Light of the Moon

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Related tags: Recycling

From paper bricks to waterless urinals one community pub is endeavouring to go green - benefiting the environment, but also lowering the business's...

From paper bricks to waterless urinals one community pub is endeavouring to go green - benefiting the environment, but also lowering the business's overheads.

Rebecca White, who runs the Full Moon in the village of Morton, Nottinghamshire, will save more £1,200 on her annual outgoings after implementing a series of small eco-measures - but she's still not resting on her laurels.

Having already rolled out a number of green ideas, Rebecca is now pushing forward with grander plans for a pub revamp with an environmental twist.

"I've never liked waste and throwing things away, but now you can go green and make a difference while saving yourself money" she says. "It's just common sense, really."

To kick-start her green approach to pub life Rebecca began with the basics, investing in a compost bin and four recycling bins.

"By recycling glass and plastic we keep the volume of rubbish going into our general bins down, which is good because they cost more to be collected," she says. "We used to have two collections a week, but now we only need one.

"Composting is also dead easy. It takes no time at all and has now become a routine for the kitchen staff. The amount going into the compost bin is equivalent to four black sacks of rubbish staying out of the main dustbin."

To help with the kitchen waste Rebecca has also recently bought a team of ducks, which will arrive in two weeks' time.

The ducks will also lead an eco-friendly life - not only will they live off the vegetable peelings that won't fit in the compost bin, a water tank on the roof of their pen will collect rain water to fill their pond!

But despite the ducks, the most exciting green gadget already in action and saving money at the Full Moon is the paper brick machine, which Rebecca bought on eBay for only £17.95.

Staff at the pub spend quiet shifts shredding old newspapers, order pads, junk mail and till receipts before soaking them in water and feeding them into the man-powered machine.

The paper is then compressed into a brick and dried out so it can be used on the pub's open fires as a more efficient fuel than coal.

Rebecca says: "It's great fun to do and you get an amazing amount of paper into one brick. From a 50-litre bucket you can get about 10 bricks. It's also helped with our plastic recycling because, before we made the bricks, paper was filling up our council recycling bins, so there wasn't space for all our plastics. That isn't a problem any more."

Rebecca estimates that the amount of paper now kept out of the recycling bin is the equivalent of four black sacks.

"The staff really enjoy it too" she says. "It's proving to be a great way to get them interested in recycling."

To reduce her pub's carbon footprint, Rebecca also uses only local suppliers and producers to stock her fridges and freezers.

Rebecca displays her suppliers of the week on a blackboard by the bar, and she believes this approach helps to engender good working relationships and continued trade through word-of-mouth, while also supporting her local community.

With these provisions and many more - including timed fridges and lighting, and restrictions on the use of the tumble dryer - Rebecca has already succeeded in streamlining her business. But she's not stopping there.

The Full Moon will close in January for two weeks to undergo an extensive eco-friendly refit.

The bar will be rebuilt using reclaimed railway sleepers and wood from an old Nottingham boardroom, while the men's toilets will also be revamped to include state-of-the-art waterless urinals.

Using sink water to flush the urinals after use, Rebecca believes the new installations will ultimately save more than their £700 installation bill because, unlike their standard counterparts, they will not constantly flush and so will save money on the water bill. "I'm finding that there's so much you can do," says Rebecca. "Every time I implement something another idea pops up."

Some of Rebecca's loftier plans include having a water tank fitted to the roof so rain can be harvested and used to run the toilets and washing machine, and re-insulating the roof.

"So far I've just been implementing small things as I go, but now I'm moving towards the bigger projects," she says. "It's all about changing your mindset. I started as soon as I took on the business, so it seems quite natural now."

But Rebecca does admit that she would be less inclined to go green if there wasn't the financial incentive behind it.

She says: "To be honest, if there wasn't the money-saving aspect to it as well I don't think it would be as much of a draw. For me it's got to have the two edges to it. It has definitely been worth it for us. I think it is something that other pubs should be looking into, as it's just a matter of common sense, housekeeping measures to keep costs down."

Once the refit has been completed in January Rebecca is going to apply for a Green Tourism Business Award. When it comes to the Go Green, Save Money message, the Full Moon is one pub which has seen the light indeed!


Paper bricks:

Bought machine for £17.95 on eBay

• Now saves four black sacks of newspaper going into recycling bin each week

• Burning the paper saves 3kg of slow-burning coal a day, which costs 29p per kilo

• The pub 87p a day on coal, which adds up to £317.55 a year on coal

Compost bin/recycling bin:

Compost bin bought for £15 from the council. Recycling bins rented for £30 a month

• Now saves four black sacks of kitchen waste from the general bin each week through composting

• The pub used to require two general bin collections each week but after starting compositing and recycling she now only needs one, which saves it £10 a week and £520 a year

Tumble dryer not used:

• Tumble dryer used to cost £30 a month to run, which saves £360 a year

Total savings: £1,197.00

Total outlay: £392.95

Approximate net savings to date: £804.05

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