We feel that running a B&B gives us an ideal opportunity to demonstrate some fundamental principles of how each one of us can make simple but positive changes that will contribute to a brighter future for this planet, our only home. To that end, we do not shop at supermarkets, but source absolutely everything we use from local farmers, growers, producers or independent shops, and all our food is thereby fresh, seasonal and as organic as it comes – we won’t touch anything that smacks of ‘industrial organic’. When you come to stay with us, you will enjoy the very best of truly local produce, prepared from scratch and freshly made for each meal.
Our garden is chemical free and wildlife friendly, and we are in the process of improving the house all the time, aiming for maximum energy saving, minimum pollution, organic bedrooms and eco-friendly paints. It’s a big job, but we are getting there. Minimising waste by not shopping at supermarkets and therefore not buying wasteful packaging, etc, in the first place, we have reduced our contribution to landfill to one black bag per fortnight. All the rest is composted or recycled. When it comes to maintenance work on the house or in the garden, we employ local artisan labour.
We save energy as much as possible, including use of the car – our annual mileage is around 1/3 of the national average. We use energy saving bulbs, and we switch off as we go around the house. We don’t have the heating on if we have no guests in. We are currently double-glazing the whole house, but not finished yet (big, expensive job – lots of windows!). We save water by sourcing all of our drinking and cooking water from the local spring. We support charities that actually do some good in Africa. We choose different charities each year and pick the ones that are ‘teaching a man to fish’.
Our business is run by the two of us, but if we do employ anyone else, e.g. for garden jobs, maintenance work, or anything else, we find someone local who can do the job (usually in our own village). Beyond that, we are actively involved in local initiatives to fight against the domination of agri-business in our county and to help in the drive towards reclaiming our right to organically produced food from small, locally orientated traditional farms. Community is important to us and something we see as the bedrock of a sustainable future. We have even published a book aimed at motivating others to make positive changes for themselves and adopt a new way of looking at food.
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