Small Steps Together
The word sustainability is broad in hospitality. You can hardly build a fire to keep guests warm. Electric costs a fortune to heat rooms and with the pandemic we cannot currently remove all our one-time use plastics, as refreshments such like tea and coffee must be individually wrapped to stop the spreading of germs.
We do not buy plastic cups, spoons or one time use toiletries wrapped in non-degradable wrappings. We do however have to supply non-handled consumables in secure packaging to protect our guests from spreading of the pandemic.
We have halved our waste and now have our rubbish collected fortnightly. This is because our guests have worked with us to minimise their trash.
We do not offer breakfast so, therefore, have reduced our carbon footprint/emissions, waste, manpower. Furthermore, implementing fresher air running throughout the property. We found by offering inclusive food in our rates people waste more. If they pay for it, they really are hungry.
We encourage guests to hang up their towels in favour of replacing them each day, and turning off electrical equipment, when they leave the room.
We do have tabletop fridges in our suites. This however has reduced the need to provide food and snacks and keep perishable food and drinks cool that guest want to bring with them.
We make our own range of hand poured soaps, wax melts and bath fizz. All of which are cruelty free and wrapped in biodegradable packaging. These are also available to purchase from our craft counter. We are licensed craft makers.
We encourage guests to visit us by public transport and our website states Premier Taxis are 100% electric and bicycle hire is available in Blackpool. Also, there is a tram stop named St Chads at the foot of the street on the prom.
We lead pretty humble lives in our own space along with our pets. Our cooker is electric, thus cutting our carbon footprint. However, 90% of any food prepared (both personal and pleasure) is done so with a small halogen cooker. We never fry our food and love the slow cooker. These small steps all contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. We do find business recycling opportunities slow in Blackpool. But we visit the local skip weekly to dispose of what we are permitted.
We encourage any local artists to approach us if they want to exhibit their work. And we encourage local people to come and paint, craft, or dress a mannequin. (Tiffany the manager used to design and sell mannequins, to include plus sized and transgender models).
We may meet criticism as of water usage, since our three suites have bathtubs in them. One of the suites used to be three bedrooms. So instead of three ensuite shower rooms, we now have one bath and a shower. Also, whilst we try to be sustainable, we also believe people come here to relax and sitting in water is a great way to relieve both stress, recovery and pain and/or enhance romantic times. Our attic suite used to be two bedrooms and two showers. Now it has a spa tub and a shower. We specify in the room not to use the spa for more than 15 minutes. We understand some have been offended and somewhat baffled as to why we have baths. The answer is simple. Because we want to.
Belleva is closed for three days a week to honour our pledge to cut back on energy.
All lightbulbs are LED, and we have thermostats on each radiator, that remain turned off, unless the room is in use. We did have Smart Heating in each bedroom but removed the system as with Smart Heating we must control the temperature. With individual thermostats the guests can control the heat. We are surprised to learn most guests don’t want it on at all.
Our showers are operated by gas as opposed to electric. We thought hard about this. But the cost of seven electric showers, outweighed the decision and we believe gas showers carry less of a fire hazard. And we do not have to constantly ensure the emersion switch is off. All our showers and toilets are water usage efficient. You cannot imagine how expensive it is to run an independent business alongside huge energy costs and potential levy's. They may sound eco friendly but not when they put you out of business or pocket, where your own personal life is one of financial hardship to do so, the business must come first. Our energy costs have risen from an estimated £150 a month to £500 a month. It has put many small businesses out of trade. Just a disgrace!
We offer an upcycle system of toiletries, where guests leave their products, and we also contribute towards this. Therefore, plastic waste is minimised. We simply got fed up with throwing half empty bottles of products away. It is an optional system to guests. We have had small criticism, where outsiders have asked, ‘what if someone tampers with the substance?’ Well, what if someone spat on the salad bar in Tesco, or tampered with a drink in a nightclub. We do have CCTV in all our public areas to include our upcycle point and we always keep track on it. And our guests have really enjoyed getting involved with cutting back on waste. We also now have our own upcycling plant in the hallway offering bins for either glass, tins or plastic and our guests are filling them. We then take this to the local tip. It is a good feeling.
We have a suggestion box in the hallway and guests are invited to get involved and many have participated. Public area lighting and heating are controlled by a Smart system that can be operated remotely. We offer contactless check-in and checkout to improve security and more freedom for guests.
We support small businesses, to include hotels, bed and breakfast, local cafes and food outlets and always recommend many alternatives, if Belleva is not suitable. Believing we live in a world where we should try to come together and not drive one another apart, as that to us is not how a community will thrive.
Much of our furniture is upcycled or bought locally. However with health and safety compliance our soft furnishings carry a fire retardant certificate and warranty. For larger outlet purchases we try to use Northern Based Franchises. Some essentials not available close, by we do use Amazon, especially for crating materials. Blackpool is a town not a city, we can often be limited and buying online saves an unnecessary journey.
Blackpool has many streets of stay over venues in the same industry, which is unusual for the United Kingdom. We are all entitled to do as we wish with regard to our business plans, our crafts and forward focus. Each to their own. St Chads Road and Blackpool itself have some exceptional vacational premises.
Belleva has a long way to go and we are always learning, we embrace change and progress. A small business can have a road map - but in hospitality it is very much to the guest to endorse that. We encourage guests to keep the beach clean, respect the seagulls and visit independent venues.
Belleva With Love. X