In Harmony with our Environment - Sustainability
What is sustainability?
Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.
Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.
Sustainability has emerged as a result of significant concerns about the unintended social, environmental, and economic consequences of rapid population growth, economic growth and consumption of our natural resources.
So if you have a positive view on 'doing your bit' then you need to do a bit of research to find out here to start and what is possible. Clearly, we started with a positive view to using local produce and already had recycling, as well as introducing our home compositors for our organic waste. However, we had to learn about other ways of dealing with having our own chickens, for example and devise a 'recycling regime' for that. Despite all this we felt something was missing and started to look at our 'carbon footprint'.
So if you have a positive view on 'doing your bit' then you need to do a bit of research to find out here to start and what is possible.
Clearly, we started with a positive view to using local produce and already had recycling, as well as introducing our home compositors for our organic waste. However, we had to learn about other ways of dealing with having our own chickens, for example and devise a 'recycling regime' for that. Despite all this we felt something was missing and started to look at our 'carbon footprint'.
We were considering some form of 'carbon offset' and looked up the 'Carbon Footprint' site on the web and rang them to see if we could plant some more trees in our garden within their guidelines. It transpired that they had a 'Carbon Calculator' that we could input information on our electricity, gas and wood usage in our home, see the impact of our travel on flights, buses and trains along with car usage and finally our car fuel usage. This then gave us a 'carbon generation amount' for our household. This came to 16.4 tonnes annually.
Although the idea of planting some trees in our garden was quaint we quickly realised from the information that we needed around 1 tree for each tonne of carbon generation annually. In our case that was 17 trees, which would have been some undertaking in our well stocked garden. However, help was at hand and the 'carbon footprint' organisation already had schemes for UK Tree Planting, mainly with schools to help the 'offset. You even select which area you could contribute to this so for £10 per tree plus VAT we could arrange our 'offset' in the native North East. The whole cost was £204 and we would become 'carbon neutral' utterly brilliant. We would urge you to have a look and see if you can do the same!
In the meantime I have summarised below our efforts to date
Our business philosophy is based upon sustainability and recycling which is embodied in our actions below:
- Our selection of local producers for all our breakfast ingredients using a local butcher (next door), a local fishmonger (Durham City), a local baker (private), purchasing from our local village greengrocer, our local village Spar and our local dairy (Lanchester Dairies) for our milk and butter.
- Our eggs come from our own hens, who live in our spacious garden as free range.
- We employ local staff and use a local service for ironing.
- We advertise in our local monthly newsletter called the 'Village Voice' which is done on voluntary basis.
- We have invested in both electricity and gas supply to increase capacity but with energy saving systems.
- All vegetarian food waste is used as feed for our hens and their waste is spread by them in our garden generally but the straw and hen poo from their hen houses is used as manure for our garden plans.
- All other food waste is fed into our 2 composters, which is again used in our large garden.
- We have registered with Carbon Footprint and have offset our total carbon emissions of 16.4 tonnes annually as a business by planting 17 trees in the North East. A Certificate has been Awarded to us for this.
All visitors and the communications on our website are made aware of our use of local produce and eggs from our own hens as well as the in-room biscuits, bread, fruit compote and marmalade (made from Saville oranges purchased from our local green grocer). Our staff and service providers are all regularly updated with reviews and feedback comments from our visitors book via e-mails and links to Trip Advisors and Booking.com
As a very good friend of mine, who is OCD about recycling - 'It's your planet too!'