Peaks and Pods’ Environmental Policy
At Peaks and Pods we take our responsibility for the environment seriously and have measures in place to ensure that our sustainable tourism venture makes the minimum impact possible here on our beautiful site on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Peaks and Pods is a luxury camping pod business on our small family-run dairy farm in a rural area. Before beginning the project, we had already taken steps to become more environmentally responsible and to reduce our carbon footprint. In April 2018 we were awarded Green Tourism’s top ‘Gold Award’ for our commitment to sustainability.
We aim to review, improve and update our environmental policy regularly and pledge to keep thinking of ways in which we can always push forward with our ‘green’ commitment.
In August 2014, we installed a 50kWh wind turbine, which by February 2017, had produced over 350,000kWh of electricity – saving the equivalent of 186 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 30 months – an average of over six tonnes of CO2 a month.
We decided in December 2015 that we needed an alternative renewable energy source to support our farm’s electricity demands when the turbine wasn’t generating. We installed solar panels on our large cowshed roof – leaving gaps to allow light in for our ladies in winter! Every year the panels generate around 28,000kWh of energy, enough to power eight average homes, saving almost 15 tonnnes of CO2 per year – an average of just over one tonne of CO2 per month.
We use much of the electricity that we generate, and any surplus energy is exported to the grid. It was important to us that our pod site was powered by electricity to make the best use of our own energy. When we are not able to use our own electricity to power Peaks and Pods, we use electricity from business suppliers Opus Energy. In January 2020, Opus announced that 100% electricity supplied to its customers was from renewable, responsible sources. We also sell the unused electricity we generate to Opus Energy.
In 2019 we generated enough electricity to power 39 average homes in the UK.
Lighting the Way
Inside our five camping pods are low energy LED lights, and each pod’s single external LED light is on a motion sensor to minimise both the use of energy and the amount of light pollution.
We feel that it is important for the site to look as natural as possible without prominent external lighting, so guests are provided with torches to make their way around safely, and solar powered stakes providing extra low-level lighting on the paths. The lights inside the shower block are low energy LED bulbs on motion sensors with automatic timers, and the two external lights are LEDs on a photocell sensor, allowing guests to access the facilities in safety at night but with minimal energy use and light pollution. Signs are in place to encourage guests to switch off internal lights when not in use.
All our pods contain high-quality kitchenettes, which include efficient A+ rated fridges. The pods have fully insulted walls and floors and they are so energy efficient that they are suitable for year-round use. Pods have curtains and blackout blinds for added efficiency.
Keeping it Clean
Our cleaning products are environmentally friendly, wherever possible, and we leave our high quality eco-products for guests to keep their pods clean during their stay. We make bulk orders for cleaning products to cut down the number of road miles we travel. The washing machine for the Peaks and Pods ‘Little Laundry’ runs on an ‘eco’ setting and we provide eco-friendly laundry detergent and fabric conditioner.
We provide recycling bins next to The Hub and ask our guests to sort their waste before they leave Peaks and Pods. We support Craven District Council’s ‘Cleaner Craven’ initiative, which encourages residents to recycle plastic, tins and cans, paper and cardboard, glass, aerosols and cartons.
Heating the Tubs
Two of our pods have hot tubs on the patio. We use environmentally-friendly air source heat pumps to warm the water in the hot tubs. The pumps, which use surrounding warm air, can provide up to 5.5kWh each using a 1.1kWh electric supply. The electricity we use, whenever possible, is generated by our renewable energy sources. When we’re not producing we buy electricity from Opus, who announced in January 2020, that they sourced 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. The hot tub water is dechlorinated before being emptied.
Peaks and Pods has a detailed and concise website, which provides guests with up-to-date information about our services and facilities. We decided to print only a limited number leaflets (to reach the people who might not find us online) on 100% recycled card. All our office paper is recycled.
We encourage the use of bikes by providing secure cycle storage, bike wash and maintenance area. We have plotted a selection of cycling routes from Peaks and Pods for all abilities, and welcome touring cyclists with flexible booking options and facilities. The cycle routes are available to our guests either as a digital download or as a physical map with markers. We also provide a web link to Forestry England’s Gisburn Forest – a fantastic designation for mountain bikers and walker, only five miles from Peaks and Pods. We have also planned country walks from the Peaks and Pods site, offering visitors a selection of routes of varying difficulty.
We provide information about public transport to the local area. The nearest train station is at Giggleswick – five miles away, and the nearest bus stops are at Rathmell and Tosside – both two miles away.
High five for shopping local
We aim to promote local businesses – shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants – by featuring them on our website, in our welcome packs, and by stocking marketing leaflets. The welcome packs contain information about where to buy Fair Trade locally, and suggests places to shop such as nearby ‘Growing with Grace’ – suppliers of fresh, seasonal, organic fruit and vegetables – a community owned co-operative and Social Enterprise.
On our wood-fired pizza oven, we use eco-friendly wood briquettes made from dust and particles extracted as a by-product from horse bedding. The briquettes are completely natural and fully traceable and are claimed to be one of the most carbon-efficient, environmentally friendly fuels on the market. The pizza oven was designed and built in a local foundry less than 20 miles away.