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Eco-friendly and sustainable living has gained considerable momentum in recent years, with far more people seeking to reduce their environmental footprint and impact on the planet by becoming conscious of lifestyle changes.
Adapting your holiday cottage to be more eco-friendly and contribute to a sustainable future could help save money, and increase the appeal of your holiday let to guests. According to VisitEngland, 58% of people would prefer to stay in a cottage which runs sustainable and eco-friendly practices! The Sykes Cottages Staycation Index also revealed that 20% of people wanted to book more sustainable holidays in 2019, and that a third of the nation chose being greener as one of their 2019 resolutions.
Making just a few small changes in your holiday home can go a long way. Use the quick links below to find out more about an individual topic, or continue reading for a complete breakdown of our top tips for making your holiday home more eco-friendly…
Increasing the energy efficiency of your holiday cottage not only benefits the environment by reducing its carbon footprint, but makes financial sense too.
A quick and fairly simple start to your property being energy efficient and reducing your holiday let’s carbon emissions is to install energy saving LED light bulbs. Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting. Good quality LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.
All modern appliances are energy rated, so you can choose those that are most energy efficient. The energy rating of an appliance indicates how much energy a product uses and how that compares to similar models. When choosing your home appliances, an A++ rating is better for the environment and will save you money in the long run.
Renewable energy, often referred to as ‘clean energy’ comes from sustainable, zero emission, natural sources or processes like sunlight and wind. A switch to renewable energy reduces your carbon footprint, encourages renewable generation and a cleaner, sustainable future.
Benefits of using renewable energy:
Switching to renewable energy is becoming more and more accessible. Most of the mainstream energy companies offer green energy tariffs, which guarantee that some, if not all of your energy, comes from eco-friendly sources. Ask your current provider to increase the amount of green energy you use or opt to buy your electricity from a specialist green energy company.
Generating electricity for your holiday let from a renewable or low-carbon source is not only environmentally sustainable, but you could get money back for any energy you don’t use, that is sent to the national grid. The government can help with advice on loans, grants and feed in tariffs. Solar, wind, ground/air, biomass and hydroelectricity are just some of the ways in which you can generate your own power or heat at home.
Visit the Ofgem website to find out more.
Insulation can be easy to install, inexpensive and make a huge difference to your bills. Whether your home has cavity or solid walls, insulating them can improve your EPC rating and you might qualify for help with the costs. Consider using natural fibre for insulation, which has a lower embodied energy and tends to be disposable or recyclable at the end of their life.
Click here to find out whether you are eligible for a home energy grant to help pay for things like loft and cavity wall insulation.
Adding double glazing can be a worthwhile investment to help keep your home warm. There are also more simple steps you can take, such as checking window and door seals, making sure letter boxes aren’t letting in a draft, and investing in good quality curtains that help to keep rooms feeling warm.
In recent years, numerous technological advances have helped people to reduce their energy consumption, including the use of smart heating control systems. Heating is the biggest consumer of energy in any property, so using an app or scheduled system can make it easier to be more energy efficient. Having remote control of your heating system not only eliminates the worry of guests leaving the heating on once they leave, but also allows you the option to make sure the heating is on low during a cold snap in order to prevent frozen pipes – a great way to help keep winter maintenance hassle-free.
For additional advice on how to conserve energy and save money, visit the government website for guidance on helping consumers with energy.
Reducing the amount of water wastage from your holiday cottage is not only good for the environment, but also could have a positive impact on your water bills. Here are a few ways to reduce water consumption and prevent waste.
A dual flush toilet is a high efficiency toilet (HET) that conserves water by offering a choice of different flush volumes. A dual-flush means you only use the water you need, lowering your impact on the environment and saving money on your water bills.
Conserve water by installing a flow restrictor on your shower. A water-efficient shower head can reduce water use by up to 40% while lower flow taps could reduce your water use by nearly 70%. The less water you are using, the less electricity you’ll need to heat it. It is also worth checking and taking the time to fix any leaks or dripping taps.
Ask guests to use the economy function on appliances in your holiday let, such as dishwashers and washing machines. Using eco-mode means using less water and a lower temperature than most settings. It may mean that it will be a longer wash time, but it will be to the same level of cleaning.
A water butt gives you a ready supply of water for all your gardening needs. Collecting and making use of rainwater that would normally go to waste will reduce the need for water, reducing your consumption and water bills.
By making a few small changes, you can have a big impact on helping to reduce the amount of single use plastic in your holiday home.
Prevent endless plastic water bottles ending up in the landfill by installing a water filtration system, and consider providing reusable bottles to use for water. Using glass bottles means they can be cleaned in the dishwasher and amount to a great saving.
Single-use plastic straws are detrimental to the environment. By removing any from your holiday home and replacing them with compostable or reusable straws, you’ll be doing your bit to reduce harmful waste and protect the environment.
Consider using upcycled and recycled products in your holiday let. Having a bucket and spade, frisbee and wind breaker are just a few of the items you can keep for guests to use and enjoy, so individual guests don’t have to buy these products on every visit. When purchasing these items, why not look for products made from bio-degradable and eco-friendly materials such as bamboo or recycled products? You can also encourage guests to do their part to keep South Devon beautiful with a 2 minute beach clean. Just 2 minutes spent picking up plastic from our beaches means less will go back into the water, where it has a negative effect on our oceans and wildlife.
Welcome packs are the perfect way to make guests feel at home and welcome in your holiday let. If you provide a welcome pack for your visitors, which includes individual portions of milk and coffee, try to use cardboard or paper packaging which can be recycled. Or, how about changing these to a milk bottle or a jar of coffee that uses sustainable packaging? We also recommend using local suppliers too – not only do guests love to see local products being used in a welcome pack, but you could also reduce carbon emissions. If you’re holiday letting in Devon, our team would be happy to recommend some fantastic suppliers in the region.
As most holiday homes are in naturally beautiful and unspoilt areas in the UK, it is certainly in everyone’s best interest to maintain and preserve the environment. Help guests to do their bit by providing them with instructions and facilities to reduce their impact on the environment. The easiest way to do this is to provide them with all the information they need in a guest information pack.
Guests are far more likely to recycle if there are the proper waste disposal bins provided. It’s worth bearing in mind that different areas have different rules, so set out clear instructions as to what your local council requires in order to effectively recycle waste.
Most people have their own reusable shopping bags but guests might simply have left theirs at home. Provide reusable eco-conscious bags so that when your guests head out on a shopping trip to stock up on supplies, they will not end up using single-use plastic bags.
Not only are the chemicals in many cleaning products harmful for the environment, but their packaging ends up in landfill. These days, there are many eco-friendly options on the market with as much cleaning power as their chemical counterparts. At Coast & Country Cottages, our property owners have the option to supply an eco-friendly cleaning starter pack for guests, which comes wrapped in a reusable cleaning cloth to reduce waste.
Encourage guests to shop local. Fresh, locally sourced food makes holidays memorable, so provide guests with details of local grocers, farmers markets and companies that provide seasonal organic food boxes, such as Riverford and Alan’s Apple.
Small steps towards sustainability can go a long way in making your holiday home eco-friendly, whilst cutting long-term costs and creating a unique selling point for your property. As travellers are opting for more environmentally friendly ways to holiday, there’s no better time to reduce your property’s footprint and create a sustainable letting business.
If you would like more advice on how to make your property eco-friendly, or if you are considering on whether to invest in a holiday let, contact our locally-based team who will be able to help, or click here to download our Owners Guide.