What does Exmoor Character Cottages do to provide sustainable accommodation and help make our community as enviro-friendly as possible? Our team constantly explores ways to improve our green credentials whilst delivering clean, safe, and comfortable accommodation in our historical properties. In addition to the ‘recycle, reuse, reduce’ eco-measures most hospitality providers take, we’ve gone the extra mile. We think creatively about what we can do to work sustainably, and we want to share this with you.
Recycle, reuse, reduce
When it comes to recycling and advocating environmentally-friendly practices, many businesses promote a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ approach. To encourage everyone to look for greener solutions within their everyday lives, the common three R’s slogan was introduced back in the 1970s.
Since then, recycling and reusing items have become a part of our daily routines and most of us actively do so without thinking. At our cottages, we implement the three Rs as much as possible. Our environmental activities can be seen in the extra steps we take in our eco-friendly holiday accommodation:
- The fresh milk and water you’ll find in the fridge in the kitchen upon arrival come in reusable glass bottles. You can fill the milk up at the Minehead Farm Shop. Leave the bottle and lid, and we’ll reuse them.
- Guest toiletries come in recycled and recyclable packaging. We have introduced larger, refillable eco-friendly toiletries from Faith in Nature in our Minehead properties which we ask guests to use and leave behind. We refill hand soaps and washing up liquid to reduce plastic waste.
- When it comes to washing up , we provide eco-friendly liquid in refillable pumps. We have eliminated plastic scourers and j-cloths from our kitchens and offer reusable alternatives. Guests use them, leave them and we prepare them for reuse.
- The ‘Who Gives a Crap’ toilet rolls are produced from fast-growing bamboo.
- We provide environmentally friendly laundry sheets and Eco-Eggs instead of polluting chemical-heavy washing liquids and fabric conditioners.
- Where planning rules permit, we have installed secondary double glazing to reduce our use of carbon-generated fuels.
- Stone Barn, our only cottage built to modern building regulations, uses super insulation and energy-saving techniques.
- We use low energy and LED lighting and A or A* rated appliances wherever possible.
- To conserve water, most of our toilets offer the dual flush option. We have installed water butts in our gardens in Minehead.
- Deluxe ‘Soak and Sleep’ duvets reduce the need for significant overnight house heating. These come in a range of togs depending on the season, plus bed throws and even woollen blankets that encourage the thermostat to go down a degree or two.
- We are religious recyclers! We leave you the option to recycle all the usual materials, plus food waste. We compost garden waste in our garden area, which is used for mulch in the autumn.
- At the end of their life in luxury holiday cottages, all our retired linens and towels are donated to charity. The old furniture is freecycled or donated to charity.
Local solutions to reduce our environmental impact
Our environmental efforts are not limited to our selection of luxury eco-friendly holiday accommodation. Our Exmoor Character Cottages team members share a passion for living an eco-friendly life. We all live locally, within three miles of our cottages. If we are unable to cycle or walk to work to our cottages in Dunster and Minehead, we actively promote car-sharing. The large majority of our suppliers and contractors are local too.
Our eco-friendliness does not stop there, however. We have also linked up with other local businesses to help promote our fellow ‘greener’ services across Exmoor. While staying at our luxury holiday cottages, you can stay ‘green’ with your itinerary.
- We have created a seven-day itinerary where activities can be done on foot, by public transport or shorter car trips.
- We encourage our guests to shop local, offering information and benefits, which supports our economy and reduces driving miles.
- Enjoy a guest discount for shopping at the local Farm Shop Stuart Lowen. The owner here is a proud supporter of local farmers and producers, substantially reducing food miles.
- If you are considering booking a Private Chef experience with Le Frog, you can be reassured all his produce is from small, passionate producers in the South West.
- For VIP Guests (that’s returning guests who have opted to receive our marketing messages), we gift a handmade preserve from Bumblees, made from fruits grown on a local allotment or from nearby producers. We tailor each preserve to the history of the specific cottage in which you’re staying.
- Much of our furniture is antique, which beautifully complements our properties’ characters and charm. Buying second-hand has many eco advantages, not least easing the burden on hardwood forests.
- We garden organically. Gardener Nick is adept at splitting and growing from saved seeds, and we grow many plants native to Exmoor. We’ve carefully installed bird, bee, bat, and insect boxes in each garden, and Pilgrim Corner even has a covered wildlife pond!
- Lucy has two wormeries that convert guests’ food waste into rich liquid fertiliser which we use in our four gardens.
- Stone Barn and The Old Sweet Shop provide e-vehicle charging outlets.
Collecting litter around our area
Our team can often be found litter picking on the beach and Exmoor. Gail and her kids, in particular, enjoy this activity twice a week, but we all do our bit at home and around our eco-friendly holiday accommodation.
A green way to discover Exmoor
The great thing about Minehead and Exmoor is that everything is close at hand. So why not ditch the car on arrival and explore in more enviro-friendly ways? Bring your bikes, pack your walking shoes or even rent a Zipp Scooter in town – and explore! Take a day out on Exmoor’s open-top bus, the Exmoor Coaster. Listen to our Minehead podcast for some inspiration. Or put on your walking shoes and explore using ‘The Little Book of Walks’ (written by Lucy) as your guide, which features routes for all levels of fitness. Another firm favourite of ours is the walks over Quantock Hills. With so much to explore, there’s something for everyone.
Buy direct from local producers at the Farmers Market
Your pound goes a long way in rural areas like Exmoor. The local markets are a great way to find producers who tend to be dotted right across the National Park. There’s a small and friendly Farmer’s Market each Friday morning on The Parade in Minehead. For a bigger experience, visit Dulverton’s Farmers Market on the last Saturday of the month between April and September. Dunster Tithe Barn also hosts ‘Delicious Dunster’ on the second Sunday of every month throughout the year. Look out for information on Facebook for this one.
If you’re staying with us and want to find out more about some of the products we use, visit Keith at ‘Our Precious Earth’, our amazing eco-store on Hollway Street in Minehead. Keith is extremely knowledgeable about eco-friendly alternatives to the products we all use today. Our guests get 10% off – just say you are staying at Lucy’s cottages.
Stay at Exmoor Character Cottages
If you are looking for eco-friendly holiday accommodation, our cottages should not disappoint. What’s more, staying at one of our four luxury holiday homes means you can stay ‘green’ without compromising on comfort. For a superb break in the Exmoor countryside, contact us today. We’d be delighted to hear from you!