Ascot Lodge & the Environment
Long before the words Environmentally Sustainable Tourism became a common catch-cry, we at Ascot Lodge already had a serious interest in moving towards maintaining an environmentally responsible and sustainable operation.
During our extensive travels around the world we have witnessed many aspects of environmental attitudes and effects on surroundings, while crossing the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, the sad sight of a fence beside the railway line covered in plastic bags blown by the wind from who knows where, with not a building or person in sight through to a country like Germany, where not only are there fantastic recycling systems the use of plastic bags has long been discouraged, a move which is slowly being implemented by some supermarkets in New Zealand finally.
On our return to New Zealand and subsequent purchase of Ascot Lodge in 2003, we determined to set ourselves a goal of creating an environmentally sustainable and viable business, meaning the setting of some long term plans.
Implementation of these long term plans to date has seen a reduction in usage of water by approximately 45% and electricity by approximately 15% since 2003. Installation of dual flush toilets, purchasing energy efficient front loading washing machines (replacing water hungry top loaders), offering guests the opportunity to retain towels and make choices regarding linen changes, mulching of gardens, introducing low energy light bulbs, photocell sensors fitted to night security & safety lighting, are some of the moves taken to create these results.
We encourage recycling with collection points within each unit and also encourage further reduction of waste by collecting food scraps in room for use in our worm farm & worm composting unit which provide fertilizer & soil for the gardens. Cloth bags are also available for your use when shopping rather than collecting plastic bags.
Community is also of interest to us with ongoing financial support given to planting of trees locally in an involvement with the local council dating back to 2008, donations of beds, bedding and other items to our local Red Cross branch. Lynn also gives time voluntarily each year towards making the lovely hanging baskets which beautify Nelson over summer. Recently we have also introduced Trade Aid Fair Trade coffee and drinking chocolate to our range of amenities.
As time & money allow, we continue to introduce and expand ideas to reduce our impact on the environment and hope that you, our guests, will join with us in our endeavours by utilizing the recycling & waste facilities, hanging your towel on the rails if you are happy to retain them, turning off appliances such as televisions rather than leaving them on stand-by, or any other ways you may see assisting.
If you have any ideas for future improvements or other points you would like to discuss with us we would be happy to talk with you. Similarly we are happy to show you the worm farm & composting system and also graphs showing the reductions in usage of water & electricity.
Thank you for staying with us and helping with our small efforts to care for our world and pass it on to the next generation in not too much of a mess.
Lynn & Stephan
Postscript: In 2009 we were awarded a Qualmark Enviro Silver rating in recognition of our past and ongoing environmental efforts.
With changes being made to the environmental side of Qualmark, we reluctantly decided to withdraw from this in 2012, however we still follow all the ideals which earned us our Enviro Silver rating.