From conception to completion, Cascade Creek Retreat was built with environmental sustainability and eco-friendly principles at the forefront of our mind.
The design and construction of Cascade Creek Retreat is a testament to how passionate we are about the preservation, protection and enhancement of the environment. The extensive use of recycled materials, married with the choice to build the Retreat completely ‘off the grid’ using solar and hydro power only, demonstrates the dedication to this philosophy. This, combined with our desire to share the beauty of Cascade Creek Retreat whilst promoting the importance of our eco-friendly principles to our guests, staff and local community and providing the chance to fully engage in these, demonstrates the complete commitment those involved with Cascade Creek Retreat have.
We introduce systems installed at Cascade Creek Retreat that ensure our staff and our guests are educated and engaged in the lifestyle we live and promote of environmental sustainability. We work through suppliers’ wherever possible who are aligned with our principles and support us in our venture to preserve protect and enhance the environment we live in.
Through the establishment of an annual action plan, some of the initiatives we have employed to support our principles are as follows:
To support the use of Energy and Power resources, we have incorporated a number of practises in the design of the Retreat to minimise the use by all those that use Cascade Creek Retreat. In addition to the forward thinking of the design, we practise thoughtful selection within the everyday running of the Retreat, such as our “Switch Off Policy”, the low usage selection of appliances and light bulbs and the installation of as little technology in the Retreat as possible…providing a “true getaway” and a minimal footprint on the environment. See more initiatives we have established at Cascade Creek Retreat.
We are 100% solar and hydro power, with the excess hydro power overflow used to heat the downstairs bedroom
We designed the Retreat with; The priority of insulation in mind – use of logs and 100% natural NZ made wool insulation; The large windows facing North and East, small windows facing south to capture as much sun and warmth as possible
Our selections of all appliances are made on the most energy efficient available with the least power usage e.g. microwave, gram energy efficient fridge and ice box, hair dryer etc.
We use energy efficient light bulbs
We have minimal technology i.e. no phone, TV, Computer, dishwasher, washing machine or spa bath
All towels/hand towels & face cloths linen are cold washed and then dried in open air wherever possible to save energy
The bathroom fan has a timer installed
We promote a “switch off” policy with all our visitors and guests
The outdoor bath is plumped to Cali font
All windows are double glazed and have wooden frames
Gas Cali font, therefore electricity is not being used to preheat water
Woollen slippers are provided for guests so no underfloor heating required
The large open wood Jetmaster fire ensures no need for any other heating e.g. heat pump, electric etc.
Natural ventilation of large windows ensures no need for fans, oven range etc.
All water is gravity fed to the Retreat eliminating the need for an electric pump
The septic tank is gravity fed also eliminating the need for an electric pump
- A thorough recycling waste system has been implemented – all glass, plastics, paper, tin, aluminium is recycled
All food scraps are fed to our pigs or used for composting
All notices/information is printed out on 100% recycled paper & old paper is used reused for scraps
We buy non-perishables in bulk i.e. toiletries, cleaning, food supplies
We make a conscious effort to buy quality goods at all times
Any used appliances/goods not necessary at the Retreat any longer are given or sold to those in need.
The design of the Retreat will not date and needs minimal maintenance therefore less wastage in this area
- The installation of a water efficient shower head
- A classic styled laundry has been installed for guests use instead of a washing machine, including a hand wringer, tub and sink and a clothesline for guests clothes to air dry
- There is no dishwasher in the Retreat instead installing a quality butlers sink in the kitchen for guests use
- The use of native plants around the Retreat blended with the surrounds ensures the plants do not need or only need minimal watering
Through conscious thought and actions, efficient use of energy, water, products and other resources, we work hard to ensure that our businesses reduce environmental impact. Other initiatives we have introduced to support our environmental and sustainable principles and policy.
Cascade Creek Retreat Enviro Initiatives List
RESOURCE ONE Energy and Power
- 100% solar and hydro power – with excess hydro power overflow used to heat the downstairs bedroom
- Insulation through logs & 100% natural NZ made wool insulation
- Large windows facing North and East, small windows facing South to capture as much sun and warmth as possible
- Selections of appliances made on energy efficiency and good quality
- We use energy efficient light bulbs
- Minimal technology – no phone, TV, computer, dishwasher, washing machine or spa bath
- Towels/hand towels/facecloths cold washed and air dried where possible
- Bathroom fan timer installed
- Switch off policy promoted with all guests
- Outdoor bath plumped to Cali font
- All windows double glazed with wooden frames
- Gas Cali font ensuring electricity is not being used to preheat water
- Woollen slippers provided for guests so no underfloor heating is required
- Large open wood Jetmaster fire ensures no need for any other heating e.g. heat pump, electric etc.
- Natural Ventilation of large windows ensures no need for fans, range etc.
- All water is gravity fed eliminating the need for an electric pump
- Septic tank is gravity fed also eliminating the need for an electric pump
- All path lighting to the Retreat is solar
- The outdoor bath is plumbed to the house for efficient gas use
RESOURCE TWO Waste
- A thorough recycling programme has been implemented – all glass, plastics, paper, tin, aluminium is recycled
- All food scraps fed to our pigs or used for composting
- All notices/information printed on 100% recycled paper and old paper is used for scraps
- We buy non-perishables in bulk
- We make a conscious effort to buy quality goods at all ties
- Any used appliances/goods/ linen not necessary at the Retreat are given or sold to those in need
- The design of the Retreat will not date and needs minimal maintenance and renovation therefore less wastage
- No bottled water for guests – we offer spring water as well as a filter in the kitchen
- Eco friendly amenities which are refillable offered at the Retreat ensuring less packaging and wastage
- Cleaning and other products all purchased in bulk where possible therefore reducing waste
- Soap pump instead of cake soap at hand basin – less wastage and less packaging
- Free range eggs from our farm are given to our guests when we have an excess
- Reusable containers used at the Retreat which ensures easy refills, less waste and longer longevity of products
RESOURCE THREE Water
- Installation of a water efficient shower head
- Classic styled laundry installed instead of a washing machine, including a hand wringer, tub, sink and a clothesline for guests clothes to air dry
- No dishwasher in the Retreat instead installing a butlers sink in the kitchen for guests use
- The use of native plants around the Retreat blends with the surrounds and ensures the plants do not need watering.
- Ensure efficient water use through correctly fitting plugs
- Protection of waterways through fencing along rivers and streams as well as a thorough planting programme
- Encouragement of our guests support through the option of reusing their towels for a second day thus reducing water usage and detergents
- Water bottles provided with the picnic basket which can be filled from the tap
- Build of the Retreat using predominantly recycled and natural materials throughout and locally where possible. This meant cutting down the amount of raw materials used in manufactured goods, support of local businesses, reduction in land and air pollution and encouragement of good building practices both in NZ and overseas.*
- Through the creation of a photobook which documents our journey of the build of the Retreat, our environmental principles and the details involved from conception to creation, guests have been able to share and understand the practices we have employed.
- Recycled: window frames, timber, floor, doors, toilet, fireplace, kitchen, furniture, mirrors, outdoor bath, hardware, hinges, handles, locks, natural timber for creation of stairs, walls.
- Whole logs used for the build therefore 30% less waste in build
- An ongoing planting plan has been established, using Eco sourced natives – supporting the flourishing of the native trees, insects and birdlife, protection of the waterways, shelter for stock and attracting the surrounding birdlife
- Low visual impact achieved through selection of building materials and colours in as well as selection of plants in coordination with the area, while privacy is still guaranteed.
- Pest control has been established – possum, rats and mice to minimalize the damage these rodent do to the native birdlife
- Fencing off native bush and gullies to ensure the regeneration of native bush and prevent stock getting in and eating the regrowth
- Intense gorse and broom control plan implemented
- Establishment of 2 key walking tracks and currently working on a 3rd day long walk from the Retreat, hoping to be finished by beginning of summer 2014/15
- A plantation programme has been implemented to replace the firewood used at the Retreat. Presently, the firewood is being cut from naturally fallen trees on the farm.
- Plant a tree programme established for guests to utilise during their stay while also supporting Project Kereru who we are aligned with
COMMUNITY & CONSERVATION INITIATIVES
- Creation of part time work for 3 local people ( soon to be 4) including local chef who has appreciated the opportunity to “pursue her dream” while living in such a small town
- All Chefs produce is local, where possible
- All groceries for the Retreat are from the local supermarket where possible
- Local supermarket used for Retreat groceries and local service station for fuel. All local businesses supported whenever possible
- All local tradesmen employed on build
- We are part of the recently established Clutha Tourism Network supporting the promotion of the region
- Provide informal mentoring on demand with other local businesses who are getting started
- We are aligned with the Halberg Disability Trust supporting people with disabilities
- Established a “gift a getaway” programme
- We are aligned with and support the local Project Kereru programme by both providing the opportunity to release recovered kereru at the Retreat and into the native bush while also contributing financially through the “plant of tree” programme for our guests.
- Planting of eco – sourced natives, where possible involvement of the community in this e.g. high school students planting native trees in fundraising for overseas trip
- A young orchard has been planted on the property with the intention of using the fruit to be bottled and made into jam in the future
- All “delighters” available for guests on arrival are homemade
- Possum control programme implemented
- Rat and mice control programme implemented
- 500+ trees planted in and around the surrounding areas of the Retreat and farm ensuring preservation and attraction of the many native birds in the area
- Native bush areas have been fenced in order to keep stock out of the bush and ensure healthy regrowth and regeneration of plants
- Gorse control programme implemented
- Establishment of 2 walking tracks which allows greater interaction for guests with the environment