We recognize that creating a Green Business is a journey rather than a destination. We would like to spend a few minutes outlining our journey so far, and our plans for the future.
The starting point is, like any good B&B, is our food where we have tried to reduce our carbon footprint and food milage. Our breakfast ingredients – bacon, sausages and eggs – are sourced from local suppliers within a less 50 mile radius. Coffee is bought from a Bournemouth based roaster Badhand Coffee (https://www.badhandcoffee.com/about), and Heather delivers the beans by bike during the summer months. The biscuits on your tea-tray are supplied by a Dorset based manufacturer Moores Biscuits (https://www.moores-biscuits.co.uk/aboutus.html). Similarly at breakfast we serve and teas from Dorset Teas which are also used on the tea-trays (https://www.dorsettea.co.uk/our-story) which like the alternative brands we supply is a member of the Rainforest Alliance (http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/). Most cakes and preserves are made in house with mainly home grown or locally picked fruit.
In order to reduce our plastic waste we changed from individual toiletry bottles which were not in recyclable or renewable bottles to change to a new range which came in composable bottles with re-recyclable caps. We also changed from plastic water and milk bottles in guest rooms to reusable and refillable glass bottles.
We have a recharging unit for Electric cars installed on site supplied by Pod-Point (https://www.pod-point.com) which is available for use by guests. We also have a Nissan Leaf fully electric car which we use for trips around town.
We replace light bulb low-energy or LED types wherever possible.
We have switched to “Who Gives A Crap” (https://uk.whogivesacrap.org/pages/about-us) as supplier of toilet paper as they supply toilet rolls made either from re-cycled paper or bamboo. They also donate 50% of their profits to build toilets in areas of the world without proper sanitation. We have opted to use their bamboo toilet rolls as it removes more CO2 from the atmosphere, and being a grass rather than a tree is replaced more quickly when cropped. The toilet rolls are also supplied in double length rolls, individually wrapped in paper to eliminate the use of plastic and supplied in 48 roll cardboard boxes which can be re-cycled or composted. The tissues in the bedrooms are supplied by WGAC and are also made from bamboo.
For cleaning we use the KOH range of cleaning products which has Australia’s CEGA certification as an environmentally friendly product.
We cook to order to reduce food waste. General rubbish is separated into landfill, recyclable and food waste for collection by the local authority.
The journey into the future
During our closed season over the Winter we made plans on how we would move forwards on our Green Journey. We opened in mid-March and then Coronavirus came along so for various reasons we have put our plans on hold. To give you a flavour of where we are heading we’ll share the broad outlines with you.
We are experimenting with growing our own mushrooms recycling coffee grinds from our local coffee shops as a growing medium. We are also growing our own tomatoes for breakfasts, and our own soft-fruits and rhubarb for jams and breakfast use.
Although initially prompted by Coronavirus we will move to issuing invoices & receipts via e-mail unless a paper one is requested on a permanent basis to reduce the use of paper and ink.
We are introducing toiletries from a local producer New Forest Aromatics (https://newforestaromatics.co.uk/our-ethics) who use natural, organic or sustainable sources for their ingredients sourcing as many as possible from within New Forest/Hampshire borders. The toiletries in guest rooms will be in re-fillable containers with pump dispensers to reduce the use of plastic bottles. The toiletries themselves are delivered from the suppliers in 5 litre bulk containers which are also returnable for re-cycling.
We plan to evaluate the use of the Philips Hue network controlled lights (https://www2.meethue.com/en-gb) with motion detectors to activate the lights on the stairs and landing only when a person is in the area rather than leaving them on all night and thereby reduce electricity consumption.
We are investigating the use of concentrated dishwasher and washing products with reduced environmental impact from Smol (https://smolproducts.com/pages/our-story).
Our biggest carbon footprint issue is of course our energy usage. Once our current contract comes to an end we will be looking to move to a company that specializes in supplying energy from renewable and/or carbon offset sources.
I’m sure once we have achieved these goals we will have new ones to aim at.