all started in 1988 with the arrival of three dozen pure
white terry towelling nappies!
I was 23
years old and expecting my first baby. My mum thought she was doing me
an enormous favour by buying and proudly presenting me with a tower of
terry nappies; for a modern working soon-to-be first-time mum they
represented nothing more than my worst nightmare! Had my mother never
heard of disposable nappies, the sanity saviour of every young woman
about to have her first baby?? Was she determined to shackle me to the
kitchen sink and nappy bucket for all eternity? This was the 1980’s not
the 1960’s for goodness sake!
as I wanted to do the best for my baby I wasn’t convinced that spending
every waking hour I had up to my armpits in terry nappies - sluicing
out, washing, rinsing, wringing and hanging out to dry in the wind, was
in the best interests of my baby nor my sanity. I was exhausted as it
was having hardly any time to sleep let alone anything else. Needless to
say the terry towel nappies lasted two whole weeks and were then
consigned to being draped over my shoulder to protect my shoulders and
back from regular splurges of baby vomit. They were brilliant sick mops.
The disposable nappies arrived very quickly with much fanfare by the car
pregnant and having my first child did however trigger the cherishing
and nourishing gene in me and I started to take a genuine and curious
interest in the environment and our planet Earth and inevitably started
to question what kind of a world would my baby grow up in?
Unfortunately, after the initial relief of relegating terry towel
nappies to the role of sick mop, guilt descended like a sledge hammer.
Where were all the used disposable nappies going? And then the
proverbial penny finally dropped – of course, the local Council landfill
this realisation grew tiny seeds of doubt about my choice of nappy and
how that choice was poisoning the very land that sustained us. I was in
a quandary – there was no way I was going back to terry towel nappies
and short of trying to potty train a 6 month old (laughable now just at
the thought of it), I was faced with a real dilemma.
solution came from compromise. To compensate for sending used disposable
nappies to the landfill, I set about ensuring that all the other
household waste would be recycled as much as possible. From that moment
on environmental awareness, choice and responsibility was born in our
household. Cardboard, glass, plastic and tins were separated, washed and
stored in our garage and I contacted our local MP to question him about
the lack of recycling facilities in the village where I lived. He was
harangued until the facilities were eventually provided by the local
Council and I was able to reclaim the garage for the family car.
for me, the first small steps for a lifelong lifestyle choice had been
years since then, many small changes have been made and in 2005 shortly
after joining John here at Seaview I convinced John that it was
important and prudent to look at how we ran our business and how we
could implement environmentally aware and responsible practices into
running Seaview Bed & Breakfast. It was a momentous decision for us both
– John was sceptical to say the least. Neither of us are ‘tree-huggers
or eco-warriors’; we’re not political, alternative, obsessive, extreme
and nor do we preach. We were acutely aware that adopting and
implementing our green ethos within the business could backfire on us in
spectacular fashion. We could alienate and lose our customers and so
what we did and how we did it was very important to us.
also conscious that we could say we were running our business as green,
as ecologically friendly, and as environmentally responsible as possible
but we also knew that actions speak louder than words. We knew we had to
step up to the plate, put our money where our mouth was and have our
green credentials externally assessed and accredited.
Fortunately for us we were able to access the support, advice and
information of a newly established accreditation organisation – the
Green Tourism Business Scheme, the national sustainable tourism
certification scheme for the UK and the only one of its kind in the
world at the time. In the summer of 2005 and following a rigorous
assessment and audit from a qualified assessor at GTBS we were awarded
Gold in recognition of our environmental management with significant
good practice and established systems. We have been assessed every two
since then in 2007, 2009, and 2012 have retained Gold each time. In 2013
we were also nominated and short listed for the Gold Star, as one of the
top 6% performing GTBS businesses within the UK.
environmentally aware and responsible is not a new phenomenon; it isn’t
rocket science or a fad, it isn’t a 21st century craze or a
nostalgic leftover from the 1960’s. It isn’t a throwback to the flower
power dippyhippy era or the sole domain of a middle aged plant talking
organic vegetable growing king-in-waiting. As guardians and caretakers
of planet Earth it is the responsibility of us all to be environmentally
aware and to do our best for and with the finite resources bestowed on
us – not just for ourselves but for our children, their children and for
future generations to come. It starts with small steps and it embraces
common sense practices with mindfulness, good housekeeping and
management systems along with investment (where possible) in new
technology and simple ideas.
Interested in finding out more about what we have done here at Seaview
over the years? Then