At Nant yr Onnen Barn and Cabin we are committed to living and working in a responsible and sustainable way. This commitment is reflected in an approach which seeks to make the most effective and efficient use of resources. We are working towards becoming carbon neutral.
We installed a micro-hydro generation scheme in 2008 which regularly generates up to 4kW of electricity which feeds into the grid. (Tim is happy to give guests a tour if they are interested.) We monitor our use of energy and maximise the efficiency with which it is used. We use a green electricity supplier (Green Energy), low energy light bulbs and eliminate unnecessary energy use wherever possible. We switch off all unused lights, use the low-temperature quick-wash settings on the dishwashers and washing machines, and encourage guests to do likewise.
Our water supply is spring-fed and we encourage all guests and visitors to minimise their use of water. We have installed dual-flush toilets in our own home and in the Barn, while the Cabin has a compost toilet that doesn’t use any water at all.
Environmentally friendly cleaning materials are used throughout. We use E-cloths, E-towels (and elbow-grease!) wherever possible in place of cleaning products. We provide samples of Ecover washing up liquid and encourage guests to take them home to try out for themselves. Towels and bedding are expected to be reused for stays shorter than one week.
The Barn is insulated with Thermafleece (sheep’s wool) and Warmcell (waste newspaper). The main heat source is a wood burning stove which uses fuel sourced either from our own property, waste wood from hedge-laying and fallen wood from the local forest (collected with permission). All windows and doors are double glazed. Renovations and improvements are undertaken in a sensitive and eco-friendly way. We source oak and larch locally for new building projects such as wood stores.
We endeavour to recycle & reuse as much as possible. All paper, card, glass, plastic, cans and printer cartridges are recycled. We support social economy organisations and charity shops to recycle materials as appropriate. We compost all food waste.
When buying new products we look for products with minimal packaging, produced and transported in the most eco-friendly ways. We source everything as locally as possible. We endeavour to use Fairtrade products such as tea, sugar and coffee, in order to support equitable trading operations around the world.
We encourage guests to use public transport and bicycles as much as practically possible. The information provided to guests in advance includes rail and bus timetables, and the contact details of bike hire shops and local taxi companies. We provide covered secure bike storage facilities on-site and maps of walks from our door so guests can give their car a rest. We also have an electric car charging point on-site which guests are welcome to use free of charge.
We avoid the use of artificial fertilisers, weed killers and insecticides, and wildlife habitat conservation is actively pursued. We have planted over 200 native trees in our 2.5 acre garden, including several varieties of willows, apples, plums and buddleias, as well as propagating local hazel, oak and ash.
We use electronic methods of distributing information as much as possible. Where distribution of information on printed paper is essential, we will always use recycled paper and print double-sided.
We are continually looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact, however small or large they may be.