At The Chestnuts we are making a contribution to preserving the environment and reducing global warming. We are members Green Tourism and are proud to hold their Gold Award. Details of the scheme can be found at www.green-tourism.com
Eco Chic Cottages is also holder of the Silver Cotswold Tourism Award for 2015 for its sustainable efforts and was runner up in The Unique Holiday Awards for Best Eco Self Catering Holiday Property 2014.
We also run our business as a Carbon Neutral Enterprise and offset any carbon emissions that we can not eliminate with the company co2balance, who audit us annually.
We are happy with the help of Co2Balance to offset the carbon emissions of your journey to The Chestnuts. Please feel free to ask for details when you book.
Everyone can be a little Greener if they try to reduce their water usage, reduce waste and conserve energy. We know you are on holiday and we want you to have an indulgent time here, we truly believe we have managed to create a place where luxury and sustainability meet, so you wont have to cut anything out whilst you are here or compromise your holiday in any way.
Some examples of what we do are listed below:
Being kinder to the Planet
We are acutely aware that everything we do at The Chestnuts and all the chemicals we use to maintain it, have an impact, and so we are trying to be as kind to the environment as possible. We undertake where possible to buy natural fabrics and to purchase from sustainable and Fair Trade sources. We garden organically. We provide f only cleansing products that are made from natural ingredients and those that biodegrade easily and harmlessly.
The house itself was built in a time when shelter was the main priority but we are fortunate in the Cotswolds to have houses made of local, natural materials. Because Cotswold stone walls are so thick, they keep the heat out in summer and the heat in during the winter. However, since arriving at The Chestnuts we have increased the insulation in the loft and replaced many of the windows with double glazed units. We have insulated the floors and istalled underfloor heating. Our Nest Thermostat learning systems means we use the most efficient amount of energy to heat our home.
We use energy efficient light bulbs and have installed an on-demand condensing water heater which is more efficient than a regular system.
When we purchase new appliances we try to buy the most energy efficient items we can.
If you do need to hire a car for your stay though, we have teamed with Green Motion, the worlds first fully environmentally friendly rental company. You can also explore the area by Bike. Pick up a bike for a full or half day hire from the Filkins Woollen weavers, just a short drive from The Chestnuts. There is plenty of parking for your car and there is no better way to explore the countryside. We also have an electric car charging point
We know our two baths and large shower rose are not great for saving water, but we want you to be able to indulge in a long luxurious bath or drenching shower - just maybe think about sharing it - for the environment’s benefit of course! We have also recently installed two dual flushing toilets.
With changing rainfall patterns in England we have redesigned the garden to be drought tolerant. We have replaced the lawn with shingle and have designed the flower beds so that they need never be dug, weeded or watered. The soil is covered with black breathable fabric to let water in but to retain as much ground water as possible and this is further enhanced by a thick layer of bark mulch on top. We also capture water from the roof to water the herb and flower tubs. We make every effort to garden organically.
Green initiatives in the area
In association with the West Oxfordshire District Council, we are taking part in the Step into The Cotswolds Scheme. The scheme is designed to raise funds for projects that will conserve the Cotswolds as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and assist with the maintenance of footpaths and dry stone walls . For every booking we make a donation to the scheme. Additionally with the profit from the sale of our own postcards, cards and voluntary donations for use of the telephone and wireless internet, we are also supporting local wildlife projects within the village. We have raised funds to buy bird boxes for Shilton. We hold fund raising events during the year for these projects.
Shilton is still one of the rare areas where you can be lucky enough to see barn owls sweep over the hedgerows. These majestic creatures have been in decline for many years, due to a loss of habitat and nesting sites. The garden at The Chestnuts is not suitable for the erection of a barn owl box even though we would love to have one, so instead we support the care of our own barn owls - Hazel, Valentine and lucky Ernest - via the Barn Owl Trust (www.barnowltrust.org.uk) A bat however is much smaller than an owl and so we have installed a bat box on the side of the house which we hope will soon become inhabited. Bats are also endangered in the UK.
We believe that giving back is part of being good to the planet and in the past we have donated ducks to families in Laos via the charity Care, as well as supporting a young ladies education in Africa with World Vision. We also support a young boy in Cambodia. My husband, stepson and I continue to raise funds for various charities such as Kids for Kids by taking part in events. Kids for Kids supplies kid goats to families in Darfur. We would like to thank all those who have supported us in our fund raising efforts, we couldn't do it without you.
Encouraging others to experience how easy it is to care about The Planet
We like to spread the word as much as possible and lead by example, showing our guests how easy it is to contribute by only slight changes in how we go about our daily lives.
We know there is much more that we can do to be greener at The Chestnuts and that our house is not a perfect example of green living but we will try with every season to improve.
For your information here is our
Environmental and Social Responsibility Charter
At The Chestnuts we are committed to working in a sustainable way.
We are undertaking the following actions in order to achieve this.
· We comply with the requirements of environmental legislation and approved codes of practice.
· We continuously seek to improve our environmental and social performance.
· We reduce pollution, emissions and waste
· We reduce the use of energy, water and other resources
· We raise awareness, encourage participation and train employees in sustainable business practices
· We expect similar environmental standards from all suppliers and contractors
· We assist customers to use products and services in an environmentally sensitive way.
· We liaise with the local community
· We have minimised our risks associated with social and environmental issues
· We have joined the GreenTourism as an indicator of our sustainable practices.