Oh So Sustainable with Lucy Agace

Spring is here and it's the time for new beginnings and fresh starts.

Lucy Agace Sustainability

Spring is here and it’s the time for new beginnings and fresh starts. As we watch the colourful early flowers spring up, we are reminded how much joy they bring and how they prompt us to start thinking about our outside spaces.

By all means change the bed covers or cushions, but why not take a look at some eco-friendly/ sustainability practices to really demonstrate your appreciation for the environment and natural resources.

Let’s take a look at the ways we can reduce the use of natural resources namely water and energy.

I mentioned in the last article about switching to a renewable energy supplier, this is the first step.

We already know how fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas are currently the main provider of energy in the UK.

We also know burning these fuels emit harmful Greenhouse Gases that collect in the atmosphere causing our planet to heat up. Many of the alternative energy suppliers are purchasing part or all of their electric energy from renewable sources like solar or wind.

Energy suppliers such as; Octopus Energy, Utility Warehouse and Ecotricity are market leaders and still in operation.

Gas, on the other hand, can only ever be gas there isn’t a ‘clean’ gas.

This is why we need to move away from using it.

With fuel costs reaching all time highs we should look at ways to reduce usage and this can be done in a number of ways.

Energy

  • Make sure all light bulbs are LED
  • All appliances should be set on their most efficient setting and turned down or turn off when the property is vacant
  • Any new appliances should have an energy star rating of no less than B preferably A
  • Install motion sensors to light fittings anywhere it is possible and applicable
  • Make sure heating controls are easy to use and easy to understand so guests, in frustration, don’t leave heating on when they are not in so they know they have warm accommodation to return to
  • If you have a hot water tank make sure it is well insulated along with any exposed pipes.
  • Have the hot water coming on in off-peak times. Heating hot water is known to be very costly
  • It might be time to think about offering EV car charging facilities. At the very least guests may need access to a power point near enough to where they can park their vehicle (have a lead handy)

We turn on our taps and water comes out. We take it for granted don’t, but it too is under threat.

Water stocks are dependant on rain and also the way commercial water companies look after the resource. Toilet flushing accounts for 1/3 of the our water use today.

Depending on occupancy numbers average households get through 130 litres a day. We can make adjustments to reduce the use of water and I have listed a few ideas below…

  • Fitting aeration filters to tap spouts and shower heads will reduce the flow of water but not reduce the experience
  • Dual flush toilets that offer a 3 or 6 litre flush can help save water. They typically save 20% of water
  • It is also possible to retro fit an existing toilet cistern and some water companies will provide these FOC
  • If possible isolate the cold water supply to taps and turn down the flow to a minimum
  • Install rainwater a catchment device no matter how small
  • If you find your water bills are particularly high and your accommodation business is long term you might consider sensor or timer taps
  • Perhaps not a water issue but a drainage issue – make sure you have, inside rooms with toilets, sufficient clear signage about what can and can’t be flushed

These sustainable practices may not be obvious to your guests at first, so you will have to make an extra effort on social media and your booking partner to highlight your initiatives. Whether it’s AirBnb or one of the booking partners make sure whatever eco-friendly changes you make are listed here.

It’s important to shout about your achievements, both what you have done and why you have done it.

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