Since taking over at Mynd House in October 2006 we have been carefully monitoring the amount of energy we use and waste we produce and aim to minimise our environmental impact.
We do use a significant amount of energy and our annual carbon emmissions are estimated to be around 23 tonnes which is roughly 4 times that of the average household (source: Marches Energy Agency), although having 8 letting bedrooms as well as our own accommodation and increasing occupancy levels this is to be expected. We continue to review all aspects of our business and strive to reduce our impact still further. However, as our business is in hospitality we have to consider guest comfort and ultimately the cost to the business. Some aspects of our energy effieciency project will require significant capital expense which we msut plan for carefully!
Mynd House is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, rich in wildlife and natural habitat, we feel we need to play our part in helping to promote and conserve it.
What have we done so far?
*We use Fairtrade tea, coffee and chocolate products
*we use environmentally friendly laundry and cleaning products.
*We buy locally produced food and products and aim to source products from within a 30 mile radius (many of our producers and suppliers are within a few miles)
...as a result...
*The car is only used when totally necessary – less than 3000 miles a year
*Water inhibitors are in most toilet cisterns - some of our cisterns are supported by Saniflow units and before restricting the water used we need to ensure that the units can continue to operate effectively.
*Loft and pipe insulation have been installed
*We have replaced existing light bulbs with Low energy bulbs where practical and in areas where lighting is on for a significant time. However, we do use standard lighting where lights are switched on for a short time or where 'ambient' lighting is required.
*Our Electricity supplier sources 47% from renewable generators and 19% from cleaner sources - Combined Heat & Power (CHP). We are told that 100% renewable energy sources are only currently available to domestic supply.
*Some windows have secondary double glazing
*Litter is recycled, e.g. plastic bottles, tins and glass. Newspapers are used in our woodburner and any excess is sent to recycling
*Where ever possible recycled stationary is used and reused - we use our scrap paper for notelets
*When printing we use double side or booklet printing to reduce our paper consumption
*We recycle old towels and linen into dusters and cloths
*other items, such as household furniture and fittings, when replaced are given to charity shops or our local South Shropshire furniture scheme
*We use a wood burner in the lounge on colder evenings and source our wood fuel from fallen branches from our own garden first. We seek to use additional wood from a sustainable source.
*We prefer to use e-mail for communication (e.g. for booking confirmation)
What do we plan to do?
*Replacement Boiler - we are currently researching the viability and cost-effectiveness of alternative fuels such as wood pellets but at very least plan to install a more efficient condensing boiler
*Install better draught insulation or secondary double glazing on old sash windows in the original part of the house
*Install cavity wall insulation where we are able and insulate the loft with deeper, more efficient insulation
*Consider the use of Solar power for Hot Water
*We do have some non-fairtrade products still in use but plan to phase these out when current stocks are depleted
*We do also have some paper and envelope supplies from the previous owners - once depleted we will re-stock with Recycled or FSC approved supplies
We also encourage our guests to do their part
*Guests can help us to recycle by separating recyclable material, glass, plastic and paper, from waste bins
*We operate a towel policy to minimise the impact on laundry and only replace towels when requested or midway through longer stays
*There are several maps and guides for walking and cycling in the area with numerous routes direct from our door - guests arriving by car are encouraged to give the car a holiday too! We will even provide a pick-up service for guests arriving by train.
*There are also several special interest books covering all aspects of local wild life
*Bus timetables (route 435 Shrewsbury to Ludlow) and Rail Timetables are available to browse
We aim to eliminate waste, Reduce waste and energy, Re-use then Recycle