Respecting the Environment and Saving Money

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I have found in looking at ‘Green’ policies of various businesses that there is a slightly sanctimonious ring to many of their policy statements.

While I am as keen as the next person to ‘Save the Planet’, the fact of the matter is that following environmentally friendly policies reduces costs.

As the custodian of Springwood, an important part of my job is to make sure costs (which don’t affect the quality of guest experience) remain as low as possible. If this can have the added benefit of making us more environmentally friendly it’s a win double.

I have to say there have been some ups and downs in trying to make Springwood ‘Greener’.

In the early days I was very keen to generate some solar power. Sadly, because we are in a Conservation Area, the council would not allow us to have solar panels. It was a disappointment because the subsidies were high then. However, being in a Conservation Area means that we retain a larger than average number of trees which are protected. The trees do their bit in combating Climate Change by absorbing carbon monoxide and releasing oxygen. – So you win some you lose some.

Our local council, Reigate and Banstead (or Reigate and Bas…d as I call them when paying the Business Rates) introduced mixed and food recycling some years ago. I quick word and a cuppa for the guys delivering the bins got us a second mixed recycling bin. Rubbish chores changed for all of us at Springwood.
There followed some serious staff training to make sure all our refuse was correctly sorted.


The Recycling Police is me of course!

This change allowed me to discontinue the Business Waste bin – saving around £700 pa. Result.
Our ‘Dalek’ compost bins in the garden took all the tea bags, coffee grounds and fresh fruit debris. Marvelous compost for the garden which I used as a mulch each Autumn. I was a little perturbed when I kept seeing the front hatches disturbed and compost scattered on the lawn. After we firmly secured the hatches with bricks, the next observation was a hole bored into the rigid plastic.
A visit from the Rentikil man confirmed that it was ‘varmin’ burrowing into the compost! Sadly, that meant we had to get rid of the compost bins. The Rentikil man said that the compost was providing them with a smorgasbord. You win some, you lose some.


Gatwick Airport Transfers
This year many of you will already had the slightly spooky experience of travelling in our new all Electric Nissan EN200.


It has been a revelation. Our transfers are Zero Emissions so we don’t contribute to the fug created by the Approved Operators at the airport.
The van is exempt from Road Tax and running costs are negligible. A saving of at least £2k so far this year.

My mission now is to try to get Gatwick Airport to reduce our Approved Operator fees. This would offer an incentive for other Approved Operators to use Electric vehicles. My pleas have fallen on deaf ears thus far but I haven’t given up – I’ll keep you posted.

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