Like many of us, we've had spare time on our hands this past year, so we've been researching sustainability to fill some of those lockdown evenings.
A year down the line, we're so proud of what we've learned, and the changes we've made, which have greatly helped us enhance our commitment to zero waste.
We are ecstatic that we have been nominated for not one but TWO awards linked to our sustainability pledge...
First up is the National Recycling Awards 2021 where we have been shortlisted in the Recycling Excellence category!
Next up is the SME Hertfordshire Business Awards 2021 where we are finalists in the Sustainability category!
The awards ceremonies take place later this year so we will be crossing our fingers, legs and toes for good news!
How Do We Manage Waste?
First of all, we were horrified to discover how some of our 'recycling' wasn't actually getting reused. Our local council made some big changes which has impacted how we manage our waste.
We have implemented the following processes for our recycling, hot composting systems & ReWorked.
...for all paper, cardboard, hard plastic, tins and cans.
...for soft plastics. This is where we ask guests to recycle all items which are not eligible for local recycling bins/services. It is the ideal zero waste solution which helps avoid unnecessary landfill.
Once the box is full, it is recycled to a new packaging media & the contents are pre-shredded. The plastic material, once shredded is sent to a blending area where it is combined with a mixture of polymers from ocean cleans, verge cleans, food and cosmetic wastes. Lastly, the materials are bonded into a board which can then be placed back into use or made into a new product on site.
...we have introduced Hot Composters into both our home and your accommodation. Literally ALL food waste goes in it. Yes, that includes meat & dairy!
Hot composters do the following:
- produces compost in just 30-90 days!
- 200 litre capacity can take at least 5kg of household waste per week
- the composter itself was designed and manufactured in the UK using 100% recyclable expanded polypropylene.
We use the compost on our vegetable garden and in the retreats veggie gardens!
If you’re interested to find out more, click HERE.
This is all on top of the efforts we already make to encourage a zero waste outlook. We promote nose-to-tail dining with our locally sourced food boxes, and our recycling messaging makes it clear how easily guests can get involved.
In fact, we actively discourage anything being thrown away - apart from a short list of items like sanitary products - that is now the ONLY thing that goes into the commercial waste bins (and we’re researching if we can do anything with that too!)
We gently encourage you, our guests to take our approach to zero waste home with you. Information is available in all the retreats as well as here on our website about sustainable methods, and why we think they’re so important to support our natural environment. We hope that you will feel inspired by the ease of these systems, and implement some in your own homes.
It’s lovely that our work has paid off already! Many of our previous guests have messaged us telling us which initiatives they've liked when we’ve shared sustainability messages on our social media.
We believe this can lead to real, lasting change.
Onto Bigger Things...
The Foaling Box
We are proud to say that our newest overnight stay The Foaling Box, will be 90% furnished with recycled pieces, or with furniture destined for landfill.
That’s pretty much everything in the lodge from top to bottom: all tiles, grout, bathroom flooring, wood, internal doors, kitchenware and furniture, and grey water systems will reuse wasted water from our washing facilities.
Three years ago we started to cultivate our beautiful wildflower meadow directly outside our retreats. Using our zero waste approach, we source plants and seeds destined for landfill from local garden centres. Every year the meadow is expanded and we will start to develop it into our apple orchard.
We have purchased a UK handmade beautifully crafted bumblebee villa to house a full colony of British bumblebees. The bumblebee villa is located in our vegetable garden next to our wildflower meadow.
Every year we purchase a colony with a queen, around 60-70 workers and eggs. Bumblebees are fantastic pollinators and are wonderful to observe at work in and around the garden. The colony has a life cycle of around 2-3 months depending on the surrounding environment and new queens are produced that will then create colonies of their own in the local environment in subsequent years.
By having our bumblebees, we are able to grow more vegetables such as tomatoes that we provide to our guests, therefore reducing the need to purchase from supermarkets.
As we develop our brand, and introduce more accommodation throughout the UK, we’re working hard and passionate about becoming known for our Eco & Sustainable initiatives in UK Travel.
Ingeniuos Probiotics; Natural, Vegan Cleaning Solutions
Since March 2021 we have moved all our cleaning products to Ingenious Probiotics. You know ‘good’ (probiotic) bacteria are great for gut health, but have you heard about the probiotic breakthrough in cleaning, hygiene and animal care products? The innovative Provilan ranges have added ‘good’ bacteria – like those in probiotic supplements.
Sourced from plants, they restore a natural, ecological balance that benefits health and the built environment. Each range is vegan-certified, anti-allergenic and designed for sensitive skin. Ingredients are naturally sourced with no harmful chemicals, toxins or artificial fragrances. Proven to reduce harmful bacteria, odours and bio-allergens and eliminate organic waste. Eco-friendly, with recyclable packaging made using ocean recycled plastic.
Safer, effective and non corrosive eco-detergents with a longer lasting probiotic action that continues for up to three days. Effective against the Coronavirus.
When the weather is really hot, we’d be very grateful if you use some of your used bath water for us! Just grab a jug and water the garden with it! Its fine if it has soap or bath salts in it - it won't damage the plants!
We really hope that you will support us on these new systems, and even better maybe take some ideas away with you to implement at home too! (do let us know if you do - we love to hear about these things)
What Else Are We Doing?
As a business we are working hard to reduce our carbon footprint.
All of the free food we provide in our larders are bought in bulk / large sizes to reduce individual smaller sized packaging being used. We then recycle all glass jars that we use as a household to provide your food items in or use to store items for the business. We also use them widely throughout our home.
We try as hard as possible to buy sustainably and from other sustainable businesses. Sometimes from a Health & Safety aspect its just not possible to not use plastics in a commercial environment. However we are always reviewing this.