Earth Day Pledge: What We’re Doing So Farhttps://towerhillbarns.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Earth-Day-Sustainability-Pledge-Tower-Hill-Barns.jpeg25001667SallySallyhttps://towerhillbarns.co.uk/wp-content/litespeed/avatar/eb71c109e05389d58acd30ea196a5e82.jpg?ver=1701269702
This is the first instalment in our promise to provide routine check-ins as we work to uphold our Earth Day pledge. First published 07/06/2022.
To be a wedding venue committed to action that improves the environmental sustainability of the wedding industry.
Because we believe weddings should not have to cost the earth.
On earth day, this year, we launched a pledge. We wanted to find a way to fight climate change, and make a difference in the wedding industry; we’re innovators and problem-solvers, and care very much about our environment.
In designing and developing the pledge, we had to think carefully about where we were starting from. This meant being really honest with ourselves about what we were actively doing at THB, and what we were promoting. With this exercise, we found examples of areas we were excelling in and had achieved a lot more than we had realised.
So while this is a post all about our starting point and what we’re already doing, we want to celebrate that starting point. We’re proud of the work we’ve put in over the years. And we’re excited about the foundation laid for us to keep improving. There is loads more work to do, of course, but taking a moment to reflect on where we’re at before we begin seems like the right thing to do.
credit: Richard Miller Photography
Achieving sustainability–we all start somewhere, and here’s our somewhere:
We use a renewable source for our heating and hot water systems.
It’s not likely to be at the top of your checklist when thinking about a venue to host your wedding, but we’d like to challenge you to think a little bit more about it. Especially for those of you keen to have a low impact or eco-friendly wedding, ensuring energy usage is as sustainable as possible should be a major consideration.
The emissions associated with heating and energy consumption account for more than 30% of the UK’s total Greenhouse Gas emissions (which are things like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and all other man-made chemicals we want to limit the release of). By using renewable sources we’re reducing our reliance on unsustainable forms of energy, and reducing our contribution to those greenhouse gases. We’re keen to do another blog post all about this side of things in the future, which will explain a little bit more about what renewable sources we use and why we chose them. We’ll lightly touch on the science behind it too (but we won’t go too heavy, don’t worry), to help you understand why it’s important.
By using renewable sources we’re reducing our reliance on unsustainable forms of energy, and reducing our contribution to those greenhouse gases.
credit: Marie Lloyd Photography
Paperless where possible.
We appreciate this one doesn’t sound like a biggie, but believe us it is. The wedding industry is full of shiny brochures, glossy leaflets, pamphlets, posters, fancy flyers, contracts…all sorts. And often needlessly too – how many wedding fayres have you gone to and kept the literature for more than a few days? We’d guess you hadn’t kept many, and are probably more likely to save something on Instagram or bookmark a webpage.
To get that glossy finish, many of those marketing materials are coated in a thin layer of plastic, which turns a recyclable source essentially into landfill as the plastic and paper fibres can no longer be separated and reused.
So a little while ago, we decided to do away with it altogether and issue e-contracts and digital flyers. It didn’t seem right to use so much paper when we knew it would most likely get chucked away. We haven’t looked back since.
credit: Sally Joanne Photography
Conscious of our context.
This means being very aware of our home, and the natural world we’re lucky enough to live amongst. There’s lots of research to suggest that people who care about their environment, and who take notice of the nature they have access to, will generally engage in pro-environmental behaviours. Which is just a fancy way of saying that people who understand their local environment will tend to do more to look after it.
This is something we’ve always been passionate about. If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know how invested we are in ensuring that our little slice of heaven is around for generations to come, and we want to encourage that amongst all of our guests. We don’t want them to just look after our site, but the special places close to their homes and hearts too.
credit: Jessica O’Shaughnessy Photography
So when it comes to sustainability and our eco pledge, at THB, we:
Encourage ‘leave no trace’ when guests are out in the grounds and in the fields with animals. No littering, no damage.
Remember the country code of ‘close all gates’ and/or leave them how you find them (i.e. if closed, make sure you close it, if open, make sure you leave it open).
We don’t allow confetti – bubbles are a permitted alternative (even better if you make your own!).
We don’t permit fireworks (except for Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve).
We plant bee-friendly plants and gardens (more on this soon!).
We’ve planted an apple orchard with historic Welsh varieties.
credit: Richard Miller Photography
We are a wedding venue committed to supporting sustainable weddings.
This pledge is our way of being a wedding business that takes action. And we invite you to join us in this shared mission to tackle climate change via small steps, done well, that have big impact. We’re right at the beginning of our journey, and we’re hoping to take you with us as we learn more, and experiment with what’s possible.
Please get in touch to talk to us about these ideas, and share any tips or thoughts you might have on social media. We’d love to hear them!