Going Green

Here are some of the things that we do in our effort to implement sustainable practices in our relationships with our suppliers, our customers and the local and global environment. We exercise these practices in both our home and our place of work. It is our mission to add more examples of our efforts to this list during the course of our development.

In the home

  • We shop at the local supermarket, farm group and wine dealer all of which we can reach by foot.
  • We purchase our wine ‘loose’ from the dealer around the corner who fills our recycled bottles with his excellent wine from demi-johns.
  • We buy no bottled water.
  • We buy most of our vegetables ‘loose’ either at the local supermarket or at the farmers’ market
  • We only purchase toothpaste which is sold by the unboxed tube. The actual opening of the toothpaste tube has a little metal protective seal under the lid.
  • Our degreasing product in the kitchen is undiluted wine vinegar or white vinegar. It works just as well on the greasy surfaces and back splash areas. The vinegar works well on stainless steel surfaces too.
  • We always buy large, economy packs of toilet paper to cut down on packaging.
  • We only purchase large refill packs for liquid soap, washing machine detergents and dishwasher detergents.
  • Ironing with very few exceptions, has been banned from our household.
  • The washing machine temperature is always set at 30°C and on a short wash cycle. For dirtier clothes we use a longer cycle at the same temperature.
  • Similar rules on temperature and wash cycle for the dishwasher. We turn off and open the dishwasher before it enters the drying phase of the wash cycle which just uses up unnecessary electricity.
  • All our light bulbs are long-life ones.
  • We never flush the toilet overnight (keeps the neighbours happy too) and when possible and practical, just do a half flush to save on water.
  • We had a shower unit fitted in the bathroom to replace the bath tub.
  • Our central heating is set at a maximum of 19°C and is set to turn on for one hour in the morning when we get up – one hour around lunch time when we are often together to eat – and about 2 hours in the evening before we go to bed. It is always turned off overnight.
  • The local nursery and infants’ school is delighted to have all our scraps of material, buttons, Christmas cards, toys, and even little ornaments and similar which they can use in their charity markets and school projects.
  • A local couple occasionally does the rounds collecting unwanted books in reasonable condition. We hate throwing away books and their visits offer an ideal alternative.
  • Here there are no charity shops so clothes have to be recycled in the specific bins left around the outskirts of town – or to personal acquaintances. We use both methods giving the new and almost new to a needy friend, and the rest to the recycle centres.
  • Microwave cooking cuts down no end on the electricity bill!
  • Space permitting, we buy larger packs of food products whenever possible.
  • We read all the labels on the products we buy, and opt for those which were produced as locally as possible. The same goes for buying only those fruits and vegetables which are in season.
  • The cotton wool buds we use are all cotton and paper — none in plastic.
  • We avoid purchasing individually wrapped sanitary pads
  • When practical, we just pass the floors of the house with a soft broom (no carpets) in between hoovering days.
  • We avoid buying any soap which has palm oil as one of its ingredients (and not only soap)
  • We avoid heavily dyed colours for household linen.

In our business

  • In the office we recyle paper usually printing on both sides of my printing paper – or cutting up scrap paper into small blocks for telephone messages etc. The nursery school around the corner is happy to accept scrap paper for the children’s doodles and scribbles too.
  • We have several electric multi-point extension leads which can take 5 or so plugs attached, and which have a switch on them. Solves the problem of those wasteful little red lights which consume during standby.
  • All our light bulbs are long-life ones.
  • Here we have no option but to use our feet or the public transport!
  • We aim to collaborate with those businesses which take sustainability seriously
  • We encourage our international guests to find accommodation within walking distance of their event venue
  • Included in our FAQs are indications for our guests to find safe drinking water fountains around the city to discourage them from buying bottled water
  • We use Ecolabel and/or recycled/upcycled products wherever possible for our group activities
  • Most communication with our clients is carried out via email