Our green policy

Proud to have been awarded GOLD by Green Tourism

Our aim is to ensure that the overall effect of the business enhances the local environment and has minimal detrimental impact on the wider environment, now and in the future. We have been awarded GOLD from the Green Tourism Business Scheme. You can learn more about the GTBS scheme at www.green-business.co.uk.

Completed in 2012, the design ethos for The Green House was to create a unique property, specifically designed for short stay holiday accommodation and to be as sustainable as possible.  The central design concept was to maximise thermal integrity i.e. prevent warm air escaping.  This was achieved by super-insulating the foundations, wall and roof cavities and ensuring that the building is as close to leak proof as possible. Heat and hot water – when required in the winter months – is provided by a 5 KW wood burning stove, which in a traditional house would be sufficient to heat just one moderately sized room.  A heat recovery and circulation system ensures the Green House is properly ventilated and the heat is distributed evenly around the house.  Solar gain through the large windows provides additional heat, as does cooking, showering and indeed body heat.  Nothing goes to waste. From spring through to autumn a highly efficient solar system provides hot water, which is stored in a thickly insulated tank that keeps the water hot for up to 24 hours. Conversely the overhanging roof ensures that the solar gain is not oppressive in the summer. The result is a low energy building that maintains an even temperature throughout the year, thereby minimising its carbon footprint.

Green Practices in Daily Use

  • Electricity is provided by Good Energy who provide 100% renewable power
  • Water is heated by solar panels on the roof
  • The stove is fuelled by sustainable wood
  • Water usage is monitored using a meter
  • A water butt harvests rainwater from the roof which is used to water the garden and indoor plants
  • The green roof allows captures around 80% of rainwater, reducing the load on the local municipal water system
  • Taps are fitted with aerators
  • Lavatory cisterns are small
  • Shower has reduced flow
  • Comprehensive facilities and instructions are provided for guests to recycle their waste, from an outdoor compost bin to separate boxes to sort waste into

Guest communication

By belonging to the GTBS as well as advertising on Responsible Travel, we target customers with an interest in the environment and sustainable tourism.

We also market via our own website, which is designed to both attract and educate potential customers about green building and sustainable tourism.

We keep the use of paper to a minimum, with the majority of communication with guests and prospective guests being via email.

We aim to raise awareness of green practices with notices, appropriate facilities and information located in the Green House.

Nature

The sedum roof creates a bio diverse habitat for insects and other wildlife, bird feeders attract a variety of species, all of which can be identified by guests with guides & binoculars and then recorded in the Nature Diary. We plan to continue the development of the garden to make it attractive to insects in particular.

Local Area

Alongside our Visit Scotland Membership we are also members of the “Walkers Welcome and Cyclists Welcome” scheme, providing drying and storage facilities. Local walks booklets and OS maps are also provided.

With minimal light pollution this area is excellent for star gazing.  Star charts are provided.

We are members of the Ettrick & Yarrow Tourism Group, which promotes and supports tourism enterprises in the local area.

We support the local school, Kirkhope Primary School, by volunteering and supporting their eco-events and their continued efforts in securing Green Flags through the Eco Schools Scheme.

The comprehensive local information folder contains a wealth of information on visitor attractions, local food and craft suppliers, restaurants, etc.

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Guest comments

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What a fantastic house, well equipped and really clean. Brilliant welcome cake, eggs & jam! Verity & Mark very friendly. We had great days out – Alnwick Castle definitely worth a visit – and nice to come home, have dinner and watch sheep, chickens & wildlife. No hesitation in booking again & recommending to friends. Thanks for a great holiday. The M Family, Aberdeen

July 2016 10/03/2017