Memberships:


RSPB   Members   -  Coop Visa card linked to give donations from use to RSPB

Banking - with Cooperative Bank for personal and business accounts. They have sound environmental and ethical investment policies

WWF members

Portobello 2000 Traders’ Association (involvement in local initiatives)

Green Tourism Business Scheme - Winners of Gold Award

Keep Edinburgh Clean - Winners of Gold Award

VisitScotland Sustainable Tourism project

Members of Prince’s Mayday Network committed to tackling effects of climate change

Members of C.A.T. (Centre for Alternative Technology)

Participants in campaign P.O.N.G.S. Initiative to prevent a waste treatment plant proposal which would scar local community

Members of Edinburgh Fair Trade Register

Electricity with Ovo on Green tariff guaranteed to fund 100% renewables


Re-cycling:


Separation of paper, cans, plastic, card and glass waste and deposit at re-cycling centres

Composting of leaves

Composting of plant materials etc cardboard and recyclable food waste

Rose and grass cuttings to next door church caretaker who composts on greater scale

Larger items e.g. dead rose bushes etc to Local Authority re-cycling at Seafield

Re-use of the rear of fliers, routine letters etc for copies and scrap paper

Use of re-cycled paper for menus

Re-use of menus for local maps, menu pads for dining room etc

Use of re-cycled products (paper towels, toilet rolls)

Old clothes, toys, guests’ abandoned goods etc to charities

Old furniture etc to Elvon for re-use in community

Use of re-fillable liquid soap containers at whb’s

Re-cycling of soap bars using “soap sams” for own use

Use of rechargeable batteries and re-charging of ordinary batteries

Old towels re-used for dusters, cleaning cloths etc.

All jams and marmalades home made and butter in “pats”saving on packaging

Energy conservation:

Use of long life low energy bulbs

Timers to cut down lights in public areas only when needed

Dimmer switches

Outside light on motion detection

Savaplugs for, good seals on, and regular de-frosting of freezers/refrigerators

“A” rated appliances for ALL w/machines, driers, refigerators and freezers

Replacing room kettles with smaller models

Monitoring and adjustment of timer and central thermostat for hot water and c/heating to optimise, gauging numbers of guests and occupancy and times of day when in

Modern Bosch high efficiency c/h boiler installed to increase fuel efficiency from circa 65% to circa 95%

Radiators off when room not used (eg. Diningroom after breakfast until next morning)

Use of radiator thermostats to cut down unnecessary heat dissipation

Reflectors behind radiators to optimise heat distribution

Double glazing

Monitoring room bookings and use so that in quiet times use restricted to one or two floors to cut down heating use by shutting down areas

Self-closers on doors

Use of efficient oil-filled radiator for local heat for ourselves to restrict c/heating times

Use of time button switches on bathroom heaters to cut down wasteful use

Hot water tanks:

Two separate tanks – one for lower house so less requires to be heated when house not full. Tanks re-sited to provide better protection against cold and additional lagging and insulation fitted.

Additional insulation fitted when re-decoration and maintenance done to increase heat retention efficiency

Thermostats inside hot water tanks adjusted so heat output is not too high

Miraclites in fridges to cut electricity use by lowering thermostat

Quooker hot water tap considerably more efficient than equivalent hot water urn or kettles.– Using up hot and cold water for own use during day

Now studying feasibility of solar panels for water heating


Garden:


Planted out for birds and other creatures (Denser bushes to give cover for birds, butterfly bushes,etc.)

Bird table and bird feeding and water (particularly in Winter) for drinking and baths

Composting of waste materials

Bird nest boxes for tits and robin

Water butt for rainwater collection


Water and waste:


Installation of low water usage dual flush toilets

Encouraging guests to re-use towels

Use of environmentally friendly cleaning agents to cut down harmful wastes

Showers in all ensuites instead of baths cut down energy (and water) requirements

Research on water saving shower heads which do not compromise shower quality

W/machine, dishwasher chosen for low water use, economy cycles and low energy consumption

Disposal of large and potentially harmful items (microwave, fridge) with help of local authority at their Seafield site

Use of “wipeable” glass tops for tabletops to cut down laundering

Restricting possible harm by third parties and liaising with others:

Many tasks e.g. decorating, electrical, routine maintenance done ourselves, and so cut down harmful effects of others’ actions

Our laundry service is a charity with established environmental policy

Builder, plumber etc when used, also aware of environmental disposal of waste from work done


General:


Business consciously structured so that we can manage without staff – so that we have very tight control of all aspects. This choice is for many reasons to suit us, with one of the benefits that we can tightly monitor use of energy, conservation, waste re-cycling, disposal etc etc

Extensive use of internet as advertising medium reducing dramatically paperwork re bookings etc (e.g. two or three letters from us answering enquiry, confirming dates and confirming booking together with similar number for client now dealt with electronically by exchange of a set of e-mails). Use of fax paper (Faxes sent, received and stored by computer) paper brochures, promotional items etc also dramatically reduced.

Own letterheads and other literature produced ourselves.

Provision of menu choices on eve of breakfasts dramatically reduced food waste since exact quantities known for keeping fresh and control of preparation. Veggie and vegan options.

All furniture purchased chosen for wood from sustainable forests


Own transport:


One car only – Toyota Prius plug in electric/petrol hybrid chosen for low emissions and fuel economy - regularly maintained to cut down pollutants. Use restricted. It will be retained over eight to ten years since a large proportion of a car’s use of scarce resources is in manufacture and ultimate disposal. (Our last Prius was over eight years old when sold)

Linking “outings” e.g.banking, disposal of waste and shopping to cut down on wasteful trips.


Information and guest participation:


Local map and detailed directions on website with details of public transport alternatives on website to cut down wasted detours etc for guests

Local public transport info at check in with leaflets including bus map Maps for Edinburgh with detailed index

Numerous bus tour leaflets available

Details of shared transport options from airport on website and on display  Cycle hire details available

Local walks, parks and ranger services, Cyclists encouraged with storage for cycles and maps of cycle routes etc

Encouraging guests to return unused leaflets etc.

Clients made aware on website etc and by room notice of environmental involvement and invited to participate ( re-use of towels, comments invited, separation of waste etc..)


We are proud to have attained HIGH STANDARDS for QUALITY and SERVICE for Straven Guest House Edinburgh with the Scottish Tourist Board, achieving four star status in the Guest Houses Edinburgh category while our interest in environmental matters has led us to join The Green Tourism Business Scheme. We try to be an eco friendly and eco conscious B and B and are tickled PINK to be able to boast that we have been awarded the highest accolade for a Bed and Breakfast in Edinburgh: The GOLD STANDARD by the GREEN TOURISM SCHEME. We are committed to environmental management of our resources through re-cycling, energy and water conservation, restriction of waste and noxious matters, screening of all our suppliers and trades to the Bed and Breakfast.


We try to be kind to the Environment   -

but what does that mean?