Recently I described the good work going on at Uppark to reduce their energy consumption. Whilst still thinking about Uppark, I thought it would be worth highlighting the fact that our work on environmental practices is not just about energy. Uppark is the only large property in London and South East that is not linked to a public water supply and is instead supplied via a well to water under the chalk South Downs. The use of water is monitored and efforts are ongoing to reduce water consumption.
- Sensor taps have been fitted in the public toilets to minimise water wastage.
- Notices have been put out regarding the use of water and the well for visitors to see.
- Rain water from the house gutters is diverted to replenish the fire pond.
- The garden is not watered through the summer months.
The team at Uppark is also reducing waste production across all areas of the property and increasing recycling. When the property burnt down in 1989 all items from the house that could be re-used were put back and incorporated into the building rather than using new materials. They continue this ethos to this day.
- Garden green waste is composted as well as the ash from the biomass system.
- They also compost vegetable and other catering waste from the kitchens.
- They recycle all their paper, card, plastic, printer toners and glass. Paper, card and bubble wrap is reused as much as possible.
- They discourage the use of plastic bags in the shop, instead offering paper ones and offering for sale re-useable bags.
Many of these actions now seem commonplace and are undertaken at most of our properties. However, this was not always the case! We are trying to find ways to spread good environmental ideas far and wide to help today’s more progressive actions become tomorrow’s norms.