Sustainable tourism, sustainable farming, sustainable lifestyle
As farmers and landowners, business owners of an eco-friendly accommodation provider, outdoor enthusiasts and lovers of nature, we are wholeheartedly invested in the preservation, protection and enhancement of the environment. We aim to encourage and engage those of you, our guests, alongside our staff and community to join us in this mission through support of the initiatives we have established and by welcoming any suggestions you may have that we can introduce also.
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.
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- 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
To support the minimisation of Waste – we ask our guests to join us in being thoughtful about the products they buy to minimise excess packaging, all of the households on the farm as well as the guests in the Retreat participate in the local recycling programme in order to reduce air and land pollution as well as reduce the amount going into landfills.
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- 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
We recognise that our waterways are the vital ingredient to life and therefore prioritise the protection and preservation of these in our business.To support the use of Water resources and its preservation, we have incorporated as minimal use as possible of our water through efficient products installation within the Retreat. In addition to these actions we take action to ensure the protection of the waterways through fencing off streams, plantation programmes to prevent pollution and erosion.
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- 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.
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- The build of the Retreat using predominantly recycled and natural materials throughout, locally wherever possible. Which meant cutting down the amount of raw materials used in manufactured goods, support of the local businesses, reduction land and air pollution and encouragement of good practices both in NZ and spreading overseas*
- *Through the development of a photobook which we wrote about the development and build of Cascade Creek Retreat, we have been able to share the journey with many guests who have learned and appreciated the time, energy and environmental principles we have displayed throughout.*
- An ongoing planting plan has been established, using Eco sourced natives – supporting the flourishing of the native trees, insects and birdlife, protection of waterways, shelter for stock and attracting the surrounding birdlife
- Pest control has been established – possums, rats and mice to minimalise the damage these rodents 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 control plan implemented
- The establishment of 2 key walking tracks and currently working on a 3rd day walk from the Retreat, hoping to be finished by the beginning of summer this year.
- A plantation programme to replace the firewood used at the Retreat. Presently, the firewood is being cut from naturally fallen trees on the farm.