Sunnyside Guest House Sustainability Policy
Sunnyside Sustainability Policy
The Sunnyside is one of twenty-five B&Bs across the UK to be awarded the coveted Gold Award by the Review Panel of world-leading sustainability accreditation partner, Green Tourism.
Achieving a Green Tourism award indicates that our dedication to sustainable practices has been officially verified by a reliable source. Green Tourism has reviewed our operations according to fifteen different sustainability criteria across three major areas; People, Places, and Planet. These consider the social, economic, and environmental actions we undertake, providing a holistic assessment of our sustainability performance.
Some of the actions that we have taken to responsibly lessen our impact on the environment include:
- We separate recyclable and none recyclable waste including paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, tin and batteries. Once sorted the recycled waste is sent off for processing.
- We have installed heated towel rails in all of our bathrooms to make it easy for guests to reuse towels.
- Provide in-room signage to encourage the reuse of towels.
- Rather than disposing of old towels, they become rags for cleaning.
- Our cleaning cloths are washed and reused rather than using disposable wipes and cloths.
- Many items of furniture have been given away to people locally rather than taken to landfills. Old bedding has been donated to an animal charity who use them for dogs bedding.
- We use refillable ink cartridges for our printer.
- Recycling bins are now available in our guest rooms as well as communal areas.
Reusable rather than disposable (Electronic rather than printed)
- The in-room hospitality tray is stocked with reusable coffee mugs, glasses and spoons rather than plasticware, paper, or styrofoam.
- In the bathroom we use liquid refillable soaps and body wash rather than single-use toiletries.
- Since the start of the pandemic, we have been using a guest management system. This has allowed customers to check in remotely and online reducing paper. Since the introduction of this system, the majority of guests no longer print booking confirmations to present at the counter.
- Guests are not required to print or show confirmations of booking.
- We ask guests if they would like a receipt to save paper.
- Substantial effort has been placed on reducing waste, with a recent focus on paper and plastic reduction. We don’t always use conventional ways to package our items. For example;
- we bottle our own milk using reusable bottles which saves 5,000 plastic milk potions per year
- we use compossible bags which saves in excess of 2,500 plastic bags per year
- our jam is served in reusable glass jars which saves 700 plastic portions per year
- we bottle our own water in re-usable glass bottles, which saves over 3,250 plastic bottles per year.
- We make a lot of our own homemade eco-friendly cleaning products and reuse spray bottles.
- All our toilets are fitted with a dual flush option helping reduce water consumption.
- All of our guest rooms have the option of a shower. Showers have a reduced water consumption in comparison to baths.
- Where we have baths in en-suites, smaller 1500mm baths have been installed which helps reduce water consumption.
- We conduct regular maintenance checks for leaks and ensure bath and basin plugs are in full working order.
- We ensure washing machines are fully loaded before use.
- We plant drought – resistant / low maintenance plants which help reduce overall water requirements. Where possible we grow our own plants from seed, reusing previous years pots.
- Aerators are fitted to all bathroom taps to help create a mixture of water and air, making the stream smoother and helping reduce water usage.
- Washing machines are A+++ rated. They are also 1400 spin speed which reduces drying times. This model is also designed to reduce water consumption.
- A pressurised hot water cylinder has been installed providing an instant hot water circulation loop. As a result, the taps don’t have to run for a period until hot water comes through.
- New kettles have been installed within 6 rooms that have clear markings to help customers boil the water they are going to consume. The kettles are also smaller, reducing water consumption.
- Dining tables have wipeable tops to reduce the washing of tablecloths.
Heating and cooling
- Boilers are serviced every 12 months to ensure they are running efficiently
- All bedroom radiators are fitted with a thermostat and have been replaced with convection radiators. The convection radiators are fitted with fins and insulated foil backing making them more efficient than the old flat panel radiators.
- Fins on the radiators are cleaned regularly, this cleans the airways making the radiator more efficient.
- We ensure radiators in rooms are turned off when unoccupied.
- Separate boilers have been installed to service different floors of the building. We try to fill one floor before opening the next. This helps reduce energy consumption.
- Radiators are fitted with Aladdin auto air valves negating the need for bleeding the radiators and ensuring they are always running efficiently.
- We have recently installed blinds to the windows, this helps regulate the temperature within the rooms, keeping them cool during the summer. This is most helpful in our front south-facing rooms reducing the use of fans to cool guests. In addition, all curtains in guest rooms are lined for their thermal qualities but are also blackout to block the sun on warmer days.
- 8 of our 10 bedrooms have been insulated with 400mm insulation to keep rooms warm during the winter months. We use Knauf Eko Insulation which is “one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable products around – it’s made using recycled glass”
- Double glazing has been installed throughout the building, with the exception of situations where it is necessary to comply with fire safety regulations.
- Draft excluders on the bottom of bedroom doors to reduce drafts and keep the bedrooms warm.
- We have offset the carbon footprint by helping support a small-scale hydro-electricity project in India.
Electrical appliances and energy consumption
- All lights throughout the building including shaving lights and bedside lights are LED.
- Washing machines are A+++ rated and have 1400 spin speed to reduce drying times.
- During summer months all washing is dried naturally on the line. We have a drying space on communal land at the back of the property.
- New kettles that have been installed within 6 rooms are low energy / fast boil. The kettles have a widget inside that allows you to boil exactly the right amount of water that you plan to consume, which helps to reduce energy consumption.
- The fridges installed in the rooms are A+ energy efficient.
- We don’t have electric showers; we have a pumped heated water cylinder with instant hot water.
- We operate a ‘switch off’ policy by turning off TV’s, computer equipment and our printer when not in use.
- We completed an electricity audit and tested appliance efficiency using an appliance meter. We cut 20-25% from our base electricity supply by replacing inefficient appliances and turning down thermostats. The biggest saving was taken by removing two old and very inefficient freezers and replacing them with a new chest freezer. We also swapped our old dryer for a new heat pump tumble dryer.
- The LED TV’s used in our bedrooms have an average consumption of 31w when switched on which is around half the usage of a traditional light bulb. When on standby they use 0.3w.
- Our electrical supply is now from 100% renewable sources.
- In-room signage is in place to encourage switching off lights and appliances when they aren’t in use.
- Our outdoor and porch lights are solar-powered.
- Unused or leftover food is given away locally to prevent wastage.
- We have a good stock rotation system in place so food going out of date soonest is used first which helps prevent food wastage.
- When we purchase food from supermarkets we often walk to the shops. We don’t drive a car.
- We purchase free-range eggs from a local farm.
- We purchase fruit and vegetables from a local farm when its in season.
- Waste oil from the kitchen is recycled.
- Our tea’s and coffees are purchased from ethical sources.
- Our sugar sachets available on the in-room hospitality tray are from fairly traded sources.
- We have joined the “Guardians of Grub” to help reduce our food wastage. We have initially committed to reducing our food wastage over the next 12 months by 20%, something we are well on track to achieve. Once we have reached this target, we aim to reduce our food waste by 50% by 2030 in line with the global waste reduction targets set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 and are further defined by the UK’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.
- We have been donating items such as excess homemade cakes to the food bank, helping those in need.
- We now make our own jams and ketchup along with other homemade food. We package items such as jams and ketchup in reusable packaging instead of single-use plastic. We now provide a healthier product with fewer preservatives. Ingredients that are harmful to guests with allergies and intolerance have been avoided. We sell some of our homemade goods with the proceeds going to charity.
- We have increased the amount of produce we purchase from local independent suppliers and farms. This has greatly reduced our food miles, for example our bacon previously came from Denmark and it now comes from Aigburth which is around 20 miles away (as the crow flies). Buying direct from the farm also means we know the origins of our food and the farmer gets a fairer deal.
- We have calculated the carbon footprint for each dish on our breakfast menu so customers can make informed decisions about what they eat and the impact it has upon the environment.
- Going home-made means, we can offer a greater number of vegetarian options that are better for the environment, and we can use the same ingredients in many dishes to prevent spoilage and in turn food waste.