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Isle of Ulva looking back to Mull

Small Steps
Our Journey from Nappies to Solar Panels

It 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 much 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 boot load.

Being 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 site!

From 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.

The 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.

And so for me, the first small steps for a lifelong lifestyle choice had been taken.

Over the 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.

We were 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.

Being 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 click through
 

"The Isle of Mull is an exceptional place of great beauty and diversity but it exists within a fragile eco-system.
We love where we live and we care for our surroundings to the best of our ability."
Jane & John Noddings - owners @ Seaview
 

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

We regularly ask our guests what do they think about what we do at Seaview and the responses we receive all indicate that our efforts are appreciated and applauded - many of our guests have chosen to come and stay with us because of what we do and always go home inspired to want to make changes in their own homes. Believe it or not it is the smallest changes you make that have the greatest and most significant impact on the environment and surprisingly on your wallet - in the nicest way possible of course. Remember the old saying 'Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves!". It isn't rocket science, it is just good old-fashioned common sense, just like our grannies did in the 1940s and 1950s. Everything we do here at Seaview, can be duplicated in every home around the world; all it takes is the will to do it and a little organisation! If you want to check out your own green credentials click on the link and calculate your own carbon footprint.

GOLD GREEN NETWORK - working together for a greener Scotland

Other ways you can help and support our efforts and those of other people in the tourist industry is by making an environmentally responsible choice when deciding where to stay. We are delighted that more accommodation providers around Scotland have joined the GTBS and have linked up with the following bed & breakfast homes where we know the people who own them are as committed to making the same efforts as ourselves to help protect and make Scotland a greener place to live and visit. So if you are touring Scotland this year and would like to know where else you can stay we are happy to recommend the following places to stay, all of whom are VisitScotland 4/5 star accredited and have been awarded Gold by the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Please click on the photo or house name to visit their websites.
 

Balmillig B&B

Balmillig Bed & Breakfast (near Loch Lomond)
64B Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh,
Argyll & Bute, G84 9JP
Scotland, United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)1436 674922 | E: anne@balmillig.co.uk

W: www.balmillig.co.uk
Hosts Anne & John Urquhart welcome you to Balmillig, just 20 miles north of Glasgow airport and close to Loch Lomond. Set in beautiful gardens in a leafy conservation area of Helensburgh, Balmillig is a friendly relaxing home with comfortable conservatory and guests lounge. Free Wi-Fi.
Orchard House Luxury Bed and Breakfast Accommodation nr Edinburgh Orchard House Bed & Breakfast 8 miles south of Edinburgh
The Walled Garden, Rosewell,
Midlothian, EH24 9EQ
Scotland, United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)131 4404515 | E:
anne@quality-accommodation.com
W: www.quality-accommodation.com
Hosts Archie & Anne Hunter are the epitome of Celtic warmth and hospitality and welcome you to their idyllic country location just 8 miles south of Edinburgh. A fabulous place to stay for exploring the city and its beautiful surrounding countryside.

Bed and Breakfast Burnbank Cottage in Kinross

Burnbank Bed & Breakfast (close to Loch Leven)
79 Muirs, Kinross
Kinross-shire KY13 8AZ
Scotland, United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)1577 861931 | M: (07926) 194823
E: bandb@burnbank-kinross.co.uk
W: www.burnbank-kinross.co.uk

Hosts Ann & Trevor offer a warm and friendly welcome to their home at Burnbank in the beautiful Kinross countryside, close to Loch Leven. With the highest standards in comfort,
combined with impeccable personal service and the best of locally sourced Scottish produce you are sure of a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Cosses Country House bed and breakfast accommodation in SW Scotland Cosses Country House (south west Scotland)
Ballantrae, Nr. Girvan
Ayrshire, KA26 0LR
Scotland, United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)1465 831363 | E:
staying@cossescountryhouse.com
W: www.cossescountryhouse.com

Hosts Susan & Robin Crosthwaite invite you to discover Cosses Country House hidden in a valley on the edge of Crailoch Burn, a tributary of the famous River Stinchar in Scotland. Set in twelve acres of woodland and garden Cosses Country House has heaps to offer her guests including home baking and a friendly welcome from Labradors Bonzo and Monty.

Jannel B&B Stornoway


Jannel Bed & Breakfast (Outer Hebrides)
5 Stewart Drive, Stornoway
Isle of Lewis, HS1 2TU
Scotland, United Kingdom
T: 0800 634 3270 | E: stay@jannel-stornoway.co.uk
W: www.jannel-stornoway.co.uk

Host Helen Froud welcomes you to Jannel Bed & Breakfast where in a busy world, Jannel provides a chance for you to relax. Jannel is a modern, light and spacious family house, designed and furnished to the same exacting standards as the rest of our accommodation and is located in a quiet leafy residential area close to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

Aurora Bed & Breakfast, by Torridon, Rosshire


Aurora Bed & Breakfast (North West Highlands)
 Shieldaig by Torridon
 Ross-shire, IV54 8XN
 Scotland, United Kingdom
 T: 01520 755 246 | +44 1520 755246 |
 E:
info@aurora-bedandbreakfast.co.uk
 W: www.aurora-bedandbreakfast.co.uk

 

Your host Ann Barton welcomes you to her 4 star B&B in a stunning coastal location in the village of Shieldaig amongst the Torridon Mountains. With 3 good quality king & super-king ensuite bedrooms, Ann provides a mixture of locally sourced, seasonal, fairtrade, organic and some home-grown along with home-made yoghurt, bread, preserves and cook from scratch where possible.  Every thought is given to our guest’s needs & comfort; from Wi-Fi, handmade soap, drying room, walking info, bike hire to a spacious new dining room with extensive glazing (maximising solar gain) and great views. The Torridon area is a great place to base to spend time walking, nature & bird watching. 2012 sees a camera installed on Shieldaig Island to view the Sea-Eagles nest.

Culgower House Loth Helmsdale Sutherland


Culgower House (North Highlands, enroute to Orkney)
Loth, Helmsdale,
Sutherland, KW8 6HP,
Scotland, United Kingdom

T: 01431 821 268 | E:
mail@culgowerhouse.com
W:
www.culgowerhouse.com

Welcome to Culgower House, originally built in 1850 as a farmhouse for Sutherland Estates, Culgower House lies between Brora and Helmsdale on the scenic East Sutherland coast and has glorious views over the sea. Your hosts Catriona and John offer tranquil, contemporary, high quality bed and breakfast. A great base for touring the north Highlands or en-route to Orkney.

 

GREEN TRAVEL - GREEN TARIFF: If you are travelling to stay with us at Seaview and are using public transport from home (or from the airport for our international guests) to get here - train and bus, cycle or on foot - then you qualify for a 5% discount for the first night of your stay off our B&B standard rate for stays of 1-2 nights only. All you need to do is tell us you will be travelling by public transport at the time you make the booking and produce a valid train and bus ticket on your arrival and we will take care of the rest. Sorry - this offer is not available with any other of our special breaks or discounted stays.

Click on the link for further information on how to find out about reduced travel rates - TRAVEL BY BUS AND RAIL

Our Proud to be Green’ policy is comprehensive and features in all the guest room information folders; we welcome any effort and support our guests make to help us achieve our aims and objectives. Our GTBS Systems and Management Report is also available for guests to read and documents everything we do between our assessments in order to achieve gold.

Further information about the Green Tourism Business Awards and what you can do to help can be found on www.green-business.co.uk and www.greentourism.org.uk

"Proud to be Green”

responsible travel website


CLICK ON THE LOGO ABOVE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
 

 

Last Updated:07 August 2014
2000 - 2014