A zero waste holiday!

Filed in Blog by on May 25, 2011 7 Comments
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Our Little Green Hideaway

Our Little Green Hideaway

The other week Mr Green booked us some time in a cottage.

I’d been feeling a bit stressed, so some time ‘unplugged’ was just what he thought I needed. How right he was!

And how ‘unplugged’ we got!

The cottage, called ‘Little Pudding Cottage‘  stood on its own as far up a 4 mile track as you could go on the edge of National Trust moorland. We were off grid, which, for a family of greenies was an exciting prospect.

At the end of this track you will find ...

At the end of this track you will find ...

Little Pudding Cottage - remote and beautiful

Little Pudding Cottage - remote and beautiful

Water came from a borehole, electricity was from a generator and the hot water and heating came courtesy of a wood burner and solar panels.

Meaty solar panels (which Little Miss Green thought was the tennis table table!)

Meaty solar panels (which Little Miss Green thought was the tennis table table!)

When we go away we do tend to let our hair down a bit with what we eat. Although I love cooking I like to be able to take a step away from the kitchen and spend more time outdoors, playing games with Little Miss Green or erm asleep infront of the fire so we tend to rely a little bit more on ‘convenience foods’…

Little miss Green delving into the dressing up clothes to see how she looks as a red head

Little miss Green delving into the dressing up clothes to see how she looks as a red head

Me and my favourite girl taking a moment by the beautiful stream

Me and my favourite girl taking a moment by the beautiful stream

The most stressful part of relying on fast food while being on holiday is invariably finding recycling facilities because old habits die hard. It doesn’t feel right to just ‘throw things away’ when we’re away from home and many a time we’ve come home with a bag of recycling but at Little Pudding Cottage you don’t need to search too far to keep all your zero waste credential firmly in place.

In the lobby were baskets for paper, metal and plastic. You were encouraged to use cardboard to start the fire and there were three compost heaps.

It's only Mrs Green who could get excited about compost bins on holiday

It's only Mrs Green who could get excited about compost bins on holiday

and it's only me who could be overjoyed to see this!

and it's only me who could be overjoyed to see this!

The owners, Sarah and Graham really do hold ‘green principles’ close to their heart. Most of the cleaning products available were eco friendly, lighting is supplied by a mix of CFLs and LEDs and Sarah is very creative – she reuses old materials to make cards which she sells both through her site; ddu designs and at the cottage. So passionate are Sarah and Dean about the green life that they have set up Dean and Sun, a company specialising in solar electric installations.

One of Sarah's creations complete with buttons!

One of Sarah's creations complete with buttons!

But you know, for all its remoteness and being off grid, you can still enjoy all the 21st century comforts if you wish – Satellite broadband provides telephone, internet and TV facilities.

Nestled in a beautiful oak tree is the dish that brings you into the 21st century

Nestled in a beautiful oak tree is the Satellite broadband dish that brings you into the 21st century

However,we kept the switches firmly OFF!

What about you? Have you visited somewhere recently with great recycling facilities?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth’s fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. Julie Day says:

    Not like that. I am going away this weekend and will make note of what recycling facilities there are.

  2. CarSue says:

    We visited friends in Ontario, Canada last year. At various points along the highway (about every 16km or so) there were drop-off recycling stations available for cardboard, glass, plastics, and metal. It was a convenient way for campers to manage their trash, as these stations dotted the highway from the city to the popular cabin areas in the woods. It was very nice!

  3. Kathy says:

    Lucky you! Sounds like you had a lovely holiday. Love the pictures, especially the two of you by the stream. Good job Mr. Green. Looks like you booked the perfect place for a family getaway. Very peaceful. Thank you for sharing your photos.

  4. Lomba says:

    What a wonderful place this is. When I showed it to Helen, she said she wanted to live there. So, we followed the link and it really got to us both, we were longing to book the place for a month, forever, NOW! Then we looked at the prices they ask!!!

    My question is, how can they expect anyone apart from loyalty, bankers and the ideal rich, to be able to afford those prices.

    That’s the thing about people who push their green credentials; it all comes at a price. They pretend they are all fluffy and green, but are still very much belong to free market capitalism. Yes ok, the owners probably have a mortgage and overheads but how can they justify the prices they want? We have friends in Wales too, who rent out their barn for the same sort of ridiculous amounts and what’s more ridiculous is that people will pay too.

    I take permaculture magazine, which is supposed to b e about sustainable living, and moving away from a global capitalise economy. They too have a section devoted to green and sustainable holidays. But again the prices asked for these ‘green,’ holiday’s lets are appalling. People will jump on any trend if they thin k they can make money out of it. It’s unethical and morally unjustifiable

    Sorry but this really stinks

    I’m not having a go at you Mrs Green, you all needed a break and you probably saved up a long time for this well deserved holiday.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Julie Day: Hope you’re having a good weekend, Julie

    @CarSue: What a fab idea; would love to see that over here! All we have is bins along beaches but people still drop litter…

    @Kathy: Thanks Kathy, it was heaven and we’d love to go back

    @Lomba: Thanks for sharing your thoughts; I hear you on the prices thing but I don’t think it’s just ‘green’ holidays that charge a lot. I’ve looked at yurts and gypsy caravans in the past and the prices are extortionate. We have a favourite location near Tintagel where a one bedroomed, very ordinary flat is £600 for a week our of season. I’ve looked at campsites who want £20 a night – just for a piece of grass to put your tent 😀

    I guess the thing to remember is that maybe these cottages and holiday homes are only rented out every 1 in 3 weeks, but the owners still have to pay the mortgage, maintain the place and update it. I know that solar panels and a generator like this would have cost thousands and you have to recoup it somehow. But yes I hear you and it’s why we usually have one holiday a year, paid for by Grandma Green which lasts about 3 or 4 days 😉

  6. Teresa says:

    I stayed in a simple standard youth hostel in Wales once on a remote farm where there was no electricity at all. We relied on gas instead; gas lamps, log fire and Aga stove. The water was piped in from a spring. The hostel since then has closed down.

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Teresa: What a shame it closed down, Teresa – it sounds wonderful!

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