Five of the best eco-friendly holidays on Scottish islands
Old traditions meet new thinking on these green Scotland stays
Orkney in the world’s first all-electric campervan
Electric touring, Outer Hebrides
For the past five years, Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis has been home to a fleet of rentable electric cars powered from points where the electricity is generated by wind. And with 11 charge points now strategically placed from Lewis in the north to Barra in the south – drivers can traverse the full Outer Hebrides chain without using a drop of petrol. Take your tent as wild camping is permitted and there are few beaches anywhere to match those here.
Book a car at ecarclub.co.uk (sign-up required) from GBP45 a day
Voluntourism, Isle of Skye
The hugely popular island has a Keep Skye Beautiful team that looks for volunteers to help with projects each year. Work might involve maintaining and creating hiking pathways and viewing areas, setting up signposts and removing litter. Volunteers get to explore landmarks such as the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock while helping restore and protect them for future visitors.
Register interest at myskyetime.com/volunteer
Camping, Isle of Arran
Camping is one of the greenest ways to stay wherever you head off on holiday, and a visit to this island – using the CalMac ferry and connecting train – can be even more so with a stay at Lochranza campsite. Not only does it have eco-friendly credentials (holding a gold award from Green Tourism) for its facilities, but its owners are committed to boosting biodiversity, which has meant deer, birds, red squirrels, bees and wildflowers have all benefited, making it environmentally sound for the campers and the wildlife.
Pitch for two from GBP20, arran-campsite.com
Green stay, Inner Hebrides
Having produced 95% of its electricity since 2008, via what became the first grid in the world powered by a perfect combination of wind, solar and hydro schemes, Eigg offers an almost guilt-free island stay. Not only did islanders say goodbye to all but their back-up diesel generators over 10 years ago, but they also cleverly buried all the cables underground so there are no electricity pylons spoiling the scenery. It’s accessed easily via train and ferry, and Eigg Shed is a Scandi-style modern bothy, with a low carbon footprint and a composting toilet.
From GBP522 a week, sleeps three, eiggtime.com/eigg-shed