It is an exciting time for green tourism in the Lake District. A combination of tourism businesses and operators implementing environmental and corporate social responsibility policies to initiatives such as the new Nurture Lakeland Low Carbon Cottages project. Each working towards making Cumbria and the Lake District a more sustainable destination for all to enjoy for years and years to come.
The Low Carbon Cottages project from Nurture Lakeland is a very exciting one. There are approximately 3500 holiday cottages in the Lake District. They make up quite a large percentage of the accommodation market and more often than not are traditional properties which of course produce larger carbon emissions than a new build structure. It is the owners of these properties the Low Carbon Cottages is aiming to help through advising on energy efficiency and the lowering of carbon emissions without compromising the aesthetics or character of the building.
The last two years has seen a significant rise in biomass boiler installations in the Lake District. From large hotels and resorts to bed and breakfasts and self catering properties, biomass is proving a very worthwhile investment for the sustainability of the surrounding environment to the quite considerable savings on energy bills helping the sustainability of the business as well. Hotels such as the Langdale Hotel are reporting annual savings of 350 tonnes of carbon through a biomass system compared with an LPG system.
Electric car usage and hire are also on the increase in the Lake District. From hotels offering electric car hire to bed and breakfast and holiday cottage owners taking advantage of the free electric car charging points from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, it is now becoming easier to travel more sustainably. Electric vehicles such as the Renault Twizy can be hired which are proving a big hit. Fun, quiet and small these practical little cars are one of the best ways to see the Lake District.
But making the Lake District more sustainable and lowering its carbon footprint cannot be achieved through tourism businesses alone, guests and visitors to the Lake District play an integral part. For example informing guests of recycling points and reminding them to recycle as it is just as important to do so when on holiday. Reminding them to turn off lights and other electrical gadgets when the property is empty or not in use. Educating visitors on more sustainable travel options when in the Lake District to the advising of the possible use of local independent businesses for supplies and services whilst on holiday.