At a Glance
- 2018 Winner, Bronze Award for Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism
- New Water Refill Station sponsored by Source for Water
- New Electric Car Charging Station as YHA Okehampton
- Reduced waste to landfill by 30% in last five years
- Reduced water usage by 24% in last 2 years
In 2018 Adventure Okehampton won a bronze awards for “‘Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism” at the Visit Devon tourism awards, consolidating on our 2017 Highly Commended award for ‘Sustainable Tourism”.
Each year we review our progress towards a sustainable and ethical adventure centre delivering fun but safe sessions to our users. This year, we want to focus on making our customers more aware of our sustainable and responsible tourism practices, to make more signage about sustainability, encouraging them to help, telling them about places to go that use public transport, and getting our instructors to make more effort to engage with customers telling them about Dartmoor, the countryside and wildlife.
Last year, following feedback during our inspection, we have reduced the water pressure on the taps, showers throughout the hostels, as well as putting in signage about our use of grey water for toilets and laundry at YHA Okehampton, so that our visitors are aware of the ongoing practices to reduce water consumption. In the last two years we have reduced our water bills by 24%.
Reductions in the % of waste. A grant from Source from Water has enabled the installation of a Water Refill station at YHA Okehampton. This will reduce the number of single-use water bottles used each year by each school group, as well as increasing awareness of single-use bottles. We estimate that 10,000 plastic bottles a year were used two years ago. We also sell re-usable bottles in the shop for those that haven’t brought one. Meanwhile, staff awareness and training have been increased, with only 30% waste going to landfill down from 60% 5 years ago.
Reducing our energy use
Installation of the Solar Panels by our maintenance team at the Bracken Tor Function Room generating up to 4000kW per annum. At the same time, we have changed the way the electricity is supplied to the three buildings at Bracken Tor, so that any excess energy from the Solar Panels can now be used in Bracken Tor Lodge. The gradual switch to LED lighting has reduced the amount spent on bulbs per annum by 80% as well as reducing customer complaints about flickering lights. Adventure Okehampton’s utility bills represent a large percentage of our running costs. If we can become more efficient in our use of energy, then we can reduce our bills and give long term benefits for the environment. Hence as traditional lights fail they are replaced with energy efficient LED lighting throughout sites. We are aiming to reduce energy bills by by more efficient use of remote control systems and zonation of activity throughout buildings and reducing heat loss through adding more double glazing system. During any new project we will seek to use renewable technology (such as underfloor heating systems, solar panel water heating. solar panels and ground source heat pumps), to reduce the need for power stations to produce that energy for us.
Ensuring our use of local suppliers
Whilst costs often mean that we can buy produce at a lower cost from one of the large suppliers that have distribution centres some distance from Okehampton, we seek to use, where possible, local suppliers for daily supplies of eggs and milk, local producers for vegetables and meat. We make our own cakes, biscuits and similar goods rather than buy ready-made products.
Increasing our “Free-from” food options.
We have sought better signage for our “free-from” menu options, we have folders with information on all allergens for staff and customers and we have added new products increasing the proportion of gluten-free and dairy-free products in shop and snack-bar.
Increasing our use of renewable energy
We have switched our energy suppliers to one claims to use 100% renewable sources and we have installed solar panels ourselves at one venue.
Installation of electric car charging point at YHA Okehampton, free to overnight guests.