Welcome to the Belvedere Bed & Breakfast
OUR ENIRONMENTAL POLICY
We care about our environment on both a local and worldwide scale. We aim to operate a business that has a minimal negative impact on this environment. With this in mind we have taken the following steps to reduce or eliminate these negative impacts.
The main areas we are currently working on are:-
Limiting the consumption of energy.
Limiting our water usage
Limiting waste products
Favoring the use of recyclable products and those that have a less dangerous effect on the environment.
Promotion and education of the environment.
Promotion of the local environment
1. Limiting the consumption of energy.
We are aiming in the long term to be able to supply at least some of our own energy requirements from renewable sources such as solar heating and electricity generation.
Currently we are installing a wood fired heater that will use wood from the managed forests in our area. This renewable biomass resource will reduce our need for gas heating as well as supporting the local economy.
Our heating is via radiators to all rooms and they are fitted with the latest programmable thermostats to regulate the room temperatures in an independent and efficient manner. The ground floor is heated by a wood fired stove utilising local renewable supplies of wood for combustion.
Guests are requested to refrain from opening windows whilst the heating is operating.
All our windows are double glazed in accordance with the local requirements. In Addition have external shutters to help keep heat in during the winter and to prevent the rooms getting too hot in the summer. We do not have air conditioning, as it is unnecessary.
Our roof is well insulated to prevent heat loss. The floors are of an ancient construction of timber beams with rock forced between them and overlaid with wood, the external walls and the central wall on the ground floor are 90cm thick. (An ancient form of creating “thermal mass”).
Our main heating source currently is a gas-fired boiler that complies to the latest EU efficiency / ecological requirements. This is located in the basement to ensure that all heat that is produced is able to rise up through the house. The flue is embedded into the wall so that the stonework can absorb the residual heat from the exhaust. We are currently looking to replace this with a wood fired boiler and high volumehot water accumulator.
Low consumption class A lighting provides all our illumination. The communal stairway lighting is operated on an automatic shut off timer. This ensures that the lights are not left on excessively. Guests are requested to ensure that they switch off unnecessary lights in their rooms.
Even our fridge is placed centrally in the house against the thick inner wall to ensure that the heat it generates is conducted up through the house. All other heat producing electrical equipment (iron, washing machine and dishwasher) are run at night to further benefit from the residual heating and therefore reduce the requirement for additional heating. (in winter we have to heat from an external temp that reaches -20°C!)
Wooden and tile floors mean that they can be cleaned with a brush or mop. This eliminated the need for electrical vacuum cleaners.
We ensure that all of our computer equipment, printers and other peripheries are “energy star” compliant or equivalent.
2 Limiting water usage .
We are fortunate that we live in an alpine environment where water is plentiful. However we realize that sensible water consumption is better for the environment. To this end all our w.c.'s are fitted with modern low capacity cisterns (less than 6l)which have the ability to be flushed on a half basis as well as a full basis. All our rooms have showers for guest use. The dishwasher is only run when it has a full load and is of the latest class A energy and minimum water consumption. We do not have a swimming pool or other high water consumption devices.
The planters outside the property and in the garden are watered using waste water.
3 Limiting waste products.
We provide “green approved” low impact liquid soap and shower gels in pump dispensers for our guests. This creates much less waste or overuse than with traditional single use sachets and mini soap bars.
Bedding and towels are changed once per week during the guests stay. We will also exchange bedding at the guests request rather than automatically every day. This benefits in the minimal use of detergents and energy use.
Bins are provided in the bathroom to prevent rubbish being thrown down the toilet.
Guests are made aware that we sort rubbish for recycling of paper, plastic and glass. They are also requested to hand in to us any used batteries or medical sharps and used printer cartridges so that they can be disposed of at the local safe collection points for dangerous waste.
We compost organic waste for use in our own garden. This is collected in a separate bin.
Canned drinks are not used in the house. Bulk drink storage in the form of high volume re usable PET or glass bottles is preferred.
Breakfasts are provided “fresh” single portion packages are not used. Again these are extremely wasteful. Even our biscuits and cakes are baked on the premises.
We also recommend to guests to use rechargeable batteries for their portable equipment and can provide a charger if required.
Cleaning products used are “green” approved products bearing the EU environmental logo. They are only used when required and the use of chlorine bleach is severely restricted. “Static charge” dusters are used in preference to chemical polishes and sprays. The antique wooden furniture is waxed with traditional waxes rather than modern synthetic finishes.
Paints used in the property are low emission type paints and all the gloss paint is water based solvent free. This includes the varnish on the wooden double glazed windows and doors.
During the restoration of the house very little was wasted. Anything that could be recycled and re-used was. Building rubble was re used in the garden to form the base for the shed and hard standing area and even 42 tons of soil and rocks from the cellar was re used to landscape the garden.
4 Favoring the use of recyclable products and those that have a less dangerous effect on the environment.
We aim to use wherever possible products that reduce the damage to the environment. We use cleaning products marked a with the EU environmental logo or equivalent. We also try to use traditional products and methods wherever possible. It is important to us that products and services are also purchased/produced locally. Vegetables are bought from local markets and suppliers and their origin confirmed. We do not use or serve genetically modified products and where possible we do not use products containing artificial sweeteners or sugar replacements. Where possible all our food is fresh and freshly prepared from original ingredients. Bread is bought from the local baker or made at home.
As stated before we do not promote the use of “disposable” products be it in the form of canned drinks or sachets of shampoo or even bottled water.
5 Promotion and education of the environment.
Without being “evangelical” about the environment we are happy to advise our guests on how they can make improvements to their lifestyle to reduce their environmental impact. We can also offer guided excursions around the area to enlighten them on the natural habitats we have locally and to explain and demonstrate the impact the mankind has had and currently has on this environment.
We offer alternative and more environmentally friendly winter and summer activities to help promote this and to introduce guests to a healthier lifestyle.
We actively support the SLOW FOOD movement, which promotes biodiversity and good quality food.
We have the facility to provide guests with bicycles so that they can explore the local area without the need of a car and we provide directions to our accommodation for users of public transport.
6 Promotion of the local environment
We believe that it is important to promote the local economy as much as possible. In this we actively promote local businesses to our guests. For eaxample. Working in partnerships with local alpine refuges to develop walking and cycling itineraries. We ensure that we use as much locally produced foodstuffs as possible as well as supporting and utilizing local artisans and manufacturers. We are committed to our area and are continually gaining qualifications to assist in teaching people about it's history, geology and biology and economy.
We are constantly evaluating our impact on the environment and have long term aims to become less dependant on fossil fuels and “dirty” energy. Our environmental statement is constantly under review and in the light of future research and developments will evolve and improve.
Current mid to long term projects include:-
Research into wind power
Solar hot water provision
Solar generated electricity
Biomass hot water heating
If there are any “alternative power” developers out there who need somewhere to test their developments please feel free to contact us.
We all have an impact on the environment.
Just make sure it is POSITIVE!