Lowthwaite B&B Green Policy
The damages to the environment caused by an expanding population, by technological development, as well as by climate change, are all hotly debated topics. For us, it is clear that there soon will be a shortage of fossil fuel, water, and food, and that there is already too much pollution and waste now.
We want to live a responsible lifestyle in order to reduce our impact on the environment and to extend the same values to the way we run the B&B too. At the same time, we also want to provide a B&B with good quality as well as an affordable price, and so we try to balance these considerations.
Below is a brief, alphabetical summary of what we currently are doing.
Building: This included the use of new materials such as thermal plasterboard, double glazed windows, and masses of insulation. It also included reuse of existing materials where possible e.g. the old dining room floorboards in two bathrooms, beams and oak doors on the ground floor, old flagstones reused outside, and most of the rubble rolled into the car park foundations.
Children: We try to bring up our children with an awareness of careful resource usage and knowledge of Fair Trade. At the moment, they are certainly better at remembering to switch off the lights than we are.
We are corporate members of the local Red Squirrel Conservation Trust and support their work financially. We also support the Nurture Eden project, which is part of the Nurture Lakeland charity, who run a fell maintenance programme “Fix the Fells”.
If you want to support the Red Squirrels and/or our beautiful landscape, which is partly maintained by Fix the Fells, we ask for a donation of £1 per person at the end of your stay.
Cleaning and household appliances: All our appliances are of highest energy rating, the cleaning products are all natural, and we use microfibre cloths for many jobs.
Energy usage: Low energy bulbs, careful thermostatic control of heating and hot water, and electricity sourced 100% from Ecotricity wind farms are part of our efforts here.The other important area is harnessing the power of the sun, with solar thermal panels for hot water proving very efficient and a small array of solar photovoltaic panels to generate some of our own electricity.
We have recently worked with ENWORKS, which helps businesses reduce their carbon emissions and increase their resource efficiency, and have started the process of getting a biomass boiler installed in the autumn as a result of this.
Firewood : Our two wood burners are fed either by recycled wood from the building project or from wood felled whilst trying to maintain the land we have.
Food: Our food is homemade, partly local, seasonal and organic, and often bought in bulk from Suma Whole Foods. We work hard to minimize waste and packaging. Fair Trade is very important to us because of our time in Tanzania, and so we buy Fair Trade whenever we can, and are very pleased that Christina’s school is working towards a Fair Trade accreditation. Please also see under Food, where we have described our favourite local suppliers.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Paper, cardboard, tins, foils, glass, plastics, wrappings, bags, bottles and drinks cartons are all recycled. Organic waste is composted. We buy products from recycled material, such as our paper (both office and household), nice glasses, and waste bins.
The main part of our furniture in the B&B is made from recycled Dhow wood. Old boats that can no longer be mended are taken apart, stripped down, and used to form beds, tables and other items such as lamps.
Red Squirrels (and other wildlife): We are a member of the local Red Squirrel group, and try to look after “our” red squirrels as well as we can. We also provide food and shelter for a high number of birds.
Toiletries: All are natural, locally produced and refillable.
Towels and Linen: Towels are changed every fourth day, unless left on the floor, in which case we change them immediately. Linen will be changed every fourth day if required.
All our laundry is done with environmental friendly products (Ecover) and done by us in Lowthwaite, so no additional transportation is required.
Transport: Public transport is not so easy, as none comes close to Lowthwaite, but we only have one car, have chosen not to have a 4WD, and carefully plan our shopping, so we don’t need to go town very often.
Water: We have our own spring water and sewage treatment plant. The water is taken directly from the spring and is treated after use before being discharged back into the stream in a drinkable state.
This page needs updating, but all on it is correct, and we now have a biomass boiler, so all our energy comes from sustainable resources.