Further to my esteemed brother’s post about environmentally friendly hotels, there are a few in the UK too. The Apex Hotel in Edinburgh (branches in London and Dundee too) won three Keep Edinburgh Clean Awards in 2006 and the Scottish Hotel Environmental Award in 2007. They have a environmental promise:
• We will work with our supplier partners to encourage use of environmentally friendly soaps and detergents for laundering bed linen and towels
• We will identify and implement eco-friendly policies through the formation of an Apex Green Team
• We will endeavour to use eco-friendly chemicals in all Apex Hotels
• We will endeavour to purchase recycled goods whenever appropriate
• We will recycle used toner cartridges
• We will only provide newspapers when requested and recycle at every opportunity
They also offer a way to offset your carbon footprint with Climate Care and have just appointed an environmental director – have many companies have one of them? You can find out more about the specifics of what they do here.
There’s Natural Retreats in the Yorkshire Dales too. They advertise themselves as “a ground breaking luxury holiday home development based on strong sustainable and environmental principles.”
But if your budget is a bit smaller, try a youth hostel. From £14 per night you can stay at a hostel in Lockton, North Yorkshire which was the first eco-hostel in the UK in 2005. It boasts “showers heated by solar panels on the hostel roof, dry compost toilet and a system which harvests rainwater and other ‘grey’ water to use to flush toilets. The building is insulated using sheep’s wool and the new extension also has a living Sedum roof, the foliage of which will also provide a habitat for local wildlife as well as adding extra insulation.”
And north of the border in Scotland is the extreme in environmental hostelling. The Loch Ossian hostel in Rannoch Moor in the Highlands can only be accessed on foot and is a mile away from the nearest train station. Again it has a dry toilet and grey water system, and energy is provided by a wind turbine. It’s also friendly to wildlife – there are a colony of bats in the attic!