Small Steps Together
The word ‘sustainability’ can be broad in hospitality. Electricity costs an increasing fortune to supply to rooms. Then, with the lurking pandemics, we cannot currently remove all our one-time use plastics, as refreshments and sundries such like tea, coffee milk and sugar, must be individually wrapped to avoid cross contamination.
However, we never buy plastic cups, spoons or one time use toiletries wrapped in non-degradable wrappings. And we offer distilled water in glass bottles in the hallway for guests to take to their room.
Belleva do not offer any food to include breakfast prepared on the property. But we do provide complimentary pre-packed snacks in rooms. Therefore, we are thrilled to have reduced our non-degradable waste. We found by offering inclusive food in our rates people tend to waste more. If they pay for it, they really are hungry and in turn will invest in local eateries and public venues. Furthermore, implementing fresher air running throughout the property.
Our lounge/dining area has menus of local takeaways and deliveries of an array of world foods produced locally, for guest to order in and eat at our dining tables with use of our plates and cutlery. All of the menu choices have been tried and tested by us and come recommended, in favour of small independent businesses. We believe people should come together beyond a street, as one community, instead of driving each other apart with rivalry. We are proud citizens of South Shore, Blackpool.
Belleva have reduced our household waste by a massive 50%, and now have our rubbish collected fortnightly. This is because our guests have worked with us to minimise and upcycle their trash.
We encourage guests to hang up their towels as to avoid replacing them each day, and turn off electrical equipment to include lights, when they leave the room.
We do have tabletop fridges in our suites. This however has reduced the desire to provide food and snacks, whilst keep perishable food and drinks cool that guest wish to provide for themselves. We also offer celebration cakes made by a neighbour with a licensed venue.
Belleva craft our own range of beautiful, natural, hand poured soaps, wax melts and bath fizz made with essential oils and rich, aromatic parfum oils manufactured in the UK. All of which are cruelty free and wrapped in biodegradable packaging. These are also available to purchase exclusively from our craft counter. We are licensed to sell soaps and the melts are CLP Compliant.
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 ourselves lead humble lives in our own space along with our rescue 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 used to design and sell mannequins, to include plus sized and transgender models). The main piece of art in the lounge area was spray painted by local graffiti artist 'Seca One'. It is a lotus flower symbolising peace and hope. And the up-and-coming UK band 'Alright' used Belleva to rehearse before they were well known.
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 a relaxed stay. 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 the industry have been offended and somewhat baffled as to why we have baths. The answer is simple. Because we want to provide a subdued environment in a peaceful space. Also offering guests who do not have a bath at home the opportunity to ... splash out ...
Belleva is closed for three days a week to honor our pledge to cut back on energy thus lower our carbon footprint. 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 levies. 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. During 2022 our energy costs have increased by 300%. It has put many small businesses out of trade ... this is just a disgrace!
We offer an 'in-house' upcycle system of toiletries, where guests leave their products, and we also contribute towards this. Guest leave their donations in the room and we sanitise them before placing the donations into a communal basket in the hallway. 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 itemised 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 is controlled by a Smart System that can be operated remotely. So, when the corridors are not in use, we dim the lights. We offer contactless check-in and checkout to improve security and more freedom for guests. Which is time effective for all concerned.
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. For 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 farther afield.
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 regarding our business plans, our crafts and forward focus. Each to their own. St Chads Road and Blackpool itself have some exceptional vacation premises.
Belleva use soft bamboo toilet paper from a company that donate 50% of profits to third world countries to build toilets and we are proud to be a part of this.
We also offer rooms to fund raising causes and charities and have raised money for Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Fylde Coast Women’s Aid and various other charities. We are often approached by guests asking to support their fundraisers and so far, we have never declined participation. It is very important to us to be a part of the cycle of giving back.
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