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“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints”

Here at Sykes Cottages, we’ve found that this saying has started to hold more and more meaning for our customers; customers who are now actively seeking eco-friendly accommodation. There are a number of fantastic cottages advertised with Sykes as eco-friendly, but we would like to do more and I’m sure you would too! In this guide, you’ll find a number of suggestions that will start you on the path to greener accommodation, not only attracting more customers but saving yourself a few pounds along the way.

Saving Energy

There are a number of ways a cottage owner can save on the energy they are putting into their property or convert their existing energy supplies into a greener alternative. Solar panels are the obvious choice for green accommodation and many of our owners with this facility have already seen the benefit on their electricity bill; but there are other energy saving options available to you. Did you know that underfloor heating was first introduced by the Romans? This alternative heating option is a great way of warming both your holiday cottage’s rooms and hot water. It works by pumping warm water through plastic tubing embedded in the floor, not only saving on your heating bill but also increasing your usable floor space by eliminating bulky radiators.

If you’re looking at saving energy on a smaller scale then we would suggest introducing low-energy light bulbs. Usually the most expensive bulbs on the shelf, these energy-saving alternatives will definitely save you money in the long run, up to £45 a year! Where ever possible, you should make sure your windows are fitted with double glazing to help prevent heat loss. For older cottages that are not able to fit double glazing, make sure you hang heavy curtains to keep in the warmth and supply a draft excluder for the doors.

Water Usage

Here in the UK, there’s an increasing pressure being placed on our water supply, with the average Brit using around 150 litres of water a day! As an individual cottage owner you may think that there’s not much you can do to lessen the strain on the water supply, but by making just a few minor adjustments you could really help our environment.

Did you know that you could save 60 litres of water per week by simply fixing a dripping tap? This can be easily done by replacing the washer and takes no more than five minutes of your time; keeping your existing equipment well maintained is the easiest and probably the cheapest way to save water. You’ll find that many of our owners here at Sykes Cottages harvest their rainwater. By collecting the fallen rain, they are able to water the plants, wash down the paving and even fill up the bird bath – it’s a simple adjustment which makes a big difference in the long run. Another simple yet effective method of saving water is to collect all your bedding, towels and blankets to have them all washed together. Making sure you do all your washing at once rather than in several small loads will help lower your water usage and save you money on both the water and electricity bills!


With the government introducing an array of colourful bins to cope with every kind of waste, from left over food to glass and clothing, it has never been easier to recycle. There are many simply changes you can make to your everyday life that will aid you on your quest to greener accommodation, for example stopping your unwanted mail. We all get unwanted mail and within two minutes of opening it, it’s put straight in the bin. This mail can of course be put into your paper recycling bin, but wouldn’t it be better to save a tree and not receive the unwanted mail in the first place? By contacting the Mailing Preference Service and Royal Mail you’ll stop receiving unsolicited advertising and by being more aware when giving out your name and address, you can usually indicate that you do not want your details passed on for further promotion.

We have all heard the phrase “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and with a number of charity shops up and down our high streets, this phrase is extremely relevant in today’s society.  When owning a self-catering holiday cottage, it’s important to have comfortable furnishing for your guests; but what happens when this furniture is no longer needed? We would suggest contacting a second hand furniture store; they would be glad to take your old furniture off your hands and can even suggest a range of second hand furniture which you could use instead of buying new.

I hope this guide has helped you see that making the change to eco-friendly accommodation is very simple and that in the long run, it could save you a lot of money as well as increasing your bookings. For more inspiration, make sure to check out our existing eco-friendly cottages or give our owners department a call for further advise on converting your property!

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