UK youth hostels win top award
London— The hostels, at Lockton in North
Yorkshire and Langdon Beck in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty, have been awarded the European Ecolabel by Defra,
which runs the green scheme in the UK.
The Ecolabel is a top level European Commission
award scheme. Its flower logo can be used on a range of consumer
goods across Europe, as well as tourist accommodation and campsites
- as long as they meet the strict environmental criteria.
To win the award, both hostels had to show that
they met the highest modern standards in every aspect of their impacts
on the environment - from efficient use of energy and water through
to staff training about green issues.
The green initiative is part of the YHA’s
program of renovation to provide modern facilities and environmentally
responsible accommodation. The Association plans to make more applications
for the Ecolabel over the next two years.
Among the changes introduced at Langdon Beck are:
- 50 percent cut in total energy consumption.
- 75 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions.
- 50 percent of all waste is being recycled.
Langdon Beck has led the way in developing renewable
energy systems for hostels. European LEADER+ funding, which is administered
by Defra, helped the YHA to install two solar hot water systems
and a 2.5 kilowatt wind turbine. They have also installed a rain
harvesting system to provide water for the toilets at the hostel.
Funding from Defra’s Rural Enterprise Scheme
helped Lockton to build in unique environmentally responsible features
to help minimize the environmental impact of tourists.
The environmental benefits at Lockton include:
- 30 percent reduction in water consumption.
- 40 percent fall in carbon dioxide emissions.
Other features include showers heated by solar
panels on the hostel roof and a system which harvests rainwater.
The building is insulated using sheep’s wool and a living
sedum roof, whose foliage will provide a habitat for local wildlife
as well as adding extra insulation.