Category Archives: Recycling

Reduce, Reuse and Recharge!!

With the world waging war on plastics since that wonderful David Attenborough programme, it made us think of what else we could do. Although we are really hot on the recycling, we are always looking for ways in which we can do more to help save the environment. Looking at the recycling boxes at the end of each week the main culprit is the mountain of plastic milk containers.

Reducing plastic

Waste plastic milk containers
Waste plastic milk containers

 

We contacted our wonderful suppliers Peak District Dairy and have now arranged to have our milk delivered in old fashioned glass milk bottles, all labeled up nicely to show how local the milk is.

Now we just rinse out and leave them out for collection and re-use. It’s funny how things in life often go full circle and we are going back to the old fashioned doorstep deliveries!

Glass milk bottles
Glass milk bottles

We cannot always send bottles back for re-use, especially beer bottles, so we have to be a little more inventive. We use David’s empties on the farm for feeding the kade lambs! I promise you it is milk in there not beer, (although that could be a whole new lamb market Wagyu lamb?). Lambs are so cute this could be a complete new avenue of sale for Thornbridge brewery?

Beer fed lamb?
Beer fed lamb?
Top 6 tips for cutting down on plastics
  1. Say NO to plastic straws and also swap disposable for reusable – refill water bottles or take a cup with you – did you know less than 0.5% of disposable cups are recycled properly?
  2. Do you really need to buy bottled water? Definitely not while you’re staying on holiday at Hoe Grange as our water comes from our own borehole – it is perfectly pure with natural minerals and nothing added.
  3. Avoid takeaways and cook at home – takeaways have lots of packaging which is often non-recyclable and fresh home cooked meals not only taste delicious but have far less calories! If you fancy going Italian you can hire our pizza oven and create and cook your own pizzas.
  4. Refill bottles – find out where your local stockist is and get your washing up and cleaning product bottles etc refilled, or use online companies like Splosh, who post out refills – you can return the packaging to them for recycling too!
  5. Plastic is used to seal tea bags closed during manufacture – why not go back to good old fashioned loose tea? Your cuppa will taste better and is quick and easy to brew once you get into the habit!
  6. Use our canvas bags for shopping and buy from our fabulous #LoveLocal independent businesses – you’ll find something extra special to take home from our Peak District Environmental Quality Mark members, whilst also supporting the Peak District environment.
Recharge your batteries

Exciting news! As well as reducing waste, we have just had fitted a new high speed car charging point. We can now charge our new plug in hybrid car too, so all those local journeys are made using electric power generated by our very own wind turbine and solar panels.

Car recharging point
Car charging point.

As well as recharging your own batteries with a relaxing holiday at Hoe Grange we’re happy for you to plug in and recharge your car too …..

David

Trit trot, here come the goats

Trit trot, trit trot… look who’s arrived at Hoe Grange Holidays! Joining chief guest entertainment officer Fudge the Jack Russel, we would like to introduce you to Luna and Dora the Pygmy goats. These two lovely ladies are definitely not “gruff” goats, but extremely friendly.

High on a Peak District hill stood a lonely goatherd…Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo!

pygmy goats on a hillThese miniature goats previously lived in Ashbourne with our niece and nephew, who are now grown up and out to work all day. As goats are such social creatures Suzie and Sam decided it was unfair to leave the goats home alone, so we are delighted to have inherited them.

They will certainly have lots of company here on the farm – the goat pen with their little shelter is next to the horse paddock, where the chickens also scrat about and the dogs Twix, Crunchie and Fudge often pop round to say hello.

Pygmy goats are the diminutive cousin of the standard domestic goat. They are “fun, friendly and easy to keep”, so Suzie and Sam tell us – we will see!

Unlike domestic goats, which are usually kept as utility animals for their milk or their meat, you will be pleased to hear that the Pygmy goat is mainly kept for amusement – we have already had considerable fun – Dora is definitely an explorer and very nimble. She has already escaped by jumping straight over the stable door in one giant leap! We now have a strategically placed hay rack as an obstacle to prevent further break outs. They may be small but they can certainly jump!

pygmy goat at Hoe Grange As these two adorable, adventurous goats were kept in town rather than on a farm they are trained to walk on the lead and love nothing more than a trek up fields.

They are natural climbers and love roaming and leaping about on the rocky outcrops, surveying the Derbyshire hills. Hoe Grange is going to be an ideal home for them.

Dora the explorer checking out her new surroundings

These two nanny goats have taken our eco ethos to heart and already joined the Hoe Grange Holidays Green Team – they are very keen on recycling and have completely stripped the Christmas tree bare – not a pine needle in sight. One down four more to go!  pygmy goats

It’s true they eat anything, but Christmas trees are a real goat’s treat!

As you can see from our goat video our Labrador Twix isn’t yet entirely sure what to make of them!

Here’s an interesting goat fact – The Italian word for goat is capra; as proved by our little video goats are prone to change direction and have a short attention span, so you can see where the word capriccio, which means whimsy, developed. It is from this word that the English language borrowed capricious, meaning apt to change direction on a whim. Dora and Luna have certainly got everyone running round in circles!

You can meet this entertaining pair in person when you stay in one of cosy log cabins or gorgeous glamping pods.

Felicity

Christmas Gifts inspired by The Peak District

Christmas is just round the corner so to help you get Christmas all wrapped up we have handpicked some gorgeous gift ideas inspired by our beautiful Peak District – things that are produced locally here in the Derbyshire hills, some of which are utterly unique!

We #LoveLocal and are sure you will be inspired by our Christmas selection

Top 10 Christmas gifts

1. Pet Pawtraits

Rural Pictures pet portraitOur pets hold a special place in our hearts. Why not capture your pet to perfection with a “pawtrait” from local photographer Ruth Downing? Ruth of Rural Pictures is used to working with animals, and has a wealth of experience in producing fabulous pet portraits and action shots. You can even arrange for Ruth to come to Hoe Grange during your holiday stay so you can take some special memories home with you.

2. Dovedale Ceramics

Beautiful handcrafted ceramics from On a Wick and a Prayer at Tissington uses clear water from the Dovedale River over the glaze. The minerals in the water react when the pottery is fired in the kiln giving each piece a unique distinctive pattern.

Dovedale ceramics
3. Upcycled lights and furniture

upcycled lampLet a little light brighten up your home! Upcycled Creative specialise in making funky, functional, upcycled lights and furniture. Upcycling is the art of transforming unwanted items into something better and more beautiful, it’s kinder to the environment than recycling, and the only limitation is imagination! These bright sparks don’t just recycle, and reuse, they go one step further and relove, renew, and repurpose.

 4. Landscape art
Peak District landscape in felt
Higger Tor from Stanage Edge

Carrie of English Tilly creates gorgeous felt art decorations and accessories, using naturally-dyed, rare-breed fleece from Whitefaced Woodland sheep. Much of her inspiration comes from the ever changing colours and textures of the Derbyshire Peak District. Living and working in the Peak District, Carrie is as passionate about caring for our special landscape as we are and also holds the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark.

 

5. Beautiful bespoke wooden pieces

wooden candle holder

If you are looking for something unusual Ingrained create beautiful bespoke wooden pieces for the home, from quirky, simple designs, such as their fun, frosty snowmen and Christmas decorations, to unusual candle holders, lamps, and stunning statement pieces. The starting point and inspiration for each piece is the natural shape of the tree.

wooden light
6. Natural handmade soaps and bath products

handmade soapGet all scrubbed up with some gorgeous soaps from Coconuct Blush, handmade with natural olive oil, and mositurising shea butter and scented with pure essential oils. Jane sources sustainable ingredients and particularly avoids using palm oil from felled rainforest. If you’ve stayed with us you will have received our Coconut Blush lavender gift pack. For the avid gardener why not give the Gardener’s Tea Tree exfoliating soap & hand balm set? There is free delivery on orders over £20 until 31st December.

7. Drive the Peak in a Porsche

Finding the right Christmas gift for the man in your life can be challenging – however if that certain person is a car enthusiast, and over the age of 25, why not consider hiring a Porsche Boxster from Peak Performance Hire? What could be better than fresh country air and the wind through your hair!

Porsche car hireEnjoy complete freedom of planning your own tour, or take a recommended route with historic towns, independent coffee shops and restaurants, picturesque roads and vantage point stops for photos. Daily hire starts from £210, including fully comprehensive insurance.

8. Silver jewellery

More imaginative upcycling and renewing from Dandelion Silver, just a couple of miles up the road in Brassington village. Gorgeous jewellery for the woman in your life; from pendents, earrings, rings and bracelets to bespoke commissions.

silver jewelleryDandelion Silver love nothing more than taking forgotten and neglected vintage and antique cutlery and giving them a new lease of life as stunning pieces of designer jewellery.

9. Fresh Roasted Coffee

There’s nothing like the fresh smell of coffee. Peak Bean was born out of a love for coffee. Coffee that brings a smile to someone’s face. Like first brew in the morning that helps start the day on the right foot. And enjoying a mug whilst catching up with good friends, not to mention how it can round off that great meal perfectly. Coffee brings happiness.

roasted coffee

Deidra and Andrew of Peak Bean are artisan producers, roasting small batches of ethically sourced coffee beans and creating blends that burst with freshness, flavour and really hit the spot. You can order direct from the Peak Bean, straight to your door, or sample our smooth Hoe Grange blend on your next stay with us!

10. Holiday Voucher

And last but by no means least, buy your loved one a Hoe Grange Holidays Voucher to come and stay next year and share our special place. Available from £50 upwards – just e-mail us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk.

Hoe Grange Gift VoucherYou can relax in the hot tub, de-stress in the sauna. You could also visit all the fabulous businesses mentioned in this blog and perhaps get ahead by starting next years Christmas shopping early!

Derbyshire has a wealth of artisan producers, so for further inspiration you can read last years Top 10 gifts inspired by The Peak District, or there are lots more interesting and unusual ideas from Made in Derbyshire and Peak District Environmental Quality Mark businesses – happy shopping!

Felicity

Top 10 Tips for an Eco Spring Clean

The recent snow is disappearing fast from the Derbyshire hills and whilst we are fairly quiet it is time for a deep Spring clean for our cosy cabins.


snow at Hoe Grange

People often think that using environmentally friendly cleaning products and methods will be ineffective  – not true! You can soon add a sparkle to your Spring cleaning without adding to the ozone layer – simply follow our Top 10 Eco Cleaning Tips.


The Fantastic Four eco cleaning essentials

Before you start raid your cupboards for the “Fantastic Four” eco cleaning essentials — vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and baking soda — they can make your household tasks less complicated, easier on you and more importantly easier on the environment.

Our Top 10 Eco Cleaning Tips

1. Sparkling sinks – sprinkle good old fashioned bicarbonate of soda over the base of the sink and add some white vinegar – watch the white fizzing bubbles do their magic – use the washing up brush to scrub the sink and leave for 10 minutes. Simply rinse off with boiling water. Great for getting rid of nasty drain smells too.

2. Brush and bake – get to grips with oven cleaning without using extra elbow grease! Brush oven surfaces to loosen any burnt on dirt. Add some bicarbonate of soda to hot water in a shallow dish and place in the bottom of the oven. Close the door and bake at a low heat for approximately 1 hour. The residual dirt should have peeled away without any effort. If there are any stubborn stains left try scrubbing with a paste of bicarb and white vinegar.

3. Toilet troubles – for stained toilets sprinkle neat borax into the bowl and allow to soak. Follow up with a good scrub with the toilet brush. Adding a drop of tea tree oil will freshen up and disinfect.

4. Scouring solution – make your own scouring powder by mixing  2 parts bicarbonate of soda to 1 part of soda crystals. apply to stubborn stains with a damp microfibre cloth. Store in a clearly labelled airtight jar.

5. Limescale free – do you dislike floating flakes of limescale in your tea or coffee? Descale the kettle by boiling a solution of water and white vinegar – extremely effective and so easy!

6. Clear views – wipe down windows with a solution of white vinegar and water, polish off with a microfibre cloth – we use this method in our log cabins so you can sit back and enjoy the views!


Lemon fresh

7. Lemon fresh – give the inside of your microwave a makeover. Simply fill a small bowl with water, add half a lemon and microwave on full power for 1  or 2 minutes. The water vapour and steam will loosen dirt and grim so that it wipes off easily and you get the added bonus of a fresh zingy lemon smell.

8. Polished to perfection – just mix 2 parts olive or jojoba oil with 1 part lemon juice and apply it to your furniture using a soft cloth. The combination gives your wood furniture a nice smell and a sparkling shine.

9. Removing rings – When a hot serving dish or glass of water has marked the surface of a wooden table, you can quickly get rid of ring by making a thin paste of salad oil or lemon oil and salt. Simply wipe the paste on, then lightly buff the area as you wipe it off with a soft cloth.

10. Buff up brass – Do you have tarnished copper or brass antiques? Bring back the shine without doing any damage by using salt and vinegar and adding one more ingredient from your kitchen cupboard – flour. Make a paste using equal quantities of all three ingredients; rub the paste onto the brass or copper item with a soft cloth. Cover the entire surface and let the whole thing dry out, this will take about an hour. Wipe off the dried paste with a clean, soft cloth. Lemon can also be used for lightly tarnished brass or copper pieces. Slice one lemon and dip it in salt, then rub the item with the salted lemon. Afterwards rinse and dry thoroughly.

Not only will you be saving the environment, but using eco friendly cleaning materials to make your own cleaning products saves money too.

Hope you have found our Top 10 Eco-cleaning Tips useful and are now inspired to get to grips with your own Spring cleaning.

Felicity

A Fond Farewell

Our cheeky little Welsh mountain pony has moved on to a lovely new home in Cumbria. Guest Ann, who brought her own horse on holiday, decided to buy him for her granddaughter.

Robbie is not just cheeky but a clever little feller too, and always has an eye on how to escape for a mini adventure. He was spotted by guests one day recycling the rubbish – he had obviously heard of our eco policy!

Robbie had escaped out of the paddock and proceeded to raid the rubbish bin. After several atempts he managed to flip the lid of the wheelie bin open with his nose, grab a bin bag with his teeth, which he then placed on the grass before pawing at it with his hoof to see if he could find any tasty tit bits to eat – Robbie does love his food! His favourite nibble was salt and vinegar crisps when we rode over to Brassington pub, but as you can see from the photo he loved to share anything, including my sandwich.

bacon sandwich anyone?
bacon sandwich anyone?

Another happy memory is during Wakes week at Brassington Carnival where Elliot won first prize in the fancy dress as Shrek, with Robbie disguised as Donkey. We made fur fabric donkey ears for Robbie, and he looked really cute – it was so funny watching his long grey ears flip back and forth everytime he moved; not surprising that he stole the show.

At 17 years young he has plenty of life in him left and we hope his new jockey Jessica has as much fun riding Robbie as Elliot did before he out grew him.

Felicity

Top 10 tips for a greener Christmas

Beieco baubleng green doesn’t have to be costly or mean a huge change in lifestyle. It’s the little things that make a difference.

So for a green, greenChristmas simply keep in mind the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

1. Send e-cards

They cut your carbon footprint, save trees and are free – we love Jacquie Lawson’s chocolate Labrador Chudleigh.

Or give a donation to charity rather than send Christmas cards to people you see frequently – support Friends of the Peak District to help us conserve the spectacular Peak District.

2.   Bag a bargain

Shop in vintage and second-hand stores. Second-hand means lower carbon emissions and resource use from manufacturing and packaging, and your friends will love receiving something unique!

3. Deck the halls with real holly

Instead of buying artificial Christmas decorations that won’t biodegrade, let nature decorate your home. Once you have finished with them, you can recycle them in the compost bin.  Someone on the radio was adorning their Christmas wreath with brussel sprouts – this maybe one step too far!

4.   Romantic Candlelight

Use old jam jars, ornaments and cups as containers for candle wax, you can get them refilled with festive fragrant wax at On a Wick in Tissington (free postage for orders over £10)

5.   Christmas Trees

This always creates a real debate; real or artificial? Research and carbon calculations show that a natural tree is best. It can be replanted or it bio degrades. An artificial tree uses toxic materials and petro-chemical in its plastics, takes a lot of energy to produce, has often travelled from the Far East, and it doesn’t even last forever! Not so green after all!

Choose a real Christmas  tree with roots so it can be replanted. If replanting isn’t an option most local councils run Christmas tree recycling schemes  www.letsrecycle.com

6.   Let there be light

Use low energy LED fairy lights which use a fraction of the energy of standard tree lights. Turn lights off if not at home –  15% of household electricity is wasted by leaving TVs, Hi-fi’s and other appliances on standby – costing each of us an average of £37 per year!

7.   Be battery wise

You can get through a lot of batteries, particularly at Christmas. Batteries contain toxic chemicals, don’t biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. Instead use rechargeable ones or buy wind up gadgets.

8.  Shop local, buy organic

Shopping at farmers markets or buying direct from the farmer is far cheaper than buying organic in the supermarket. Think of the benefits – the taste of chemical-free food, the reduction in food miles and CO2 emissions, and reduced dependence on oil. Buying locally produced food also boosts rural jobs. Buy from trusted Environmental Quality Mark award holders in the Peak District.

9.  Waste not want not

Use your left overs creatively.  Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for brilliant recipes and cooking tips for left overs such as turkey and ham pie. If you don’t have hens or greedy Labradors like ours turn your peelings & scraps into compost for a blooming marvelous garden next summer!

10.  Get Swishing!

Recycle unwanted presents by hosting a swishing party. Everyone brings along unwanted items and then bids for items they would like to buy. It’s amazing how much money you can raise for local charities this way, and it’s great fun.

We will create 3 million tonnes of rubbish this Christmas in Britain – the equivalent of 400,000 double-decker buses. Over half of this could be recycled. Where is it going to go otherwise?

With a little thought and preparation we can all make this year a green, green Christmas. But most of all have fun!

Felicity

eco bauble eco bauble eco bauble

GTBS Awards

The Green Tourism Business Scheme held an awards ceremony at the Royal Thames Yacht last Thursday as part of Green Toursim Week , which was a great excuse for David and I to spend a wonderful few days in London and be guests ourselves –  just for a change!

Highly Commended by GTBS
Highly Commended by GTBS

We were delighted to be Highly Commended for our efforts and it is gratifying to know that we are in the top 20 greenest businesses in the UK and Ireland – quite an achievement!

However there is no time to sit back, we will of course continue to strive to improve our energy efficiency and introduce new ideas to increase our sustainability and green offerings to guests, such as our new electric bicycles which you can now hire to explore the fabulous Peak District countryside.

You too as guests can help, not only by recycling, experiencing local traditions and supporting local businesse whilst on holiday, but also by sending us your suggestions as to how we can improve still further.

As Tony Juniper (campaigner, writer, sustainability adviser and a well-known British environmentalist) commented at the award ceremony, innovative businesses like ours show that being green can be fun and doesn’t have to cost the earth – come and stay with us and we will show you how!

Felicity

Top Ten Tips for a Greener Christmas

Christmas Green Fact

Can you believe Christmas in the UK can generate as much as 1 billion Christmas cards, 83 sq km of wrapping paper, an extra 750 million bottles and glass containers, an extra 500 million drinks cans and half a million Christmas trees – most of this ends up as waste in landfill.

Every little helps, so why not make a difference by following our

Hoe Grange top ten tips for a greener Christmas

free_snowflakeMake your own cards and decorations – rekindle childhood by making paper chains.  Or even better send e-cards for Christmas, so you don’t need paper at all.

free_snowflakeThink before you wrap presents – buy goods with less packaging and re use wrapping paper.  Or use recycled wrapping paper to keep up demand for recycled goods.

SnowflakeIf you buy electrical goods, look for models that run off mains electricity and if you do buy batteries – buy rechargeable.

free_snowflakeBuy a rooted Christmas tree, plant it out in the garden after Christmas and re-use it each year.  Its fun to track its growth over the years.  Artificial trees can be used many times but eventually have to be disposed of and are difficult to recycle, as they are made of a number of different materials.

free_snowflakeSource your Christmas dinner from local farmers and producers to reduce food miles.  Even better, purchase ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY MARK foods, to enhance the Peak District environment see www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/eqm for a list of award holders.

SnowflakeWhy not buy ‘Experience Gifts’ to cut down on packaging?  Some great ideas are theatre or cinema tickets, a meal in a Peak District pub or restaurant, or membership to a favourite charity.  You can even buy a goat, plant some trees or train a teacher in a developing country! (see www.presentaid.org  or www.oxfamunwrapped.com)

SnowflakeAfter the Festive Season is over recycle all you can.  Contact Wastewatch to find out what different materials can be recycled or composted locally.  www.recyclenow.com  has a brilliant map – enter your postcode and it shows you where the local recycling facilities are!  You can take cards and wrapping paper to TK Maxx and M&S stores during January. The Woodland Trust will be placing containers at most stores (see www.woodland-trust.org.uk)
 

Snowflake Buy handmade local gifts from markets and craft centres. Or keep an eye out for recycled, fair trade, energy efficient or eco-friendly gifts.  Try www.recyclenow.com or Natural Collection

Snowflake Take any unwanted presents or toys to a local charity shop – shops often have campaigns around Christmas time.

SnowflakeIf you’re having a party avoid using disposable items such as paper plates, plastic cutlery and cups.

ch-hollybar

Filling In

Building work on our new self catering log cabin continues, as does the brilliant Spring sunshine. Today the block work structure is being filled in using the recycled rubble and broken bricks, quite a labour intensive process. The rubble is shovelled in and then compacted down with the digger and a wacker plate to make a solid surface. It is extremely important to ensure that everything is crushed and compacted correctly or the whole structure could move and crack when the cabin is placed on top of the foundations – we definitely don’t want the new cabin sliding off down hill!

in fill 2

Meanwhile the block work wall at the bottom end is now looking less imposing as it has been half covered with soil. The hens think all this digging is wonderful and as soon as they hear the digger starting up they are up chasing after it to find all the juicy worms. However they haven’t heard of health and safety and our Speckled Lady nearly got scooped up and buried by a load of soil the other day – there was much furious flapping and a flurry of feathers as she just managed to escape!

Felicity

In fill

Round and round we go….

At Hoe Grange Holidays we strive to Reuse and Recycle materials wherever possible. The latest large scale recycling effort is part of the building project for our third self catering log cabin.  We took delivery of several lorry loads of waste, in the form of broken bricks and building rubble, to fill in the base of the foundations now that the block work has been completed. They say that one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold, and in this case rubbish was exactly what we needed!

Recycling rubble
Recycling rubble

Recycling Conserves Resources

When we recycle, used materials are converted into new products, reducing the need to consume natural resources.

Recycling saves energy

Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials

Recycling helps protect the environment

Recycling reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution.

As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. Current UK recycling is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of C02 a year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road!

Recycling reduces landfill

Recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, thus reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites.

Recycle on Holiday

You too can do your bit for the environment by recycling your rubbish when you holiday with us at Hoe Grange. We make it easy to recycle and compost your waste. Why not book into the new Rainster cabin for a relaxing break and give recycling a go!

Felicity