We are fortunate to be located right on the edge of the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District. We recognise that we have a responsibility to try and maintain that beauty in as many ways as possible, in order to continue preserving the environment for future generations to enjoy.
Our aims are to work towards reducing food waste, reducing plastic use as a whole (especially single-use plastics), limit our environmental impact with the introduction of ‘green’ plant based chemicals where possible; and to remove unnecessary single use plastic items all together. We have created four plan points to ensure that we can continue on our journey to achieving our eco-friendly goals this season: remove, replace, reuse, recycle.
Remove - The removal of unnecessary plastics and non-recyclable products
Sometimes, you need to take a step back and look at what you are doing to become aware of what changes you can realistically make. We did precisely this, and realised that there were so many small single-use plastic items that we were stocking unnecessarily. So, we have been busy finding green alternatives to use on our estate instead of the harmful single use plastics that we, and many other companies, have been using for all these years. So far, we have removed: single use disposable aprons, plastic inserts inside sandwich packaging, plastic take-away cutlery, stirrers, and on the counter drinking straws. We have been able to find green alternatives for all of these products from companies such as Vegware. This plastic removal is just a small step in our environmentally friendly journey, but it will make a huge difference helping to stop harmful single use plastics entering our oceans and landfills.
Replace - The replacement of existing items with re-usable, recyclable or biodegradable alternatives
Once we had removed the single-use plastics from our estate, we needed a replacement. Although we want to reduce our plastic usage, we don’t want our customers to be left without. With an increasing amount of eco-friendly alternatives available, we have been able to replace our current harmful plastics with biodegradable, compostable alternatives.
You may have seen our ‘plastic’ looking cold drinks and coffee cups. Don’t be alarmed- these are made from vegetables! Vegware are a green company who work their mysterious magic on plant fibres to turn them into robust yet compostable crockery.
We have replaced: plastic food packaging and non-recyclable coffee-cups with Vegware plant based solutions, plastic kitchen portion tubs with a more robust re-usable option, our bin bags have been replaced with degradable refuse sacks. Even our napkins are made from 100% recycled materials and printed with ink made from vegetables! We are also looking into how we can replace the cleaning chemicals that we use with eco-safe options.
It is the attention to detail that really matters, and by paying attention to the small changes we can make, we have seen a huge change in the amount of waste that we produce.
Re-use - To use stronger, re-usable items as much as possible
Another important factor is reusing as much as we can. All too often things are thrown away after one use, despite being made for multiple uses. For example, whenever we get a delivery of stock for the gift shop, the items often come wrapped in bubble wrap for protection. Although this is a necessary use of plastic to ensure that the items don’t get damaged, the bubble wrap is often discarded. Instead, we reuse all bubble wrap that comes with deliveries by using it to wrap up fragile items for customers. Reusing everything where possible is essential to the fight against plastic waste.
Whether this be reusing our portion tubs in our kitchen; reusing the bubble-wrap that comes with our deliveries; introducing reusable takeaway coffee cups or refilling and reusing our cleaning product bottles, we are committed to reusing as many items as we can in order to decrease the need for new harmful, wasteful items.
Recycle - To ensure that all of our waste is recycled correctly
At the very heart of our eco mission, recycling remains the most important step in our journey to a greener Heights. We can make all of the changes that we feel necessary, but unless our waste is being recycled, it may all be for nothing. We are extremely fortunate to have Peak Waste as our waste management company. Peak Waste work by the motto ‘Zero to Landfill’, and this is also the ethos that we have, too.
We recently visited Peak Waste to see what really happens to our rubbish once we send it away. On your visit to the Heights, you may notice that we do not have separate waste bins for recycling, this is because Peak Waste do the separating for us.
When we visited the recycling company, they explained to us that 100% of our food waste is turned into compost and 100% of our cardboard, glass, and plastic is recycled. The cooking oil that we use is also recycled and turned into bio-fuel. Even 98% of our ‘non-recyclable’ waste is sent to an energy plant and turned into energy that powers homes and businesses.
This means that 99.99% of our waste is recycled. We are still working to ensure that the 0.01% of non-recyclable waste that we produce is eventually eradicated, but this is another part of our journey.
Where does the wood to build your structures come from?
The Heights of Abraham is committed to the responsible sourcing of forest products. Our long-term intention is that all timber used in the products that we purchase or specify for use on the estate is sourced from well-managed forests that have been certified to credible certification standards and/or recycled sources. Criteria The Heights of Abraham Timber Procurement Policy requires that all timber and wood-derived products must have Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Chain of Custody certification. The Heights of Abraham believes that the FSC currently represents the gold standard for responsible forest management. The Heights of Abraham will, as a preference, use UK sourced timber so long as it meets FSC standards or, when possible and appropriate, is locally recycled material. Evidence When requested, suppliers must be able to provide evidence to The Heights of Abraham that the wood or wood products they supply are from responsible sources. Products supplied as FSC certified will only be accepted as such if accompanied by an invoice that confirms the FSC status of the products and the FSC certificate number of the immediate supplier.