For some time now The Nare has been ahead of the current and fashionable environmental movement of warm-worded but questionably-sustainable tourism. Many subtle feats of environmental engineering have already been implemented by the hotel’s resident engineer in order to reduce energy waste and be more economical, but without in any way adversely impacting on the comfort of guests.
Toby Ashworth is rather cynical of ineffective gimmicky gestures that other hotels use for marketing purposes. He enjoys devising “deep-green” environmentally effective and appropriate solutions that make a genuine difference – otherwise known as Econitiatives - the art of genuine eco-friendly and economically viable initiatives (another of his off-the-wall inventions).
The visual appearance, peace and quiet are cherished at The Nare. It is considered important that there are no noisy, unsightly air conditioning heat exchangers installed that waste valuable energy into the atmosphere. For the last 25 years fridges have been water cooled. The warm water is fed into the cold feed to the boiler to heat the hot water.
Likewise excess heat from the kitchen is transferred to the outdoor pool. When the pool is cleaned the backwash waste water, together with rainwater harvested from the beach hut rooves provides greywater to flush the lavatories. Combined with the use of a borehole we minimise our water consumption.
At the other end of the system the hotel has its own sewerage plant which requires environmental rigor being so close to the sea. With this in mind the hotel laundry has been relocated 5 miles inland in order to relieve pressure on such a sensitive coastal location.
Ironically it is probably the presence of the hotel and its constant supply of processed fresh water that has created the ideal habitat on the foreshore under the cliff for a particularly rare Shore Dock plant (Rumex Rupestris) that justifies the European designation of The Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation. The Nare takes its environmental obligation very seriously and has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years appeasing the whims of the environmental fraternity to maintain this important habitat.
Installing energy saving measures in an old 1920s buildings is challenging, however some appropriate behind-the-scenes technology involving a centrally controlled mains-borne signalling (rather than rewiring the whole building) was used 20 years ago to switch off heating to unoccupied bedrooms and also controlling outdoor lighting according to daylight hours.
Other important steps have been taken to respect the environment such as moving the gas and oil tanks underground and away from the coast, and installing solar PV panels at The Tregony depot, away from the visible coastal location. This inland site acts as a delivery hub, reducing the number of large lorries coming down to The Nare. It is planned to operate a park and ride service for staff, hence saving fuel and sea-view parking spaces. Other services that do not need a sea-view location have also be relocated inland.
Avoiding using small fiddly plastic bottles for shampoo in guest bathrooms which get thrown away if they are even barely used. The Nare was probably the first hotel in the country to provide large generous re-useable freestanding dispensers. Similarly Toby Ashworth has a pet hate of cellophane wrapped products. Paper packaging has replaced plastic packaging throughout the hotel.
For a long while The Nare has been bottling its own drinking water and refilling its own-labelled bottles rather than shipping in crates and crates of throw away bottles. Needless to say rubbish is sorted and recycled where possible, and past–their-best linen, towelling and soft furnishings are given or sold for charity. Recently a particularly satisfying donation to a local homeless charity provided starter packs of emergency home comforts to those in need.