Things that are important to us, part two: the environment

These days everyone claims to be green. Every new business says it is environmentally friendly, and every old business re-designs its logo (hello, BP) to make it look like it cares about the planet without actually having to change any of its harmful practices.

We’re different. We’re determined to do as much as we possibly can to minimise the harmful impact of our business on the planet – both because we love the local environment and we want it to be beautiful for our visitors, and because we want our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren to enjoy the benefits of living on a planet of such varied – but not limitless – resources.

Since taking over the lease on June 1st we have:

* replaced most of the light bulbs in the pub with low energy bulbs;
* switched energy suppliers to ‘Good Energy’ who provide electricity generated 100% from renewables such as solar, wind, wave and thermal energy;
* decided to buy all our draught beers and over 90% of our food for the kitchen from local suppliers: local farms, local breweries, local butchers, bakers (yes, and a local candle stick maker if we can find one);
* begun to work with Vintage Roots to put together our wine list (Vintage Roots are a specialist in importing and distributing organic wines, they are the first wine distributor to pay for ‘carbon offsetting’ of all the transport and manufacturing processes involved in making the wine and bringing it to the UK, also their wine tastes fantastic and is low in sulphur);
* removed the LPG tanks and redesigned the kitchen to work using electricity only (which will be 100% renewables, thanks to Good Energy);
* removed the old oil fired boiler and begun work to replace it with a wood-fired high efficiency central heating system which uses renewable wood pellets in place of a scarce fossil fuel;
* equipped much of the business using second-hand materials, maybe not quite as shiny and fun to use as brand new, but less wasteful and better for the planet;
* selected eco-friendly toiletries and cotton towelling products for use in the toilets and the letting rooms;
* arranged for the recycling of much of the waste and rubbish left behind by the previous publicans; and
* wherever possible used decorating materials with the lowest possible impact on the environment.

As the business starts trading, you will see us:

* compost the vast majority of our food waste from the kitchens;
* re-use or recycle all the glass, cans, plastic, cardboard and oil;
* install water butts to make efficient use of rainwater to water the gardens and hanging baskets;
* trading only with suppliers who take the environment as seriously as we do;
* informing you of the environmental efforts being made by our various suppliers, so you can make informed choices about what you eat and drink;
* growing some produce on our own land, to bring the ‘food miles’ to an absolute minimum; and
* fitting timers to lights and other electrical equipment to minimise unnecessary use.

Eventually, when the business can afford it, we intend to:

* replace the metal windows with state-of-the-art double glazing (but in wooden frames, in keeping with the style of the village and returning the building more to its original look;
* address the poor insulation of the property;
* fit solar panels where appropriate to generate at least some of our own electricity; and
* establish our own ‘carbon offsetting’ scheme so that we can genuinely become a carbon-neutral business.

We don’t want to be preachy about it, and if you leave a light on somewhere we won’t lecture you about rising sea levels. But we hope that we can show you that caring for the planet doesn’t mean giving up on having a good time. And we hope we can show to other publicans that the pub trade doesn’t have to be bad for the planet.

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