Our Eco Commitment
We are very conscious of our environmental responsibility at the Emeraldene Inn, and have undertaken many initiatives to improve our environment and lessen our load on domestic power infrastructure. Many of the initiatives are simple changes that if undertaken by every household, can make a huge difference to our overall well-being, our environment, and also result in significant personal energy and cost savings.
We have our own Envirocycle sewerage treatment and grey-water recycling plant. Every drop of water that is used within our property is treated and used to irrigate our gardens. The Envirocycle method for treating sewage and sullage from domestic and commercial developments is based on the age old principal of separating solids from liquids allowing anaerobic bacteria (which does not require oxygen) and aerobic bacteria (which requires oxygen) to digest the waste. The treated water (at a purity approved by relevant health authorities throughout Australia) is dispersed through irrigation lines and spray points. In this way nutrients are returned to nature in a controlled manner. ( Learn more about Envirocycle www.envirocycle.com.au )
Laundry & Cleaning
Today, overly aggressive cleaning products still dominate our supermarket shelves. How can we go on allowing these products to severely pollute our waterways?
There are amazingly effective products available that are equally if not more effective for cleaning, stain removal, laundering, and use in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry, that DO NOT use harsh, environmentally destructive chemicals. Whats more, these products are quite often significantly cheaper than the over-marketed, over-developed commercial products lining our supermarket shelves.
We use NO chlorines, bleaches, ammonias or environmentally destructive chemicals. We principally use Earth Choice cleaning products that are also low in Sodium and phosphate free. One of the best (and cheapest) cleaning products to use is Washing Soda (industrial form of Bicarb of Soda), which you can use as a paste cleaner by mixing with water, or for general cleaning applications. In the wash, we use a 70/30 mix of Spree concentrated powder and Washing Soda – whiter than bleaches and safer for clothes and the environment. Washing soda does not contain harmful detergents, chemicals or horrible invasive fragrances and is more friendly to your hands and the environment. (Learn more about Earth Choice products www.naturesorganics.com.au )
We encourage our guests to hang their towels and reuse them, in order to reduce the use of water and cleaning products. Our policy is to change towels every 3 days. If you would prefer more frequent changing of towels, simply leave your towels on the floor of the bathroom and we will happily provide fresh towels.
With a focus on hygiene and power consumption, all our towels are line (sun) dried. We only use a dryer when necessary due to poor weather.
We endeavour to use recycled and recyclable products when possible. Our bins are located behind the lattice on the eastern side of our property. All recyclable waste (cans, bottles, paper products, plastics etc) should be placed in the yellow bin.
Recycling is one of the easiest ways the domestic consumer can help the environment. Be sure you always remember to take the tops and lids off bottles and jars. Rinse food scraps off all jars, bottles and containers before placing them into the bin, this will help the recycling stations use more of the materials that are collected.
We have replaced all our light globes with the new energy efficient bulbs. Our power usage fell immediately by 20%.
We have isolated every individual room. Power is only switched on to a room when a guest checks in, and is switched off upon checkout. Thus even “phantom” power usage (by appliances on standby) is eliminated.
We have installed smaller, individual hot water units to every unit. These units are only turned on when a guest checks in – significant power reductions.
We currently have one large solar hot water heater which results in significant energy savings during the summer months. We are researching further solar options for both power and water heating.
Compost – we have increased the water efficiency of our gardens, whilst naturally returning nutrients to the soil, by manufacturing our own compost from garden and lawn waste / cuttings. Composting is easy, fun, and you can also throw in all household organic waste.
Fertilizers - We are committed to using products that increase soil, plant, human and animal health and vitality – i.e. NO chemical fertilizers. By minimising and eliminating the use of chemical fertilizers, soil and agricultural sustainability is increased by promoting the benefits of good bacteria and microbes, and returning positive trace elements to the soil. Over time, plants will grow stronger and healthier, be less prone to insect attack and disease, and thereby eliminate any need to use pesticides. We use Organic Link products in our gardens. (Learn more about Organic Link products www.batphone.com.au )
Whilst we recognise that our initiatives alone are but a small contribution to a massive issue, a concerted effort by a majority will make the difference that matters. We like to think that through sharing our environmentally friendly space with our guests, we can show that we all CAN make a difference to our environment, if only by a small change of habit or product use as outlined above.
“If we do not change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.”