Caring for the past and the future
Heritage homes tend to be naturally environmentally friendly, with practical orientation against the worst winter storms, thermal mass to regulate temperatures, well proportioned windows to capture sea breezes and winter sun and natural construction materials from the local area.
We seek to supplement the time-earned low impact of our home, and commit to sustainable and environmentally respectful practices in our own lives which include:
Mindful water consumption
It may surprise you to know that Tasmania suffers from annual water shortages in many districts and the East Coast of Tasmania is the driest part of the state. For our first 5 years here, we were faced with annual extreme water restrictions, water quality issues and regulations which deemed grey water systems illegal! Whilst all of this has thankfully changed, water remains a precious commodity and one which we are determined not to see wasted. Our heritage garden development progresses at a pace which captured and reclaimed water can sustain and we do not aim to support a lawn through summer (no lawn at all in time!)
For your part we ask that you are mindful of the length of showers (we are not going to impose a time limit!), turn off taps properly, use half flushes when appropriate and reuse towels for at least 2 days (we do not replace towels for a typical 2 night stay).
We recycle all glass, plastics and paper in our own home and that generated by the business, and have provided recycling bins in all guest rooms for you to do the same. If you would like to take this opportunity to clean out your car of recyclables, you are most welcome to do so. You are also welcome to hand over food scraps which can be composted if that's something that appeals to you (no peel pun intended!). Just ring the bell and we'll happily add it to the pile, and our worms and garden will thank you.
Heating, cooling and electrical consumption
We heat only rooms we plan to use in winter, and this means our capacity is reduced to 3 rooms in winter. We also use this time to undertake routine maintenance in unused rooms. We use energy efficient panel heaters with thermostats in bedrooms. Please let the thermostat do its job and don't turn the heater to full so that it continues running unnecessarily. Panel heaters do not produce instant warmth, but over time with the thermostat at an appropriate level they do an excellent job of heating enclosed spaces. Our open fire provides a special source of shared warmth in winter and cooler months. We do not light it for cosmetic purposes (although we have been asked to do so on a 30 degree day in December).
We provide fans to circulate air in summer, and expect that guests will open windows to allow cooling sea breezes to circulate in the evening. Please close windows during the day, particularly if there is a strong breeze or wind - it's only going to blow hot air into the house. Tasmania experiences very few days over 40 degrees celsius (ie., hot) and only a moderate number of days over 30 - hardly worth the cost and possibly irreparable damage to a heritage property to install airconditioning. The 40 cm thick walls and optimal orientation result in generally very stable and comfortable inside temperatures year round.
We use compact fluorescent, solar and LED lighting where ever we can, and timers on floor lamps and appliances that don't need to run 24/7.
We use a layered bedding strategy to suit the comfort levels of our guests from warmer and colder climes. Extra blankets are stored in your room (more available if you ask!) and you can remove the cotton quilt in preference for the cotton waffle blanket in warmer weather. We expect that you may need to add a blanket for warmth in winter and strip down to a sheet in summer.
Living locally and seasonally
Our heritage food garden progressively supplies more of the fruit, herbs and vegetables that we serve to our guests. We maintain a natural sourdough starter and also make our own yeasted daily bread using flour milled in Oatlands and Launceston. Our meat products come from Sir Loin Breier butchery in Bicheno. What we can't grow and make ourselves, we source from local, trusted, artisan producers. We present foods in season, and have a passion for preserving our own and local produce in glut. We hope you'll understand that we don't have fresh strawberries in July for your pancakes, but our spiced apples are a more than comforting alternative. Our aim in time is to narrow our provisions radius further, always respecting the source and the season.
As guests in our home, we ask that you will respect and support these initiatives.