Environmental Impact and Customer Service
At Chichester Self-Catering we are very proud of our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the house and with the help of our guests (thank you!) believe that we are making a significant contribution to reducing our carbon-footprint.
These are the measures we and you have taken so far:
- We have fitted solar panels to the roof of Living Elements to produce free hot water. It is very efficient, especially in the Summer. To get the best advantage, please try to use the water in the early and middle part of the day, when there is still time for the solar panels to heat the water again for the evening. Plus when I had the plumbing re-done I made sure that the hot water was on a gravity system so it would naturally circulate, which means there is less time needed for the warm water to get to the taps!
- Please try to CONSERVE water as much as possible. Use the shower vs lots of baths for example. Only use the washing machine when there is a FULL wash, likewise with the dishwasher. If you have used too much hot water (despite the large tank size) you will have to push the “boost hot water button” on the controls in the kitchen and the oil-fired boiler will kick in!
- All the toilets contain “Hippo Bags” that reduce the amount of water that is used with each toilet flush. They just sit in the cistern.
- Towel and sheets washing temperature is set as low as possible (usually 40 degrees) and only used with a full wash whenever possible.
- We use G1 washing powder by GNLD as it requires little powder, cleans the washing machine and leaves NO residue as it washes and it much cheaper than others. If you want some for yourself it can be bought from the clinic website shop at £33.75. A 5kg box will last an average family over a year!!!
- We recycle madly! There is a bank of recycling boxes in the main hallway to help you with this as well as The red recycling bin that can take all your paper and cardboard, glass, plastic (except food trays), tetrapaks and plastic bottles etc. (Not yoghurt / marg tubs though – wrong sort of plastic! Nor plastic bags.) and now glass jars and bottles! This is emptied fortnightly. The waste MUST be put in unwrapped, and food/drinks traces removed please.
- Green waste – goes to the compost heap down the field and then turned into lovely compost for the garden. Please make sure there is no plastic / meat waste in amongst it.
- We use recycled printer cartridges for all our printing needs. This saves a lot of landfill, wastage, cost and is supplied by a local company (Cartridge World in Chichester).
- In all the toilet cisterns there are special bags that reduce the tank size, thereby saving water and money. They are cheap to obtain, even free, if you ask your local water company!
- Toilet paper is good quality, recycled paper. We hope you approve.
- All rainwater from the roof goes into sinkholes and the groundwater supplies and not returned to the main drainage. Some is used for plant watering.
- The house is super-insulated – walls, ceilings, floors and roof to reduce heat loss/gain. We have put Celotex in the loft and lots of glass wool. The walls have been insulated.
- When buying goods for the house we use recyclable and re-usable carrier bags.
- We have planted several trees and have more to go! Some are fruiting trees, others are decorative.
- We have planted a yew hedge – they are easy to keep looking neat and tidy and the cuttings can be re-used to make anti-cancer medication. In the fullness of time as it grows it will also be topiarised.
- We grow fruit and vegetables on site eg lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, rocket, beetroot, onions, garlic, Bramley apples, rhubarb, parsley, spinach, swiss chard, cherries, pears, cabbage, basil, mint, chives, rosemary, thyme, bay, black and red currants, bittercress, Cape Gooseberries (Physalis), peppers, chillis, etc! In 2009, we expanded this to include celeriac, raspberries, more strawberries, carrots, leeks, watercress and landcress too. Also comfrey to use as a green manure and fertilizer. In 2010 we added broad beans and peas which were both brilliant!
- We use only long-life energy saving bulbs to light the parking area of the clinic/house which saves both energy and money and elsewhere when we can. These bulbs are also used in the house, where appropriate.
- Spare food produce is sold to our customers – for example in the Autumn of 2008, we sold 60kg of organic Bramley apples and the proceeds went to charity. We raised about £45! In 2011 we hope to sell excess lettuces and tomatoes and maybe more!
- We try to ensure that our suppliers have sound environmental policies in place. Whether that is the packaging, the sources of their ingredients etc. We also try to use as many as organic and re-cyclable suppliers as we can eg Green People beauty products.
- We use the local “Freecycle scheme” to exchange things that we don’t want for things that we do! Its a simple offer and wanted system for locals and run by locals.
- We recycle all our used stamps, currently they go to the RSPB “Save the Albatross Appeal”. Bring yours in too and we can save on postage by sending more in bulk!
- We respond to information and confirm bookings etc by email as much as possible. It is cleaner, safer, quicker and secure.
- At Nature’s Elements we have gone a few steps further! We have some of our electricity provided by a bank of 22 PV panels on the rook – they produce up to 4KW.
- The hot water and heating – all wet under-floor type – is powered by an air-source heat pump. (If it is very cold during the winter it may struggle a bit so be patient. If you are cold, let Gayle know and she will bring a “huffer” over). Gayle put in extra ground insulation when building this, along with extra wall insulation.
- At Nature’s Elements – all the water and underfloor heating is created by an air-source pump, which is partly run by the electricity created from the PV panels on the roof.
CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARDS
We have been keeping up-to-date with our customer service provision and Gayle Palmer has passed her Level 2 City and Guilds Award in Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism in November 2010. In 2012 she also received her “Gold Customer Award”.
If you need some help or assistance before or during your stay, please ask – use the form below if you wish… We may not have all the answers but we DO do our best to serve you and aim make YOUR holiday special, memorable and hassle-free.
In return, we ask that you fill out the feedback / testimonial forms fully as possible after your stay at Living Elements. Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are helpful for improving the property and facilities. Thanks for the time you spend on it. Include a couple of photos of you on holiday too.
Also – please help our little business by liking on Facebook from your Personal page account – Chichester Self Catering; follow on Twitter – chiselfcatering, link on LinkedIn – Chichester Self Catering under businesses or find our photos on Pinterest – Chichester Self catering! Thanks. We return the favours!
Do you use social media like Twitter or Facebook? Yes! Well would you do me a favour please and follow on www.twitter.com/chiselfcatering or like www.facebook.com/chichesterselfcatering Thanks a bunch!
© Gayle Palmer 2010-12