Our one-bedroom, eco holiday cottage in the heart of the Scottish Borders have been created with environmental impact in mind. We aim to ensure that the overall effect of our business activities is eco-friendly, enhances the local environment and has a minimal detrimental impact on the wider environment, including impact on the availability of resources in the future. As Burnbrae Holidays we are members of Green Tourism and have been awarded the silver grade. We have previously held the gold award and aim to again. You can learn more about this scheme at Green Tourism. We have 3 slightly different cottages – Mungo’s Well cottage, our dog-friendly cottage Begrum cottage, and a slightly bigger Thairn cottage.
Green Policy for Our Eco Holiday Cottage
We manage Burnbrae eco holiday cottage taking care to minimise the negative effects which Burnbrae Holiday cottages have on the environment both local, and worldwide. Where possible we will continue to reduce our carbon footprint. If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve please let us know.
Communication Policy at Burnbrae Eco Holiday Cottage
- We will use social media to increase awareness of our eco holiday cottages and to share information, to educate us and others on ideas to reduce the use of plastics and to minimise our carbon footprint.
- We correspond with our guests where possible by email & phone to reduce the amount of paper that we use.
- We have improved the access for people to see the local wildlife.
Eco Holiday Cottage: Social responsibility
- All cottages have a high level of thermal insulation.
- We use low-energy or LED light bulbs, where practicable and appropriate.
- Since 2018 we have planted 1845 native trees. We will continue to look after them in an eco-friendly way as time permits us to do so.
- We plan on improving our pond for native wildlife.
- We reinstate dry stone walls.
- We will continue to repair stone and slate buildings.
Eco holiday cottage: Reduce our use of Energy
- We continue to monitor and maintain our solar panels. We maintain a record of how much electricity they produce.
- We are still awaiting the connection of our SMART meter from our electricity supplier, so we can monitor the electricity we use and produce.
- We purchase electricity (to top up the electricity that the solar panels produce) from a renewable energy supplier who assures us that all of the power supplied is generated from renewable resources.
- All of our heating and hot water is heated by our biomass, boiler (wood pellets). We monitor the heat produced and heat used to maintain efficient, eco-friendly cottages.
- We use lower temperature washes in the washing machine.
- We dry all laundry on an outside line whenever the weather is dry.
- We use rechargeable batteries whenever possible
- We encourage everyone to turn off devices and lights when not in use.
- We use energy-efficient LED light bulbs.
Eco-friendly holiday Cottage: Reduce our use of Water
- We collect and utilise rainwater.
- We do not have hanging baskets of flowering plants.
- We carefully restrict water flow to the taps to ensure that you have plenty, but it is not wasted.
Eco Holiday Cottage : Travel
- We promote cycling by providing a lockable cycle shed to encourage guests to bring their bikes and to use them to explore the beautiful Borders countryside. There are many cycle routes of various lengths, locally to Burnbrae Holidays.
- We encourage guests to arrive by electric vehicle. We have installed a 22kw EV charging point for our guests to use for free during 2023.
- While we are keen to encourage visitors to see the Scottish Borders on foot and by cycling, we are conscious of the fact that this is not always possible. Information about walking and cycle routes is provided in your cottage and we are happy to talk with you about routes. We provide drying facilities and a lockable cycle store. Our efforts have been acknowledged by the award of the designations “Walkers Welcome” and “Cyclists Welcome” from Visit Scotland.
Eco Holiday Cottage Reduce our Waste
- We ask guests to segregate uncooked vegetables, glass, metal /plastic /paper /card waste. We compost what we can and use it in the garden.
- Waste and some recycling are collected and we transport the remainder to Kelso for recycling, when we are travelling in already, i.e. taking the environment into consideration.
- We will continue to remove litter from the roadside and other areas.
- During winter 2018/2019 we planted 1600 native trees and another 245 since.
- Onsite we grow and harvest fuel for the wood-burning stoves.
- We will continue to instruct guests on setting the wood-burning stoves to minimize smoke
- We will continue to enhance habitats for native wildlife of various kinds. We regularly see a stoat, hares, woodpeckers, buzzards, herons. We occasionally see a sparrow hawk, barn owls, otters and red kite.
- We will continue to feed the many birds which visit the cottage garden including robins, tits, tree sparrows, house sparrows, and woodpeckers.
- We continue to improve access for all to see wildlife, including maintaining paths around Burnbrae and along the Eden Water.
- We avoid where possible cleaning products containing chlorine.
- Our cottages are non-smoking.
- Onsite we grow and harvest fuel for the wood-burning stoves.
- We use timber furnishings and fittings in lieu of plastics, where practicable.
- The toilet rolls, kitchen rolls and tissues, which we provide are either made from unbleached, recycled paper or unbleached bamboo.
- We use water-based paints
- We purchase energy-efficient appliances
- On our welcome tray, we offer homegrown flowers and homemade baking.
- We aim to promote an eco-friendly culture for those visiting our eco-friendly holiday cottages here in the Scottish Borders.
We are part of the Tourism Declares group of businesses
We declare our shared commitment to unite all stakeholders in transforming tourism to deliver effective climate action.
We support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.
We will consistently align our actions with the latest scientific recommendations, so as to ensure our approach remains consistent with a rise of no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
As a signatory, we commit to:
- Deliver a climate action plan within 12 months of signing.
- Report publicly both progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as the actions being taken, at least annually.
- Align our plan with five shared pathways (measure, decarbonise, regenerate, collaborate, finance) to ensure climate action is consistent across all of tourism.
- Share information on activities connected to Tourism Declares and/or the Glasgow Declaration among contacts and networks.
- Work in a collaborative and constructive spirit with other members of Tourism Declares and/or signatories of the Glasgow Declaration.
We are all learning. We would like to hear of any suggestions you have for improving our environmental policy or its implementation.