The Reynolds family, who run The Traddock Hotel at Austwick, near Settle, received a Silver Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme in 2011 … but now they hope to turn it into gold.
Their Silver Award was recognition of their efforts, since they bought the hotel in 2002, to show that you can be both green and offer luxurious accommodation (the hotel has been named by the Good Food Guide as Country Hotel of the Year 2014) with outstanding food.
They hadn't even heard about the Green Tourism Business Scheme until someone from the National Park mentioned it to them. Filling in the paperwork and going through the inspection process helped them realise how far they had travelled down the eco-hotel route already but it also acted as a driver for them to go still further.
They found the scheme's inspector gave them some useful advice and, with typical positivity, they acted on it straightaway.
Paul Reynolds, one of the four family partners in the business, says: "She recommended an excellent local pork supplier that we now use for all our bacon and sausages, told us how we could recycle our ink cartridges for charity, which we are doing now, and gave us some thought-provoking ideas about reducing water usage and tap speed."
Going for gold
The next time they are reassessed they are hoping for a Gold Award, partly because they installed two state-of-the-art wood pellet boilers in July 2013. The cost was £44,000 but Paul believes they will cut the cost of heating by £3,000 a year compared with the old oil system. Even better, he expects to receive £14,000 a year for the next 20 years from the Government's Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme. It also means that, even if the temperature falls to below -14 degrees, as it has done in recent years, the boilers will be able to cope.
External laundry bills, that used to run up to £14,000 a year, are a thing of the past as the hotel now has its own highly energy efficient, in-house laundry which is due to be enhanced in 2014.
They have changed some of the old fibreglass insulation to sheep's wool insulation as part of an ongoing programme and have replaced more than half their conventional lighting with LED lighting. Electricity costs have been pegged at earlier levels, even though the hotel is busier than before and electricity prices have gone up.
Cutting glass waste by 40 per cent
Other initiatives have been proving their worth and will continue. After introducing a water purification system, the hotel now bottles all its own still and sparkling water, cutting down on glass waste by 40 per cent and saving over £4,000 a year. All used glass is recycled.
Cardboard and paper waste is crushed and baled and donated to a local project that sells the cardboard to a local recycler, the funds raised going towards keeping Settle Swimming Pool open. Plastic and metal containers are crushed, baled and recycled.
Meanwhile, food is sourced locally wherever possible from suppliers such as Growing with Grace, a community co-operative at Clapham two miles away, which is linked to another co-operative that collects the hotel's kitchen oil to be recycled into bio-diesel.
Finally, in a move to encourage green transport, the hotel offers bike racks for guests and a lockable nighttime storage facility for cyclists and kits to repair or service their bikes.Contact Paul Reynolds on 015242 51224 or visitwww.thetraddock.co.uk