Our gold award with the Green Tourism Business Scheme is something of which we are very proud. We want to make Isaac’s Byre one of the most eco-friendly cottages in Cumbria . We changed some of our initial plans when converting the byre to make a cottage. And continue to make sustainable changes on a daily basis. To start with we made big changes to make heating and power more eco friendly. Since then have worked at making smaller changes. We have focused on providing low-carbon and efficient energy. And source products from local businesses. We continue to strive to make Isaac’s Byre an eco-friendly cottage. And are learning new ways to achieve this as we go along.
ENERGY AND HEATING
The energy for the heating and hot water is sourced through a Ground Source Heat Pump. Heat is pumped from the ground and into the heat pump. Here it receives a small electricity boost and runs both the central heating and the hot water. Because the cottage has high levels of insulation, it is lovely and warm in Winter. The deep walls help to keep it cool in Summer. Our electricity is supplied by Octopus Energy This provides 100% renewable energy so is very eco-friendly and a sustainable way to heat a house.
We have tried to minimise energy use as much as possible. There are low-energy light bulbs in both the standard and halogen fittings. We have now made the change to LED bubs in most of the light fittings as these use a lot less energy than standard low energy bulbs. The television and other electrical appliances are all low energy models.
None of this comes at the expense of comfort. We have a wood burning stove and supply locally-sourced logs to make the cottage even more cosy.
There are two 3.5Kw charging point for Electric Vehicles. This means we can accommodate two electric vehicles at a time at the cottage. They are best used for overnight charging.
WATER AND CLEANING
We supply you with eco and environment friendly cleaning products that we buy in the local area. Our laundry is always washed with an eco-friendly laundry powder. We use either Bio D, or Violets. Violets made in Hexham (so very local). We use white towels in the cottage. You will agree that using eco friendly doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality of laundry products. We love the smell of Violet’s products too.
The products we use to clean our cottage are all eco-friendly. The same cleaning products are available for you to use during your stay.
We encourage all our guests to be careful with water. We have eco showers which are water saving. The toilets have a water saving setting. The dishwasher and washing machines both have water saving settings.
It shows that it is possible to stay in an eco-friendly cottage with all mod cons. You don’t have to do without luxuries of home to be environmentally friendly.
LOCALLY SOURCED MATERIALS
It is important to us to shop local . We can cut damage to the environment by buying from local shops. This also supports the economy of an area. We bought most fixtures and fittings for the cottage from within 30 miles. This has covered everything from mattresses to chairs. These are as good, if not better, than those you would find from every-day large stores. This is very important in making this an eco-friendly cottage.
We have twinned one of the cottage toilets with a latrine overseas. This helps those in desperate poverty to have access to a proper latrine and clean water. They are also provided with the information they need to be healthy.
You can twin your toilet. Donate £60 to twin your toilet. And you w your smallest room becomes the proud owner of a certificate. This comes complete with a colour photo of its twin and GPS coordinates so you can look up your twin on Google Maps.
REUSING AND RECYCLING
To keep items out of landfill we have bought pre-owned furniture where practical. For example: the oak wardrobe and chest of drawers in the master bedroom. When we couldn’t find suitable used furniture we checked that the wood was from FSC. FSC are sustainably managed forests. All of our guests are encouraged to recycle rubbish to keep items out of landfill. All metal, glass, paper, plastic containers and card can go in the labelled bins. More importantly, we hope that our customers will take some of these ideas and follow them when they are at home.
We always buy recycled paper for loo rolls and printing. Recently we have bought loo paper from Who Gives a Crap. This paper is 100% recycled and avoids the use of chemicals and dyes. Added to that they also give 50% of their profits to help build toilets.
So by staying here you are helping to build toilets all over the world.