One of the comments from the judges of the Cornwall Tourism Awards was that it might be a nice idea to share some of things that we do, so that even if you unable to come and stay with us, at you can join in from where you are!
So, we are going to share some of things that work – and don’t work, over a series of blogs….
We have our soap made for us by Sarah and her team at The Clovelly Soap Company – www.theclovellysoapcompany.com. We chose Sarah because she has an excellent sustainability page on the website, detailing how they work and source their products. The soaps are wrapped in paper which we compost, and it was Sarah that came up with the idea of travel tins. We had a problem initially in that our guests were leaving their soaps behind after only using a part of them. We did take them and grate them into other cleaning products, but there are only so many things to clean with soap, especially as now we mainly use steam to sterilise and clean everything. So we put the soaps in tins – and the guests still left them, unsure as to whether they should take them or not! The solution was a little note explaining what we had done, and asked them to please take them and continue to reuse. The Clovelly Soap Company will also sell full size bars, or more travel ones if guests like them. The shampoo bars have had mixed success – guests with longer or thicker hair aren’t always convinced, but we think it’s a question of finding a solid product that you like and that works for you – at least they save on plastic packaging!
And while we’re still in the bathroom, we’ve found the introduction of shower timers are a great hit! They are discreetly placed on the shelf under the sink – no one is forced to join in, but guests have reported competitions between partners, and they have bought them when they have got home and continued to use them! This idea was inspired to a trip to South Africa – Capetown was weeks away from becoming ‘dry’ – and the authorities introduced fines and the ‘2 min shower challenge’ to try to prevent the disaster happening. Guests are lucky – I couldn’t find 2 mins, so they all have 3 mins instead!
Water consumption is obviously linked. Although we have our own borehole, we believe the best way to save water is not to use it in the first place! We have turned the flow to our water system down, and suggest that if you have to shampoo hair, you turn the shower off in between to save all that water running down the drain…… We’ve heard it called a ‘ship shower’ a ‘navy shower’ a ‘marine shower’, so that gives a clue to its origin…. It really makes a difference – try and see!
Finally in the bathroom…… we have debated on the best choice of toilet paper – constantly agonising over the best sustainable choice. We have narrowed it down to two brands – ‘Cheeky Panda’ www.uk.cheekypanda.com a BCorps company (more on that in another blog) which ensures very high ethical and sustainable credentials, and using bamboo which is a fast growing crop, although we are uncomfortable with shipping and production costs…… we have also been using Serious tissues www.serioustissues.com, who are a UK based manufacturing company who use 100% recycled paper, but we feel the quality isn’t quite good enough (who cares I hear you groan – its only loo roll), and that matters because the thinner it is, the more gets used, the lest cost effective it is….
We are switching over our towels from Egyptian Cotton to a mixture of Bamboo/Cotton as the bamboo dries more quickly and has anti bacterial qualities. The decision is not perfect as all cotton uses vast amounts of water in its production and we do worry that the explosion in bamboo being a new ‘wonder product’, will have consequences to the global environment if care isn’t taken – only time will tell, but we will keep on doing our research!