SUSTAINABILITY: DOING OUR BIT FOR RUSSELL AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
Russell village and the Russell Peninsula enjoy a unique environment. Because access to the area was for a long time only by water or a long and difficult road, Russell has retained its charm and been protected from large scale development. The pensinsula is also a conservation zone where birds which are rare elsewhere, like kiwi and weka, are flourishing once again.
Without compromising your comfort and enjoyment we are trying to minimize our impact on the ecology and resources of the area.
- Recycling. We separate out and recycle all plastics, paper, card, glass, steel or aluminium cans and any other recyclable materials then take them to the local transfer station. We compost all vegetable kitchen waste and as much of the garden prunings and clippings as we can. Where we have to use plastic bags we try to use bio-degradable ones and we re-use any other plastic bags.
- Saving water. Russell has no municipal water supply so we collect our own rainwater and bore-water. Summer is our dry season so we try to conserve our precious water by, for example, reducing our laundry, regulating water-flow from showers and taps, and planting the garden with native Northland species which require minimal or no extra watering. You can help us conserve this precious commodity by being economical with showering and not leaving taps running. We know all hotels ask to conserve water but for us we really do rely on water tanks and this is pretty important for us.
- Saving electricity. Where practical we use energy saving light bulbs, automatic timer switches on lamps in common areas, and day night sensors in the garden lighting. We are aware that hot water is the greatest user of power in the lodge so plan to install solar water heating in time to come
- Reducing chemicals. All of our daily cleaning compounds are entirely biodegradable, chemical free and made from natural ingredients. Our toiletries are also all natural and bio-degradable from New Zealand's Linden Leaves and EcoStore. Better for your skin, hair, well-being, and for the planet.
- Ecology and native restoration. We are members of the Russell Landcare Trust and New Zealand Forest & Bird Society and are active in weed control, native restoration and re-planting in Russell. We are also working to restore The Lemon Tree Track next to the Lodge by clearing noxious weeds and replanting with native species. We are also involved with the production of a DVD guide to protecting and restoring the bio-diversity of the Bay of Islands.
- Food miles. As much as possible we source produce that is not only organic, spray free and free range but from the Bay area. Our jams are made from fruit from our garden; plums, feijoa, grapefruit, lemons and limes. Our orange juice, coffee beans, leaf teas, cheese, eggs, tomatoes, mandarins, oranges and other seasonal fruits and vegetables are from local growers. And we grow as much as practicable in the lodge garden (lettuces, tomatoes, basil, chives, spring onions, thyme, oregano) for use in lodge breakfasts.
If you would like to help our efforts, there are some simple things you can do during your stay, such as not leaving lights on when you’re out, using your towels for two days instead of one, and refilling your water bottle with our fresh, natural, tap water rather than buying new bottles (you’ll reducing the waste of plastic too).
If we all think and act sustainably even the smallest actions will add up to a make an enormous difference.
Greg & Peter.