scenarios through 'on the ground' meetings and a forum for debate on the website.


I have been a WWOOF host in West Cork for the last nine years and following my own wwoofing experience in New Zealand 2 years ago, and meetings with the WWOOF organisers there and in Australia, as well as the UK and WWOOF Independents, I have been working for the last year towards taking over the host list and running WWOOF Ireland as a national organisation.

WWOOF Independents exists mainly to support WWOOF hosts in new countries, but as bookings for hosts in Ireland just did not happen one year, they took on the organisation of our lists. At that time WWOOF was only beginning to be internet based and contact had previously been made purely by letter or telephone. Internet has brought its advantages and also its problems, and now, with the start of a new organisation we have the opportunity to reorganise things - if members feel this is needed – to suit what may be more specific to the needs of WWOOF hosts and WWOOFers in Ireland.

So – these are an outline of my proposals:-

1. Start a WWOOF organisation which is transnational being inclusive of WWOOF hosts in Northern Ireland (this has already been negotiated with the WWOOF UK representative there and the Northern Ireland WWOOF hosts will be included in the list for next year)
2. Divide the organisation into regional groups, possibly to be dictated by concentration of WWOOF hosts rather than just geography as hosts are unevenly dispersed throughout the country.
3. Have a representative from each region to be the local contact point or organiser for that region.
4. Through consultation via the website and meetings, develop policies and procedures for the benefit of hosts, WWOOFers and the organisation
- suggestions include:
a) recruitment of new WWOOF hosts in areas which are not well represented through contacting possible organic concerns, environmental agencies etc.
b) recruitment of WWOOFers from young people in Ireland who would be encouraged to WWOOF in their own country - this would help reduce 'green' footprint, by not involving so much travel, and serve to educate the younger generation about food production and other ways of life in their own country as well as helping to 'heal' the often talked about urban/rural divide.
c) implement a 'feed back' system through the regional representatives or the website to provide more support for both hosts and WWOOFers
d) through regional meetings and visits to existing WWOOF hosts discuss these and any other proposals and their implementation (through this consultation decide on the best formation of the WWOOF Ireland Organisation to carry this out. eg: should we be a charity, limited by guarantee, or not for profit (or something else?)
My own view is that it would be good to establish a more personalised service for WWOOF in Ireland and it is through meetings and visits that I hope to set the scene for this and to gauge the general needs of WWOOF hosts here.

PLEASE do respond to this e mail, (sorry if it's a bit long!) even if it is just to say you have received it, as I really would like to know that I am going ahead with the support of the general WWOOF community here and not just the WWOOF organisations mentioned above. And if you have any comments or suggestions don't hesitate to send those! – then maybe I will develop a specific questionnaire to send out prior to meetings?

This is a very grass roots organisation, and I feel strongly that its operation should be defined by its members. I also feel that Carl and Craig of WWOOF Independants have been doing a great job in holding together WWOOF in Ireland in the intervening years and would like to say a big thank you to them from all of us for doing so. Looking forward to hearing from you and to your comments and suggestions

Yours truly,
Annie King

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

25 Great Green Tools

Check out this site, here is the introductory blurb:

From the green browser to great green blogs, helpful widgets to handy directories, the “green web” is growing fast and anyone interested in gleaning green information online can find a wealth of eco-friendly websites, databases and applications. Start with these 25 green tools, applications and resources but don’t stop here - this is just the beginning.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Bear Essentials - Christmas Offer

Create your own Gingerbread House at Bear Essentials in Bawnboy Co.Cavan
"Like to nibble on your own creation this Christmas or just looking to make a special present for someone?"
A workshop for adult & children on Sat.13th of December at 2pm.
To enrol please contact Anke on 049 9523461 or email: info@bearessentials.ie
Our large home-made Gingerbread Houses can be ordered also.
Last order taken 27th of November. Houses are ready for collection from 15th of December at Bear Essentials.