Green and Ethical Issues
As well as the usual ecological friendly tasks that most people are trying to manage these days, such as recycling cardboard, paper, plastics etc., we also return all outer packaging to our suppliers.
We compost all our green waste.
We use low energy lightbuibs.
We use environmentally friendly cleaning materials.
Our built-in chillers are insulated with sheeps wool from Thermafleece, near Penrith www.secondnatureuk.com. We make a habit of making sure that no electrical office equipment is left on overnight.
We have planted several hundred mixed, deciduous trees and hedges in the last 5 years and half kilometre of hedge. We have created a environmental wildlife and pond area.
In extensively renovating our farm buildings for the business, we have retained and even encouraged a colony of bats, and we have encouraged swallows to nest in the buildings, of which, well over 200 leave the farm every year.
In the farmhouse, for the bed and breakfast side of the business, we use organic cotton sheets and organic cotton towelling bathrobes.
We have recently undergone a free environemental audit with Cumbria Business Environment Network and are committed to the environmental awards scheme with Cumbria www.fellsanddales.org.uk.
With the local producers that supply us, we apply fairtrade principles – so they set their ‘from the field’ price for their own profitable production.
We will always use local produce in preference to widely sold UK produce, where possible.
We have a strict policy on not selling produce that has been airfreighted.
We buy organic, fairtrade produce by preference over organic.
Our vehicles have roadside Environment Transport Association assistance ( a campaigning group for sustainable tranpsort). www.eta.co.uk.
All our phone services are provided by the Phone Co-op – a carbon neutral business.
We subscribe to the phone and fax preference service to reduce the amount of junk mail that we receive.
We use a co-operative bank for our business banking which has a clear ethical policy on the businesses that it deals with (ie. it will not deal with arms manufacturers, heavily polluting industries or fossil fuel industries).
New Projects – August 2006
We are also trying to generate some of our own electricity through a photovoltaic system. It is early days with this project, but if anyone has any success stories as far as grants or helpful suppliers are concerned, please do let us know. We have been using a green electricity supplier (Good Energy) for 8 years now (perhaps we are one of their longest standing customers!)
On a watery note, we have a borehole! Work was carried out over the summer and we are now self sufficient as far as a water supply is concerned. Drilling went down to 72 metres, and water gushed out of the hole! Level settles at 22m so we have a well with 50m of water in, all the pipe work is now in and working so we now have 3 bar water pressure. All the polytunnel sprinklers now work as intended, and if you turn a tap on in the house it sprays up at you – fantastic. Sadly too late for much of our tunnel production this year which has gone to seed early or has just not really established itself through lack of water.