How to celebrate zero waste week

How to celebrate zero waste week

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We all know that it’s just not sustainable any longer to be a throwaway society, and here in the Lakes we’re especially aware of the need to look after our precious and very beautiful environment.

That’s why we will be celebrating Zero Waste Week, (September 3-7),  a grassroots campaign raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste.

It’s been happening for ten years, thanks to the efforts of Rachelle Strauss, founder of MyZeroWaste.com and ZeroWasteWeek.co.uk. Both are leading websites for helping householders and business reduce landfill waste.

We are passionate here about recycling and other green initiatives, and you might recall that we were awarded with the accolade of best small hotel, national and international, for our sustainable efforts, by the Considerate Hoteliers organisation. We know it’s possible to run a luxury hotel on environmentally-friendly principles.

So you, our guests, might be interested to know what goes on behind the scenes here when we are planning for your visits. You’ll know that we ask you to switch off lights that you’re not using, and you will see in your room that we provide fresh Lake District water in our own glass bottles.

You might also notice that all plastic bottles have gone, and plastic straws too.  Paper, biodegradable  straws are now being used, and we reprocess our water bottles using the Eco Pure Water filter system, which reduces recycling waste too.

Our currently waste to landfill is approximately 33% of what is collected weekly.  We’re constantly reducing this by composting food waste in our hot-bin, so food waste - which is already minimal - should take this figure down by another 5%. We no longer use centrefeed paper in the kitchen for cleaning; all chefs are now using J cloths and tea towels which we wash in house.

As we are a small hotel with just 10 rooms and 22 covers in the restaurant we are able to manage food waste very effectively.  Our team of chefs prepare food freshly for diners, and portion sizes are monitored very carefully so that we see minimal “scrapings” coming back on the plate from guests.

We do have to nag at our food suppliers, though,  and ask them very firmly to consider how they package what they deliver to us. Our environmental considerations should be theirs as well.

But there’s one area close to Caroline’s heart particularly. She loves clothes. And there seems to be always another occasion on the horizon when she MUST have a new dress (it’s your fault we keeping winning awards, and need to go to glitzy award ceremonies!) So now she’s thinking carefully about what to do with her old clothes. Charity shops locally come top of the list, along with dress agencies.

And if you have clothes you no longer want or need, then it is possible to recycle them without contributing to the millions of tonnes of fabrics that end up in landfill. Many charities organise kerbside recycling, so you’re helping them as well as having a clear out. And if you sell old clothes on ebay, remember you can always nominate to contribute a percentage of your fee to a named charity.

It’s just a question of changing habits. We might not manage it perfectly, but with determination we can make zero waste week a real success – every week.

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