East Devon Excellence’s sustainable approach

A sustainable approach has been part of East Devon Excellence since it started. Members within the organisation embrace sustainable practices across their businesses. If you’re visiting East Devon and looking to spend time at places that recognise the need to respect the environment and people, then you’ve come to the right area.

The impact of climate change is all around us. It will take all of us to make changes in our lives to tackle this challenge. Without change, we face a hotter planet, rising sea levels, and even more extreme weather that threatens many forms of life.

Importance of a sustainable approach

East Devon is a beautiful part of the world and while we encourage as many of you to visit us we do want to keep its splendour for generations to come. It’s about everyone assessing their impact on the planet and realising how we can work alongside the natural environment. Let’s enjoy what we have but not to the detriment of those who will come after us.

This week the Government launched its plans for a net-zero economy and in a few weeks’ time, global leaders will descend upon Glasgow for the COP26 conference in an effort to agree on a plan to curb climate change. There is plenty of talk in the media and on social channels about how we’re going to create a zero-carbon economy but many businesses and organisations are already doing their bit. A positive outcome from the Glasgow meeting will be one that builds upon what we already have. It’s time for more action and less talking.

What our members do 

Sustainability covers a wide range of activities and East Devon Excellence members do just that. Many are members of the Green Tourism scheme and have won awards for their eco-initiatives. They are actively involved within their local communities and encourage others, be it residents or visitors, to think about the impact they are making and suggest ways to change behaviour. 

Here are a few of the areas of the things they are doing:

Renewable Energy

Our members have invested in a variety of renewable energy sources including biomass boilers, that provide underfloor heating and hot water and solar PV panels that generate electricity. Buildings are well insulated and energy is conserved by switching off lights and LED bulbs are used throughout properties.

Many have started to provide electric charging points for cars as well.

reusable cups on table

The use of keep cups are encouraged for takeaway drinks

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It’s important to limit the amount of waste generated in the first place but where this isn’t possible reuse and recycling are practiced in many businesses. While all companies are different, conserving resources is central to a sustainable approach. This includes collecting food waste, offering general recycling points, and reducing energy and water.  

Eliminating and reducing the number of single-use materials remains at the forefront, with cafe owners encouraging the use of keep cups for takeaway drinks, for example.

Keeping it Local

We are fortunate in East Devon to have numerous independent food producers and suppliers within a small radius. Visitors have the opportunity to shop at farm and community shops and buy freshly grown produce with few food miles attached. If you’re coming to stay why not order from these stores rather than your usual supermarket? This gives you the opportunity to wander around your new temporary home as well as keep revenue within the local community.

Once you’ve arrived in East Devon we’d like you to stay within the area. There’s no need to travel long distances for your days out. We’ve plenty of places to visit within easy reach, check out our Visit page for places to explore and our Eat page when it’s lunch and dinner time. 

Supporting communities

Our members recognise they are part of their local communities and do what they can to stimulate the local economy. On top of encouraging people to buy local food, this includes involvement in school activities, such as vegetable growing classes, apple juicing sessions with youth groups, supporting other businesses in the area, and helping to organise beach cleans with Keep Britain Tidy.

path in woods

There are plenty of walks to explore in East Devon

Encouraging people to be responsible visitors 

Tackling the climate challenge involves everyone doing their little bit. There are a variety of options if you wish to leave your car at home, whether it’s walking along the East Devon Way, the South West Coast Path, or the Jurassic Coast. There’s an abundance of cycle routes in the area as well as water sports, such as paddle boarding, kite surfing, kayaking, or sea swimming.  

We would love everyone who visits East Devon to be a responsible visitor, by using recycling facilities, using public transport on some days, enjoying outdoor activities, and shopping local. This way the area can be preserved and enjoyed by our grandchildren.

In the past few months, I’ve been travelling around the area visiting East Devon Excellence members. It is clear that while many have adopted a sustainable approach they are not stopping there. Many have plans to further invest in renewable energy and are looking for additional ways they can support their local communities. 

If you’re looking to holiday in the UK, whether for a short or long break and wish to ensure it meets your sustainable outlook, East Devon offers you plenty to choose from.

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