Caring for the Planet
As a family company offering holidays in the West Country, we are very aware how precious our environment is to both us and our guests. It is fragile and we must all do our bit to preserve it.
This goes beyond just land, sea and air but extends to communities, history and culture. Our business can harm all of these or help them. We want to minimise the harm and maximise the benefit so we have looked hard at every aspect of our business.
Classic Green Scheme
We have created the Classic Green scheme, which identifies environmentally friendly properties within our portfolio. The owners of these properties have put a number of green measures in place ranging from composting and buying local produce for the welcome tray to subscribing to green energy tariffs and installing energy efficient heating systems, as well as meeting a core of basic requirements.
Our offices have been thoroughly audited – within the confines of the conservation needs of a Grade II Listed Georgian town house – and we have done all we can to reduce energy usage and recycling is now second nature for everything from batteries to mobile phones and computers. Cars are significant polluters and we cover a lot of miles seeking out new cottages and keeping tabs on the existing ones. That requires a fleet that can handle the mileage, but we still manage to keep the emissions below 119 g/km. However careful we are, it is inevitable that we will have an impact and we offset this with donations to Cool Earth (www.coolearth.org) to help preserve the rainforests and a four year rolling programme of donations to the Woodland Trust (www.woodland-trust.org.uk) to dedicate and protect an acre of woodland in each of the four counties in our territory.
Our own efforts can only ever be relatively modest because we do not own the properties we market. Our greatest impact is by helping and inspiring the Owners of some 700 properties in their environmental endeavours. To that end we have researched and produced a 32 page guide for the Owners of holiday homes to help them decide where they want to be on the green spectrum. It is backed up by an interactive Web site (www.classicgreen.co.uk) which also has a set of forums to keep the debate up-to-date.
We like to become involved in local events and charities where we think that we can make a difference. Sponsorships include the St Agnes Surf Life Saving Club nippers and the Constantine Guitar Symposium and charities close to our heart include Cornwall Hospice Care, Shelterbox and Cancer Research.
Keep it local
Over the last few years the West Country has edged the image of cream teas and pasties to one side and forged a reputation for good food. That is not just in the pubs and restaurants, but through dedicated local producers displaying their goods in a host of farm shops and markets. So winkle them out when you visit to enjoy that special something that you get from food that has never seen a motorway and bask in the satisfaction that you are also putting something back into the local economy. Our guide Web site will help you: www.classicguide.co.uk.
- Monitor and minimise waste, and reuse and recycle as much as possible.
- Use Forestry Stewardship Council 100% recycled paper internally and in our publications wherever technically possible.
- Use energy responsibly in our business operations, buildings and vehicles, and use an energy supplier that actively invests in new renewable energy sources.
- Promote environmental efficiency in our business travel and transport.
- Carbon offset by directly contributing to initiatives like The Woodland Trust and Cool Earth.
- Promote best practice to holiday home owners within and outside our portfolio (www.classicgreen.co.uk).
- Support initiatives aimed at raising the profile of environmental issues.
- Use local suppliers wherever practicable.
- Encourage our visitors to consider their environmental impact and support local producers and attractions when on holiday.
What can you do?
- Keep it local. Winkle out local shops and farmers' markets. Our Classic Guide Web site (www.classicguide.co.uk) gives ideas for your area.
- Recycle. Please use recycling facilities where available. The Recycle Now Web site (www.recyclenow.com) details recycling centres near your cottage.
- Be energy aware. Simply closing windows and turning off heating and appliances when you are out makes an enormous difference. It is good for the environment and will delight your hosts.
- Leave the car at home. Lots of the loveliest parts of the West Country are best explored on foot or by bike; again, go to www.classicguide.co.uk for inspiration.
- Please leave only your footprints and, if you see any litter and are feeling brave, put it in the bin.
Recycling when on holiday
The "Recycle Now" Web site provides general information about recycling and may help you to identify recycling centres near your holiday cottage.Recycle Now >