We are aware of the importance of environmental sustainability and continuously seek to be a responsible company and improve our environmental and social performance.
In order for us to reduce the effect of our carbon footprint, we have implemented a programme of ongoing action to achieve this, which our guests can also be part of. Although not an exhaustive list, many of the things we do are listed below.
We were recognised by travel website TripAdvisor for our efforts and awarded a Green Leaders Silver Award in our second year (awarded Bronze the previous year), which very few B&Bs nationally achieved.
In 2019, Visit Devon awarded us their bronze award for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism. Then in 2022 we were awarded the Quality in Tourism Silver Award for Responsible Tourism, having been independently assessed and ranked against other businesses in the industry.
Whilst we are unable to make grand gestures like solar panels or our own wind turbine, we do lots of smaller things which add up to something more meaningful.
We have separate internal and external bins for splitting of recycling.
We recycle glass, card, paper, plastics, foil and garden waste and remove recylable material from bedroom bins.
We supply Devonia bottled water which is the only UK supplier washing, sterilising and re-using the bottles. They use 94% less energy by washing bottles rather than buying new every time. To wash a bottle it uses 0.025Kwh, in contrast, it takes a much larger 0.413Kwh to melt down and create a new glass bottle. Once beyond re-use, they recycle them.
Plastic bottles are given on departure and we ask for them to be recycled responsibly by guests.
Our "Goodie Bags" are recyclable paper ones.
Empty aluminium coffee pods are recycled via Nespresso's send-back scheme (generally into drinks cans and car parts) and they turn the coffee into compost. They are made from 80% recycled aluminium and their machines come in fully recyclable packaging made of 95% recycled material.
Half-used toiletries are used by us, then put in the recycling.
Our flower vases are made locally from 100% recycled glass.
Glass jam pots and aluminium lids are recycled.
At the end of each season, out of date leaflets are recycled.
We now supply pillows made from plastic bottles - see Bedding section below for more info.
We use washing powder which doesn't contain microplastics, and comes in a recyclable cardboard box.
We don't use plastic glasses in the bathrooms, ours are glass.
We decant sauces into tiny dishes rather than offering plastic sachets.
We've use low or non-VOC and no oil paints throughout the building.
We encourage guests to help reduce their carbon footprint too.
Toilet rolls are made from responsible sources.
Rather than individual cardboard cereal boxes we use cereals in Kilner jars. We also make
our own granola.
We provide reusable glass bottles of fresh milk rather than plastic pots of UHT milk.
Rather than buying biscuits in plastic wrappers we supply home made treats displayed in glass domes.
We reduced temporary wrappings like cling film by using long life containers to store things like bacon and silicone lids on cream and yogurt which can be washed between each use rather than discarded.
We make our own yogurts served in reusable glass jars rather than buying them in plastic pots.
Our cutlery in the "takeaway packs" is no longer plastic and now wooden.
Our slippers are provided in compostable bags rather than our previous plastic ones.
Our bars of soap are supplied in cardboard boxes rather than plastic wrapped.
Shopping deliveries are requested without plastic bags and we use bags for life when shopping in person.
Our egg trays are returned to our local farm supplier for re-use.
We like "upcycling" furniture rather than replacing it.
Many items have been sold to other B&Bs or given to charity rather than taking to landfill.
We are happy to fill guests' own re-usable water bottles.
Plastic containers from the cash and carry which have sweets in are re-used as cake containers and other storage.
Our cleaning products are diluted from concentrate, with the 5 litre bottles returned for re-filling. This prevents us having to keep buying trigger sprays as we re-use the trigger bottles over and over.
Our washing up liquid is also purchased in 5 litre bottles which is returned for re-filling. We've been using the same plastic washing up bottle by the sink for seven years!
Our cleaning cloths are washed and re-used rather than using disposable wipes and cloths.
Rather than disposing of old towels they become rags for cleaning.
Tourist leaflets and maps in good condition are returned to the display case in reception for reuse by other guests.
We use email where possible rather than post.
We don't print guest registration cards as we gather guest information before arrival.
Rather than supply daily newspapers and current magazines, each room has an iPad with apps for them instead.
We print double sided where we can using recycled ink cartridges.
Printed waste paper is utilised on the other side as note paper.
Our website is our brochure.
Weather and other daily information is displayed on a white board rather than paper.
Guests are not required to print or show confirmations of booking or gift vouchers.
Invoices are not presented in envelopes.
All our own leaflets are available on line too.
Tourist information leaflets are put back in the holders for reuse where possible.
We encourage emailing of our gift vouchers by making no charge compared to printing it out.
We have fitted the latest LED technology light blubs including strip lighting.
Many lights including external are on timers and/or dusk to dawn sensors.
New low energy boiler.
Radiators have thermostatic controls and we only heat bedrooms when in use.
We have no electric showers, all are pumped by mains water pressure.
Dining tables have glass tops to remove the need for washing of table cloths.
Double glazing is fitted throughout the house.
Having completely refurbished, many electrical items including fridge-freezer, dishwasher and washing machine are new and 'A' rated or above.
When floors, ceilings and walls were accessed for building work, extra insulation was installed. The lost is also double insulated.
Our towel policy - towels will not be replaced daily unless they are left in the shower tray. They will be replaced every four nights as standard, along with bedding.
All our bedrooms, including our own are fitted with efficient heat pump air conditioning which provide efficient heating as well as cooling (3KW output for every 1KW used)..
Having had a feasibility survey for solar panels, unfortunately our roof is not suitable for them and the restricted benefit would outweigh the cost.
Our Nespresso machines and milk frothers have an auto power off mode and use only the necessary amount of electricity and water for the perfect cup of coffee.
There are motion sensors on most of our bathroom fans.
We used Pozitive Energy to supply our electricity who source 100% of their electricity from renewable sources for four years. Unfortunately, they were unable to offer anywhere near a competitive quote this time round so we have been forced to move to EDF but they are one of the largest renewable energy generators and purchasers in Europe.
Some of the lights in our garden are powered by solar energy.
Our drawing room fireplace has a video of an open fire - all the enjoyment without the resources or emissions.
Over winter we turn everything off in bedrooms such as TVs on standby, and reduce the number of fridges and freezers we use in the kitchen.
Energy usage is monitored monthly and also compared to previous years.
Our dressing gowns supplied in the bedrooms are made of a super soft material, designed to take 31% less drying time compared to normal terry toweling.
We have also now replaced the blankets in each room for the same easy wash / dry material to reduce water and drying time.
Our smaller kettles take less water and can boil as little as a cup of water.
All toilets have smaller cisterns and shorter/dual flushes.
We installed a secondary hot water circulation loop so water is not wasted waiting for hot water to come through.
Only two bedrooms have baths to reduce water usage. One is a slipper bath chosen for its smaller water capacity.
We use an automatic watering system for our pots and hanging baskets to minimise wastage.
Some sink taps are designed to use less cold water.
All sink taps have flow restrictors to reduce wastage.
Our dish washers and our washing machine are used on the shortest cycle for the task and use minimal water.
The dish washer has a timer so we can use off peak electricity.
Food is sourced locally to reduce food miles.
Many items are homemade.
Food is carefully ordered and cooked to minimise waste and the amount of refrigeration needed.
Most unused/leftover food is eaten by us and we make casseroles and soups.
Food scraps are recycled and collected by the Council
Cooking oil is disposed of in a sustainable way and turned into biodiesel.
Fruit past its best is turned into smoothies.
We encourage guests to reuse or take home their individual jams and preserves.
Fresh milk is replaced in bedrooms daily and we drink leftovers.
Our experience has led to carefully assessed portion control for filling meals but no wastage.
We use lidded jars for individual portions of berries and fruit salad which extend its life.
Chilled trays are also used on the buffet to keep things chilled and fresher for longer.
We offer vegetarian and vegan alternatives to a traditional pork sausage on request, which have a lower carbon footprint.
Bedding and Linen:
Our bedding (duvets, pillows, toppers, protectors) is supplied by The Fine Bedding Company who manufacture in a sustainable way to reduce their carbon footprint (19% lower than industry average). 100% of its energy is from certified renewable sources and they have EcoFactory status.
At the end of 2020 we replaced our Spundown pillows with Smartdown. These down-like pillows have microfibres manufactured from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles.
Our linen policy - beds are changed as standard every four nights. If you require anything changing before then, just let us know. However, we ask via a letter on your bed if you'd prefer we didn't change either your bed or towels. This reduces water, electricity and transportation via our linen company.
All curtains are lined for their thermal qualities but are also blackout to block the sun on warmer days reducing the need for air conditioning.
Our linen (sheets, towels, napkins etc) is supplied and washed by Johnsons Stalbridge who are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint. Their plastic wrap around bundles of linen is 100% recyclable and returned to them to do so, they have managed to reduce their energy usage and recycle 75% of the water they use with their own system on site, they use biodegradable detergents, and recycle old linen.
The majority of our cushions and bed runners are from a UK based factory (Mitre) which wash extremely well on low temperatures and require air drying only.
Local Economy / Social Awareness:
We do our upmost to help preserve the local area, protect its rich geophysical history, and support the many small businesses and its people.
The localised sourcing of products and the distance they travel from has heavily considered when ordering, reducing our carbon footprint.
When refurbishing, we used local tradespeople and suppliers.
We use local companies such as the butcher and florist, reducing delivery mileage and packaging.
We pay supplier invoices within 48 hours of receipt knowing that cash flow is important for small business.
Encourage our guests to spend money locally to sustain the local economy - promoting local attractions and special places to visit.
Literature from local attractions / restaurants / taxi companies are displayed in reception and on our website as well as regular social media links.
We support various local events, not only by attending and promoting them but paying for advertising.
Items across the B&B including the hanging rail in the Torre Suite were made by our local blacksmith in walking distance at Cockington Court Craft Centre.
Our honesty bar and breakfast sideboard were saved as second hand purchases on Ebay.
We support local charities such as Animals in Distress based in Ipplepen, and Foredown Kennel in Kingskerswell.
The English Riviera is a UNESCO Global Urban Geopark. We support this by attending meetings, and encouraging visitors to associated businesses like Kents Cavern, Torquay Museum and to places like Berry Head Nature Reserve, Oddicombe Beach and along the South West Coastal Path.
We regularly visit local theatres including our community and amateur theatres , restaurants, shops and attractions.
We were ambassadors for the English Riviera BIDs, and Andy is on the Destination Marketing Focus Group helping encourage more new people to visit the area. Andy has also been involved in developing the new 5-year Destination Marketing Plan on behalf of the council and supported other accommodation businesses by collating advice during Covid-19.
We maintain the immediate area around the B&B looking after the grass, pavements and tree.
Our jams and preserves are supplied by a company making them in small batches offering work experience to people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
We encourage the use of independent restaurants selling locally sourced food rather than chains, most of which can be walked to, including Venus Café (coming soon) on the beach front which aims to be the greenest beach café in the UK.
Where local suppliers are not available, we endeavor to use UK suppliers to reduce imports, for example, our guest lounge furniture was hand made in Wales by Sofa Sofa.
Litter picking in our local environment is done on a daily basis.
We have supported hospitality students at South Devon College.
When we receive post, stamps are given to a charity and envelopes are recycled.
Our chocolate bars are produced less than an hour away with their own cacao bought directly from independent farmers in Venezuela, using antique machines.
Our candle supplier in Devon uses 100% natural soy wax with no bees wax or palm oil.
We clean with Henry vacuum cleaners made in Somerset in the West Country.
We live within the Torbay Council area who have a plan to be carbon neutral by 2030 which includes creating solar farms, increasing recycling, increasing tree planting and electric charging points in car parks.
Visit Devon Bronze Award for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable tourism 2019
We encourage birds by feeding them in our garden and keeping wilder areas and plenty of trees and mature shrubs.
Many of the shrubs have berries and seeds which attract and feed the birds.
We have a fountain on our terrace which the birds enjoy, and a bird bath in our back garden.
We have plenty of flowering plants to attract bees.
Garden waste is composted. Larger waste is chipped by the local council, collected monthly.
We don't use any chemicals to control pests.
We planted wild flower seeds in one area of our back garden.
We use peat-free compost in our plant pots.
The 25 is proud to be an "Extra-mile Way Maker" in the South West Coast Path charity which helps protect, care for and share the path, protect the precious wildlife corridor, and encourage visitors to use local businesses along the route.
Why get on a plane or drive for hours? The English Riviera is easily accessible for much of the Midlands, south Wales and the south of England reducing your carbon footprint, arrive by train to reduce it further.
We encourage the use of trains, ferries and buses, and provide timetables and maps.
Many places are in walking distance too, so we encourage our guests to minimise the use of their car whilst staying with us.
We rarely use a car ourselves and able to walk to most places.
We are within easy walking distance of two train stations, and one mile from the coach station.
Bikes can be hired from Torbay Cycle Hire and E-Bikes too.
We provide directions for our favourite walks and umbrellas for the rare times it rains on the English Riviera!
As our cleaning liquids are diluted on site, the carbon footprint is smaller than if the cleaning company were transporting the water filled products.
We have an overnight car charging point available for electric cars.
We book Sainsburys delivery slots marked with a green van. To reduce the carbon footprint of our order it lets us know they'll be delivering to someone else in the area, so the van won't have to make two trips.
We often buy in bulk to reduce the number of deliveries and packaging.
Where we can we car share such as to travel to award ceremonies with other local businesses.
How Our Guests Can Help & Participate:
Arrive by public transport / use public transport or walk whilst staying here.
Don't print out your confirmation emails (we don't need to see them), we already ask for
all your information prior to arrival to avoid the need for printing registration forms.
Turn off taps when brushing teeth or shaving.
Use the short flush facility on toilets.
Don't ask for your towels to be replaced / washed daily.
We give you the option whether or not to have your room serviced each day.
Take showers not baths.
Take your complimentary toiletries home to use them up.
Turn radiator thermostats down slightly.
Put a jumper on rather than turning the heating up and wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
Close the windows if you have the aircon switched on.
Turn the radiator down rather than taking a jumper off or using the air-conditioning.
If you wish to use the same pot of jam for a second day, let us know and we'll keep it to one side for you.
Turn your lights, TV and air-conditioning off when leaving your room.
Don't set your air-con below 22°C which is still lovely and cool on a hot day.
Only boil the amount of water you need for hot drinks.
Don't leave the fridge open for extended periods.
Use our external recycling bin for your rubbish or leave at the side of your bedroom bin.
We give guests the choice if they wish their bed and towels to be replaced half way through their stay (4 nights +).
Take part in green activities whilst here - we provide a leaflet on our favourite walks.
Take your half used jam jar to your room, store in your fridge overnight and bring back down the next morning.
If you have an electric car, we can now offer complimentary overnight charging - just let us know and we'll reserve the parking space for you.
We aim to raise awareness of environmental issues and reduce the impact of our guests both whilst at The 25 and also when visiting our local area.
Wondering where your waste goes that you throw away at The 25? Our local council don't send any waste out of the country. Here's where it goes:
In addition to Torbay Council collections, we also pay for Suez Waste Management to take some of our recycling away. This is what they collect:
Rather than any waste going to landfill, ours is only transported as far as Cornwall where Suez have a state of the art Energy from Waste Recovery Centre where they create energy for the national grid. The by product from the burning is then used in carbon neutral concrete building blocks or for roads. Nothing goes to landfill, even the chimneys are filtered so well it only gives off water vapour.