Energy efficient sustainable eco hostels
Independent Hostels offers some great places to stay for the environmentally conscious traveller. In the Independent Hostel network there is a range of energy efficient Eco hostels to choose from across England, Scotland and Wales. Here you will find an up-to-date complete list of all the Eco hostels and Bunkhouses in the Independent Hostels network. Below there are a handful of carbon-cutting ambassadors of Independent Hostels UK with details from 2011.
PALACE FARM HOSTEL in Kent, one of the network’s Eco Hostels. A working farm in Kent, Palace Farm Hostel offers their guests a wonderful array of freshly grown fruit and vegetables. Their chickens lay delicious fresh eggs with rich orange yolks to give your morning a free-range glow. Other than locally sourced food, Palace Farm uses photovoltaic panels to sustain their hot water supply and Air Source heat pumps to reduce their dependency on electricity and oil. A sewage treatment plant has been installed within their grounds, producing an environmentally safe waste stream and solid waste, used for fertiliser. Low energy lighting and thermostatic radiators are also used to further reduce the hostel’s environmental impact. In addition, fencing around the hostel has been built from locally coppiced chestnut.
Farm Eco Hostel
RATTRAY HEAD ECO-HOSTEL on the Moray Coast, is one of the network’s Eco Hostels. This Scottish “midge-free” hostel positioned opposite the northern tip of Denmark, offers eco-friendly accommodation next to an 11 mile long sandy beach. The owners have integrated a rainwater harvesting unit that captures rainwater which is reused to run the washing machine and WCs. 1300w halogen ovens are used in the communal kitchen for guests, these ovens heat up faster than conventional ones and use far less energy! A log boiler and heat store tank are used to generate the hostels hot water and makes use of their free local supply of logs, in the form of pallets from the local builders yards. To save even more energy, Rattray Head don’t iron their bedding and tell their guests…”Enjoy the wrinkles you don’t get them everywhere”
WETHERDOWN LODGE AND CAMPSITE on the South Downs is one of the network’s Eco Hostels. Wetherdown Lodge is set in 55 acres of woodland and is part of the Sustainability centre. The centre promotes an active involvement with the environment and aims to educate and inspire people to make a difference to the way they live. Hot water and central heating are supplied through a bio-mass boiler that burns woodchips, a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Solar Panels are used to generate the hostels electricity along with triple glazed windows and sheep wool insulation to maximise the buildings retaining and insulation properties. The centre is currently having a Wet System fitted to treat their sewage. The system, also known as a waste water purification system, will create a wildlife rich habitat and provide ideal conditions to yield willow. This simple system will dramatically reduce the energy required to purify the centre’s effluent. In addition to this, Wetherdown also runs their mini bus on recycled vegetable oil!
DEEPDALE BACKPACKERS and DEEPDALE GRANARY GROUP HOSTEL in Norfolk, Eco Hostels. An award winning self catering hostel, Deepdale is no stranger to integrating sustainable initiatives within their accommodation. They have installed solar panels for all their accommodation which integrate evacuated tubes, a fairly expensive technology that maximises the efficiency of photovoltaic tiles. Each glass tube has air evacuated from it, the vacuum created enables the liquid inside to boil at lower temperatures, making them more efficient during the colder winter months. The glass tubes supply the hot water for the group hostel, the small loo block, the main showers and sinks in the campsite loo block. The solar panels also supply energy for their under floor heating in the stables and the backpackers hostel, cafe buildings and campsite loo block! High quality insulation is used in the kitchen and living room roof and their hedges and surrounding environment are well maintained, providing an ideal habitat for wildlife. Deepdale’s mission is… To provide quality accommodation and services to suit the leisure needs of the individual in an environmentally friendly and economically viable facility. Consequently they have received a gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme and a gold award from the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme.