We are working hard to make our holiday accommodations (and farm) as eco friendly as possible and we are already well on our way;
Our farm is supplied by Octopus Energy – who supplies us (and all its other customers) with 100% green electricity.
We are very lucky to have our own water supply coming from a natural spring on the hill. This spring supplies our entire farm so we do encourage responsible water use, especially during the summer months.
There is no gas supply to the farm.
In 2007 Hugh installed a biomass boiler in the main barn. The boiler is run on solid wood fuel which we harvest ourselves from our own larch woodland on the hill. It is as local and home grown as you can get!
In the barn cottage and oak hut, for extra cosy comfort, we have small wood burners. The logs supplied come from our own woodlands and the fire lighters provided are eco lighters made from timber shavings, natural resin and wax. We find them to be an effective eco alternative to the classic white paraffin tablets.
Where ever possible we use LED light lighting/bulbs in all of our accommodations.
We are also in a IDA International Dark Sky Reserve! As such we are committed to ensuring light pollution is reduced where possible. We encourage guests to use torches and to not leave any lights on when they are not in use (the most important one being the outdoor light).
Wales has the highest recycling rate in the UK (at 62.8%) and we make a huge effort on the farm to recycle as much as we absolutely can. We can recycle almost anything as long as it’s not contaminated – if it’s not collected by our local county council (such as plastic film) then we collect it ourselves and take it to our local recycling centre – yup, we’re that committed!
All the products we use have the following criteria;
- quick and complete biodegradability
- minimum impact on aquatic life
- against animal testing
- suitable for septic tanks
- plant based & mineral ingredients – vegan
We are proud of the products we use – for cleaning we use Ecover and BioD and for personal products we provide Faith in Nature. Ecover comes from a true platinum zero waste factory (they divert 98.1% of their factory waste from landfill through reduction projects, reuse, reducing and recycling and have identified a clean route to achieving zero% within the next couple of years). Both Faith in Nature and BioD are based and made in the UK.
Reducing plastic waste
We sat down and worked out how many single use plastic bottles we got through last year and it was a scary number (in the 100s)! Washing up liquid, hand wash, shower gel and cleaning products – it all added up. Of course we recycled them but we know it would be better to reduce rather than recycle. As a result we now purchase all our of our products in bulk so that we can wash and refill just a few bottles with no need to purchase and bin any more. It’s not perfect, but it’s progress!
Furthering our commitment to reducing plastic use we have also researched alternatives to the plastic sponges and foam dishcloths we provided in the self-catering kitchens. These items could not be reused or recycled and had to be thrown away after each guest. Considering we welcome 1 night stays and up, the number of sponges and cloths we get through can be enormous.
We now use “UnSponges” made by Rowen Stillwater. These are plastic free and reusable (we put them in the wash after every guest). Also, when the sponge reaches the end of its useful life it can be cut up and composted! In place of the foam dishcloths we are now providing 100% cotton dishcloths which we also wash and reuse.
If you enjoy using our “UnSponges” we have teamed up with Rowen Stillwater and have some available for sale on the farm so that you can take some home with you after your stay and carry on your eco, plastic free washing up!
We are proud uses of Who Gives a Crap. An awesome company who not only make 100% recycled toilet paper with zero plastic packaging but they also donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.
Over 2018 and 2019 we planted 6,500 native trees on the farm! Why? Because we love our farm and wanted to give something back – combating climate change, improving water management and maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. This Herculean effort was made possible through the Glastir Woodland Creation Scheme administered by the Welsh Government.