Our journey began when we bought an eco-build, something we hadn’t set out to do, in fact something we might otherwise have avoided if it wasn’t for the fantastic location. It soon became obvious to us how well designed and efficient the house was. Our lodge was built in 2015. Being south facing allows the warmth of the sun to be absorbed and retained by the main interior clay wall. The large triple glazed frontage minimises loss of heat, ensuring great energy efficiency and maximises the sun’s energy. A Contura log burner is the main source of heat throughout the open plan designed house. The circulation of heat is aided with a ceiling fan directing rising heat downwards. Solar panels are used to heat the water and the addition of 300mm of sheep’s wool within the exterior walls is an excellent, natural source of insulation.
Being bargain hunters with a love for Scandinavian-style retro furniture gave us the inspiration to buy a lot of the furniture second hand or from auctions. This has reduced our demand for new furniture products by re-using older products. Smaller changes have been implemented such as reusable soap & shampoo containers, washable microfibre cloths have replaced throw away Jay cloths and we use local suppliers when possible. The first small steps to becoming greener helped us change many other things we hadn’t considered and joining Green Tourism gave us the inspiration to look at not just one property but our business as a whole. We have benefitted from the green tourism opportunity as it has supported us in our strive towards transitioning to a circular economy which utilises the waste hierarchy when making business decisions.
Our second property is not an eco-house and therefore not as efficient, this presents other challenges and once funds allow will be part of our plan for the future. However, we have been able to put our green mark on it by planting trees, adding bird boxes, and sowing wildflowers and grasses where the once concrete, hard core boundary was laid prior to purchasing the property.Strengthening and supporting communities is hugely important to us. We donate to three local charities and regularly promote local businesses on social media and via our information folder which can be accessed by guests.
Working towards our Green Tourism award has been a positive journey where we have had to consider so many aspects of what green tourism involves. When we began the journey we had a preconceived idea of waste being the main issue, however, we now have so much more awareness of biodiversity, health and well-being, community and energy being just a few of the topics to be considered. Awareness is now key to our decision making in every area. We are eager to continue our green journey and share our progress along the way.