Green living doesn’t need to stop when you take a vacation. An increasing number of properties are available that offer close-to-nature lodgings that tread lightly on the earth.
Our sponsors at Perfect Stays, a UK-based rental or “letting” agency specializing in unique homes for holidays, special occasions, and short breaks, has drawn our attention to the properties at The Emerald, a five-acre estate in England’s Cornwall district that has achieved the UK’s highest level of sustainability (code level 6).
The properties include five different rental homes (including "Fern," pictured left) and several additional facilities (like an indoor swimming pool and a gym) powered by solar energy, to the point that the entire property is carbon neutral. Rainwater is captured from the roof, while grey water from the kitchen sink, bath, and shower is recycled to maximize water conservation and ensure water is abundantly available for the landscape as well as the house. Waste paper is recycled on the property. Lights are illuminated with energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs, though the properties are also designed to maximize use of sunlight indoors to minimize the need for electricity. Appliances are energy efficient and save water. Each house is cleaned with products free of toxic chemicals and compounds.
Kitchens in the houses can be stocked with locally-sourced food, including milk, eggs, bread, and cheese. If you want to venture into the beautiful Cornwall region rather than hit amusement parks or shopping malls, you can go kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and paddle boarding at one of the nearby beaches. Or if you prefer, bicycle along the coast. Fine dining is available at local pubs rather than chain restaurants. Enjoy the region’s history at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, or at Pendennis Castle.
Even if you’re not traveling to Cornwall any time soon, the properties at the Emerald will give you an idea of what to look for in a holiday rental home or apartment -- an abode that:
* uses energy wisely
* helps save water
* allows you to recycle
* reduces your exposure to toxic chemicals
* supports the local economy
In addition, your green holiday home could be close to Nature, whether for cycling, hiking, exploring, or simply meditating in a beautiful spot.