We aim for our home and our business to be as eco-friendly as possible. I am not sure if we are eco warriors so much as eco worriers but nevertheless here are the things we have implemented already, some of our ideas for the future, and some links to things we’ve found useful…
Please let us know if you have any suggestions or ideas to transform us from eco-worriers into eco-warriors!
At the end of 2010 we installed solar photovoltaic panels, supplying electricity to both our own home and Island View Cottage. Many thanks to Aegis Energy for their assistance in planning and executing the project. We source the remainder of our electricity (and now gas too) from Ecotricity. For every pound spent by their customers on electricity they spend nearly another pound building new sources of green electricity. They price match against the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers so it doesn’t even cost more.
We have double glazing and cavity wall insulation already but we think improving our insulation is the first step towards energy self-sufficiency so this is top of the list and we are currently improving our loft insulation..
We have used Auro Natural paints to redecorate our holiday house. These are petrochemical-free paints made using natural raw materials from environmentally managed sources and produced using a sustainable ecological cycle. They smell fantastic too while you are painting them on!
Waste and Recycling
As well as the paper and cans that the council collect, we separate glass, plastics and tetrapacks to take to a recycling facility in Alnwick (tetrapacks can be receycled behind the swimming pool FYI). Recycling and composting facilities are provided in Island View Cottage.
Growing Our Own
In 2009 we managed to grow a handful of beans and a very small courgette. It was a small start but then we did grow a beautiful baby too! In 2010 we managed a few tomatoes and lots of beetroot. We continue to try… No weblink here just a credit to Henry’s dad for his expert horticultural advice.
Meanwhile we buy most of our organic vegetables from a company called Farmaround in North Yorkshire. We love the tasty produce we get each week and the fabulous letter from Isobel who runs the business telling us all about organic farming in the UK – a cause we think worthy of support. We can also order organic veg for our holiday guests – just ask when you book your holiday.
We like to give ‘stuff’ a good home, so when we need something new we do make a good effort to try and source things second hand, and to find new homes for the ‘stuff’ we don’t need. Old things have character and charm, and its nice to think they can have a new life rather than end up unwanted and buried in the ground. Often a little bit of elbow grease is all you need to revamp an appliance or piece of furniture and hey presto that’s one less thing in the landfill. We recommend Freecycle and Freegle for giving and receiving things free in your area – and a good tour of the charity shops can produce real treasures!