Sustainability is very important to us, in both our business and home life. We hope it is to our guests too, so work hard to make sure they can book with us, safe in the knowledge they are staying in sustainable holiday accommodation whilst away from home. We recently got our certification from Sustonica, the global accreditation service for short term rentals that can demonstrate they are committed to sustainability.
Every year, we actively look at ways we can reduce our impact on the planet further. It’s a work in progress and there are still many things we would like to do but it is good to know we are on the right path and already do a lot of things well, in our holiday cottages.
Sustonica validate properties across 10 different categories, using geo-location and real time assessment. to ensure authenticity and proof that you are where you say you are. One category is of course looking at energy use. Whilst we cannot offer serviced accommodation without using energy, they want to know you are at least making an effort to use it responsibly. We were pleased to know we hit the majority of their requirements in this area, including using LED light bulbs throughout the houses, double glazing, making sure the properties are well insulated, having smart thermostats fitted and ensuring all appliances are energy efficient, with eco options available.
Another category was looking at water usage; all our toilets have dual flush cisterns. Little Driftwood has a lo flow valve on the shower too. We collect our rainwater with various water buts situated around the properties and we never use sprinklers to water the lawn. If the grass goes a bit brown in the summer, it will surely come back to life in Autumn, particularly with the changing climate.
Offering bio-degradable cleaning products, eco-friendly toiletries and paper products were another criteria we scored highly in.
Our shower gel/shampoo, hand soaps and dishwasher soap are all in refillable, 100% recycled plastic, pump bottles and our paper towels and toilet paper are 100% recycled products. We also do not supply new rolls for each guest – this is a conscious decision to reduce waste.
With regard to recycling, we have different bins for separating things out and a compost bin for food waste. We provide clear instructions in our digital guides, for guests to able to do their bit easily, as we recognise it might be different where they live. This year we began working with a local food charity that helps around 50 families in need, that live in the surrounding villages. Guests who don’t want to take unused food items home for various reasons, often because they are flying, can leave it in the crate supplied. We then deliver it to the charity, to pass on where they see fit.
Our website is powered by 100% green energy! We have also ditched the paper welcome guide for good now. We only offer a digital version. This is much easier for us to keep up to date and is very popular with our guests, as it is always to hand, on their phone. We can easily tell them about local businesses and events that they can get involved in, which allows them to support local and to live like a local whilst staying with us.