At Culls Cottage we are making a contribution to preserving the environment and reducing global warming in as many ways as we can. Both Culls Cottage and its sister Cottage The Chestnuts are members of the Green Tourism and both properties are proud to hold their Gold Award. Details of this scheme and the measures we are taking 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 and put a portion of our contribution to the planting of trees on land adjacent to Summercombe wood in Somerset and invest in Energy Efficient Stove projects in Africa.
We are happy with the help of Co2Balance to offset the carbon emissions of your journey to Culls Cottage as part of our booking fee. 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 sustainablilty 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
We have provided recycle bins and there is also a compost caddy in the kitchen. We provide a waste bin in the garden for all compostable waste, which is collected by the local authority to make compost.
In our fight to cut back on the use of Plastic bags we have provided you with reusable shopping bags that we would love you to use throughout your stay.
Being kinder to the Planet
We are acutely aware that everything we do at Culls Cottage 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 have also decided to use and provide for our guests only 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 Culls Cottage we have increased the insulation in the roof, insulated many of the floors and put in under-floor heating.
We have tried wherever possible to use energy efficient light bulbs and have installed an on demand condensing water heater which is more efficient than a regular on demand boiler or traditional storage 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, we have joined up 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 Culls Cottage. There is plenty of parking for your car and there is no better way to explore the countryside.
We know our bath 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 installed two dual flushing toilets.
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 .With the profit from the sale of our own postcards and voluntary donations for use of the telephone and wireless internet support this charity. We have recently raised funds to buy bird boxes for Shilton village. We hold fund raising events during the year for these projects and over the years we have raised enough money to purchase nesting boxes for the village and our local bird expert David was kind enough to erect them for us in the heart of the village by the river. Our Oxfordshire Art weeks events have also raised funds to help The Shilton Baptist church that had a severe case of dry rot and we have raised funds for other local chariities including the Shilton Conservation Fund.
Southrop is still one of the rare areas where you can be lucky enough to see barn owls sweep over the hedgerows on the outskirts of the village. These majestic creatures have been in decline for many years, due to a loss of habitat and nesting sites. The garden at Culls Cottage 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 ows - Hazel, Earnest and Valentine - via the Barn Owl Trust (www.barnowltrust.org.uk)
Forging local links and using local craftsmen
Over the years we have been lucky to have meet a large number of local craftsmen who have all the skills necessary to keep the Cotswolds and its unique cottages in good repair. Culls Cottage is the first listed building we have been lucky enough to own and this has led to us working with an even more specialist team. Below are some of the great craftsmen we had on site.
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 now 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 Culls Cottage and that our house is not a perfect example of green living but we will try with every season to improve.
Here is our
Environmental and Social Responsibility Charter
At Eco Chic Cottages 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 Green Tourism Business Scheme as an indicator of our sustainable practices.