Green Tourism Week
27 October 2013 / Business / Guests / Sustainability
To celebrate Green Tourism Week (4th-10th November), Independent Hostels UK (IHUK) have teamed up with the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) to highlight businesses with the Green Tourism award on the Independent Hostel Guide website and in the 2014 guide and to encourage businesses with an Eco outlook to consider applying for GTBS grading.
Read more here from IHUK
Some responses to questions from us here at Thorney How:
What motivated you to go down the “eco” route?
This has always been something that we have been keen to do. Having spent a lot of time in the natural environment it seems a straightforward step to want to care for it in whatever way we can too. We’ve always sought to choose eco options, in our domestic and working lives from growing our own food where we can, to always using green energy solutions and providers.
What has been the biggest change you have made to your accommodation?
Thorney How is a grade 2 listed building, we have spent much of the last two years since we took Thorney How over from the YHA consulting with professionals, attending courses and generally researching the eco options that are available to us. As an older building some of these options do not make much sense, and we are limited with our grade 2 listing from many structural alterations, including replacing the single glazed windows and installing solar panels.
Some form of heat replacement was the only real sensible option. The building does get cold and is draughty (high winds outside) in winter and our current night storage heaters are both expensive to run and woefully poor at delivering the right heat at the right time.
Our first task was a new drainage system at the front of the property in 2012. Then after a 4 month build programme we commissioned our new Biomass Boiler in April 2013. The new boiler uses sustainable wood pellets in a very efficient system that generates hot water for both showers and central heating. We have had to completely reinvent the wet system for the building, this is itself a big and messy job. Currently this is now working for the newly refurbished bunkhouse and will be extended to the main house this winter.
What do your customers think of your green credentials?
Many of our guests have commented on our use of electric bikes, the car charging points, the LED lighting and recycling points as these are the more visible interventions around the building. Several have been on mini tours around the new wood pellet boiler. But in the main sustainability does not feature highly in travellers choices at the moment.
This does surprise me still, all too often guests do not display behaviours that are consistent with nurturing the environment that they are here to enjoy.
We actively encourage guests to adopt sustainable choices when they visit us, to consider their use of energy in the building, in recycling their waste and in considering their travel options. We can only hope to encourage more people to build eco awareness into their travel lifestyles.