Christina Simons, (pictured left with husband David Mascord), owner of the Cottage hotel, a nine-bedroom 350-year-old forester's cottage in the heart of the New Forest, decided to make her business greener earlier last year. But it's easier said than done. This is her diary…
Wednesday 6 July 2005
Live 8. It's all Bob Geldof's fault! He'd probably say "No it ing isn't," but it definitely is. Watching Live 8 I'm struck by the power individuals can wield. If Bob can make a big difference, why can't I make a small one?
Running a nine-bedroom B&B hotel in the New Forest is very hands-on. It's easy to think, "There's no point in trying to tackle global warming today as I've a party coming in from America at 2pm" - but Live 8 made me realise this type of thinking is just an excuse. I have to do something. Right after I've checked the Americans in…
In fairness, David and I have always been a bit green. We own one car and do less than 6,000 miles a year. We mostly walk, cycle or take the train. We try to use eco-friendly products, we recycle, and we were one of the first hotels to sign up for the New Forest Breakfast, supported by Forest Friendly Farming, so all our produce is locally sourced.
What I need to do now is get off my bottom and do something more, go and ask some serious questions.
This month I had some helpful conversations with the Carbon Trust, Southampton Environment Centre and the HCIMA.
We're putting some ideas into action. We've brought in the local builders to put in wooden windows, wooden floors, water butts and insulation everywhere. I've been advised against solar panels but am investigating wind turbines.
I'm using as many local products as possible and I'm also having low-energy light fittings put in. It's not that simple, however. With low-energy light bulbs, I wonder where these are manufactured? Are they transported halfway across the world? Will the savings offset the damage caused by transport? It's a tricky one.
• Next week: Christina attends Caterer‘s big energy debate, and visits France to find out about its environmental policies. Click here to see Christina next instalment.