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Going more eco in the Highlands

The Glenfinnan Sleeping Car has always been run with an eye on sustainability – many of its guests arriving by train as we are at Glenfinnan Station. As well as offering a public transport/active travel discount for guests, we looked at other ways to be more sustainable, including replacing heaters, fitting LED lights, using eco cleaning products, eco toilet rolls, and introducing a recycling system. We also have a Digital Guide for guests, run by a carbon zero company.

Our guests travelling to us on public transport (as well as being at the train station, we are also a few minutes’ walk from the bus stop) or active travel (walking or cycling) can request a discount code which gives them 10% off their accommodation as a thank you for having a lower carbon footprint.
Flourescent strip lighting is gradually being replaced throughout with LED lighting for much better energy efficiency.
Most of our old storage heaters have been replaced by modern panel heaters with eco programmes and an ‘open window’ sensor to cut down on wasted energy.
Our Vektra eco kettle boils water to the exact temperature needed, and because it acts like a Thermos, it can keep water hoot for up to 4 hours. No need to re-boil for a second cup! It senses the temperature of the water and can then re-boil up to the required temperature, rather than go through a full boil.
We supply recycled paper filters for our filter coffee machine, and leave a stock of organic, FairTrade ground coffee for use in this machine and the cafetieres. We also leave a stock of Clipper organic, FairTrade hot chocolate, which always goes down well, especially with younger guests.
All our cleaning products and washing-up liquid are eco-friendly and are delivered through the post as wee sachets, topped up with water, or are refilled from 5-litre containers. We simply re-use the same spray bottles.
Our washing-up brushes, cloths and pan scrubbers are zero plastic, and the cloths and sponges are compostable. We even provide dishwashing soap for guests to try this method if they have never used it before!
We have switched to toilet roll from Serious Tissues (recycled paper, UK made) and Naked Sprout (made from sustainable, unbleached bamboo). Both are buttery soft and not at all scratchy, as some guests imagine!
Around half of our mattresses are made in the UK using sustainable methods (eg. recycled foam) and our bedding is GOTS or OEKO-TEX certified where possible. Our tea towels are made from recycled cotton.
Guests can recycle paper, metal and glass into different bins, and we also have a food waste caddy which helps feed our chickens. In return, we put boxes of eggs for the guests who eat eggs to use, FOC.
We hope that our guests will enjoy staying somewhere that is trying to be as sustainable as possible, and feel good that they are doing a wee bit to lessen the impact of their visit to the Sleeping Car on the environment.

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