Here at the Green Room and at
Cranmer Country Cottages we factored in sustainability and eco-responsibility
from the get-go of our business planning. Our vision was to “create a high
quality sustainable self-catering holiday destination while minimising the
impact of our business activities on the environment’.
Holidays don’t sit comfortably in
the ‘go green’ model. Transport is a major stumbling block if, like us you are
offering beautiful rural isolation as part of your appeal. Incentives to travel
‘green’ are never taken up (back to the drawing board there). Holidaymakers who regularly recycle at home
are less likely to want to bother on their holiday. We work hard to enable our
guests to ‘Go Green at Cranmer’ and have comprehensive recycling facilities but
if they want to dump all their rubbish in one bag, there is little we can do
about it. It’s OK to do a Rotweiller impression in the office but prowling
around the cottages checking into bins is an absolute no-no. However, we can pat ourselves on the back as
our supplier recycles over 90% of waste collected. So ‘A-’with some way still
Another stumbling block for rural
sustainability has been a reliance on oil for heating and hot water. Oh, and we
also have a stunning, heated indoor swimming pool. Over the years we have installed a 20kw wind
turbine, 2 ground source heat pumps and 50kw of solar thermal.
However, the swimming pool was always a stumbling block so this summer, with
much blood, sweat and tears and expense, we commissioned a 100kw biomass
boiler. Swimming pool ü.
Heating for the office and house ü.
Heating for the cottages previously running on calor
Why is it such a
responsibility? Whether you believe in
the problems of climate change or not the undisputed fact is that we are
running out of fossil fuels (the clue is in the word – fossil). We have heard
many arguments over why renewables are not efficient, cost too much and are a
blot on the landscape but the stark fact is that we have no choice. We have to
find different sources of energy otherwise we will run out. Power cuts may be
just a threat at the moment (price rises are currently a very hot potato) but
they are inevitable if we concentrate purely on the now and fail to invest in
sustainable energy sources. Yes, they are expensive to install and run but we
have to start somewhere and as the technology improves, it will get cheaper.
Electricity was so expensive to install originally that only the very rich were
able to benefit. And building electricity systems from scratch was hardly
economic. And electricity pylons are not beautiful. And which would you rather
have? Wind farms or Chinese-funded
nuclear power stations.
It’s been a steep learning curve
and we are happy to share our experiences with others, which we will do in this
blog. Please keep reading. And let us
have your comments.
Labels: bio-mass, eco-holidays, fossil fuels, green, recycling, solar thermal, sustainability, wind turbine