Environmental Policy

Environmental Policy of Bramleigh Manor Guesthouse and Farm, KZN Midlands

Bramleigh Manor aims to popularise ideas such as organic farming, closed system growing (e.g. aquaponics), solar power, eco-friendly building, homesteading, nature conservation, and environmental awareness. We offer courses, training and experiences in the above ideas, as well as comfortable accommodation for those needing to disconnect from the world for a while and reconnect with nature. We believe in not only sustainable living, but regenerative living. Measures are taken within the guesthouse and farm to ensure our actions are giving back to the environment. Good stewardship is the best way of caring for and protecting the land and natural resources.

Water

  • Water comes from a natural spring in the forest. Efforts are taken to preserve the natural forest so as to preserve the water source.
  • Water intensive crops are grown aquaponically or hydroponically to conserve water and much of the irrigation uses a closed water system.
  • Water systems are regularly checked and maintained.
  • Washing is only done on a necessary basis.
  • Documents are provided in each guest room to ensure guests are aware of the policy and encouraged to use water conservatively.

 

Electricity

  • A PV Solar array and Tesla Powerwall (lithium ion battery back up) supplement much of the electricity usage.
  • Geyser timers are in place to ensure most heating is done when solar power is at its peak. Geysers are switched off when rooms not in use.
  • Lighting has been converted to LED or CFL bulbs.
  • Outdoor lighting for guests is on a day/night sensor.
  • Documents are provided in each guest room to ensure guests are aware of the policy and encouraged to switch off lights.

 

Cleaning

  • All our cleaning products are natural, either commercially available or made on site
  • Concentrates are purchased and diluted
  • Minimal cleaning is done with the use of running water
  • Towels and linens are changed between every guest. In the case of long stay guests, towels and linens are changed once a week, unless otherwise absolutely necessary.

 

Waste

  • We aim to minimise pollution and waste.
  • We recycle glass, plastic, paper, tin and e-waste
  • Organic waste is fed to chickens/geese where appropriate
  • Organic waste (not suitable for chickens and geese) is used to feed a wormery that provides compost for vegetables
  • Reuse or repurpose many items around the farm and guesthouse

 

Food

  • Develop and increase responsibly sourced and purchased foods
  • Promote and encourage local suppliers
  • The meals offered to guests are either grown on the property, or sourced locally such as vegetables grown organically, selections of cheese, hormone and antibiotic free beef, chicken and pork provided by local suppliers
  • Homemade foods such as yoghurt and breads available
  • Meals are provided in picnic baskets for guests to take and enjoy in the garden or on the various walks. The purpose of this is to encourage guests to enjoy time in nature and appreciate nature which will hopefully inspire more conscious living.
  • We will plan carefully to ensure shopping visits are kept to a minimum
  • We will look to buy goods with the minimum of packaging and utilise multi-use carrier bags

 

Buildings:

  • The main guesthouse and accommodation buildings are brick walls with thatched roofing. The thatch is sourced and maintained by a local contractor.
  • Thatch is an excellent insulation of heat
  • Other buildings on the property have been built using a mix of traditional wattle and daub combined with cob building practices

 

Heating

  • Guest rooms and communal areas are fitted with wood burning stoves to reduce electricity usage
  • Wood is sustainably harvested from alien trees on our property
  • Wood burning stoves are slow burning to reduce amount of wood needed as well as efficiently heat rooms as a result

 

The land:

  • Emphasis on regenerative agriculture
  • Holistic management of all aspects – livestock and natural resources are managed in a way that complements and protects both. Every element added to the property takes into consideration the existing resources and facilities. We regularly monitor the environmental impacts of activities.
  • Where possible we aim to mimic natural processes so that the entire ecosystem can flourish naturally.
  • Education and training offered on site to share knowledge and inspire and equip others to adopt sustainable lifestyle
  • Protection of indigenous flora and fauna. Part of our property forms a conservancy, along with neighbouring farms, to protect wildlife and natural bush.
  • Organic pesticide use where absolutely necessary.

 

Guests

  • We are listed with eco-friendly tourism sites
  • We encourage guests to enjoy time in nature
  • At check in, guests are asked to sign a contract informing them of our basic ecopolicy. Main concerns are switching off lights, using water sparingly.
  • Environmental awareness is actively promoted to guests
  • We aim to give guests an experience of living sustainably but comfortably, to use products and services in an environmentally sensitive way
  • Towels and linens are replaced after guest. In the case of long stay guests, towels are only replaced twice a week and linen once a week.
  • Washing is only done on a necessary basis.
  • Guests are encouraged to explore walking and hiking trails on the property rather than driving to other sites.

 

We continually strive for improvement in environmental performance.

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