Overcombe House bed and breakfast Dartmoor Devon UK
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Environmental Policy


  • Almost all internal and external lighting has been changed to low energy bulbs and fittings. Guests are requested to reduce consumption further by switching off lights and televisions when the bedrooms are not occupied.
  • We try to minimise the use of the business vehicle as far as possible and combine trips with other purposes. In addition, home deliveries of products via local suppliers where available are arranged.
  • Radiator thermostats are turned down to a low setting between guests. Guests are free to increase the setting if the room is too cold for them. It is better to increase the temperature in a room rather than have to reduce it by opening a window.
  • Fresh linens are provided for each new guest and they are changed every 3 or 4 days for those on an extended visit. Guests that require a more or less frequent change are asked to let us know on arrival.
  • Towels are changed at the same times as linens, however should a more frequent change be required guests are requested to leave the items to be replaced in the shower tray or wash basin.
  • Where possible linens are dried and aired naturally in our utility room. If this is not possible we use special tensile balls in our tumble dryer, they help to soften linens and reduce drying time by up to 25%.
  • Our new energy efficient tumble dryer has built in sensors to detect when linens are dry thereby preventing items from being over dried and saving energy.
  • Our new energy efficient washing machine is triple A' rated in regard to energy consumption, wash & spin performance.
  • The Washing machine has a larger capacity drum; for example two wash cycles of the new machine can accomplish what would have taken 3-4 wash cycles in our old machine.
  • Our new energy efficient dishwasher is triple A' rated in regard to wash performance and energy & water consumption.
  • As and when appliances have reached the end of their useful life and are deemed beyond economical repair only new energy efficient versions will be purchased.

    Chemical Usage/ Toiletries

  • Washing of towels and linens only when necessary/requested thereby keeping detergent, energy and water usage to a minimum.
  • The larger drum in our new Washing Machine has helped to cut our consumption of detergent & fabric softener by approximately 33%-50%.
  • We use micro-fibre cloths when cleaning, this enables us to clean without using chemicals where possible. They require less detergent when being washed (66% less than a normal cloth) this is due to their composition.
  • The use of sufficient cleaning chemicals to ensure cleanliness and hygiene standards whilst ensuring nothing is used to excess.
  • The washing up liquid we use is purchased in 5 litre containers, it is vegetable-based, using very mild detergents, which are 100% Vegan, biodegradable and with minimal environmental impact. It is particularly mild, without artificial colours or fragrances or artificial foam boosters and it has not been tested on animals.
  • In our dishwasher a gel that is great for shifting grease and grime, with the advantage of having a non-phosphate base. The ingredients are vegan, biodegradable, animal-free and have not been tested on animals during product development. We also use a rinse Aid that is designed to allow dishes and glasses to dry evenly without streaking. It is vegan and easy to use, it leaves no taste on dishes. No phosphates are used, preserving rivers, lakes and streams. All ingredients are fully biodegradable - no harmful chemicals are left behind.
  • The liquid detergent we use in our washing machine has been carefully formulated without the use of parabens, phosphates, bleach, optical whiteners, artificial colour or fragrance, enzymes and harmful chemicals so often found in today's commercial products. The laundry liquid, with Organic Aloe Vera, is also fully biodegradable, of a neutral pH with the aroma of fresh-smelling Rosemary oil. The fabric softener we use is plant and mineral based, fast & complete biodegradability, minimum impact on aquatic life and is not tested on animals.
  • When we have to use cleaning chemicals in bedrooms, the dining room & kitchen we use items that are 100% biodegradable and where possible phosphate free. All our cleaning chemicals are manufactured by SELDEN RESEARCH LIMITED in Buxton, Derbyshire who only use biodegradable surfactants. A copy of their environmental policy along with data analysis for products we use is available upon request to interested parties.
  • Use of a steam cleaner to create a clean sterile environment without the use of chemicals.
  • We buy shampoo in 5 litre containers; the wild harvested Organic Seaweed used in our Shampoo comes from the unpolluted deep sea rather than collected from the shoreline after it has died. Rich in iodine, selenium and other essential trace minerals and proteins, it is a strong anti-oxidant removing free radicals and reducing cellular damage. Seaweed regenerates and promotes healthy hair, stimulating the hair shaft and is often helpful for dandruff. This shampoo is enchanced with a subtle and refreshing blend of aromatherapy oils.
  • Wake up and refresh yourself with our Seaweed Shower Gel or in the evening ease your way into a peaceful slumber. Our Seaweed shower gel is rich in minerals and vitamins and is harvested in the Deep Seas and is renowned for its healing qualities. Seaweed is believed to be an excellent remedy for a host of skin problems.
  • Our Organic Seaweed Hand Wash contains wild harvested seaweed originating from the unpolluted Deep Seas off the West Coast of Ireland. Rich in iodine, selenium and other essential trace minerals, vitamins and proteins, seaweed is an antioxidant removing free radicals and reducing cellular damage. It regenerates and promotes healthy skin. The subtle and beneficial blend of essential oils in this hand wash feeds and cares for your skin.

    Re-Cycling & Composting

  • Receptacles are provided for guest use on the ground floor for the recycling of newspapers & magazines, glass bottles, plastic bottles and cans.
  • We are a "WASTE AWARE BUSINESS", we serve butter, flora, home made marmalade & home made jam etc. in serving dishes as opposed to small pre-packed sealed portions.
  • All corrugated and smooth cardboard is recycled, along with all items that cannot be composted on site.
  • All plastic bottles/containers that can be recycled are firstly crushed and then taken to an appropriate recycling facility.
  • When we have them, used plastic carrier bags are utilised in the waste bins in the bedrooms instead of new bags.
  • All suitable kitchen & garden waste is composted.
  • The reverse of printed notices are re-used for internal printing purposes or scrap paper. Envelopes are re-used where possible.
  • As and when linens and other suitable fabrics have reached the end of their useful life they are taken to an appropriate recycling facility.

    Water Consumption

  • Guests are encouraged to ensure that all taps are fully turned off thereby conserving this valuable resource.
  • All guests are offered full en-suite non power shower facilities & water displacement devices have been installed in most toilet cisterns in an effort to save between 2 and 3 Litres per flush.
  • Our new Dishwasher is A' rated with regard to water consumption and uses on average 13 litres of water per cycle.
  • Our new Washing Machine has built in sensors that enable it to detect how much water is needed for each individual wash load this helps to ensure water consumption is kept to a minimum.
  • The larger drum in our new Washing Machine has helped to cut our consumption of water required to wash linens & towels by approximately 33%-50%.
  • We only use the Dishwasher & Washing Machine when they are full thereby extracting maximum benefit from all water & energy used.
  • Water butts are used to collect rain water to enable us to water plants, clean exterior surfaces, etc..


  • Supporting the local economy by using local suppliers and producers where possible.
  • We try to use as much Organic and Fair Trade produce as possible.
  • Purchasing of environmentally friendly concentrated cleaning chemicals in 5 Litre containers that can be diluted on site.
  • Shower Gel & Hand wash are purchased in 5 Litre containers which we dispense into containers.
  • When buying any item we consider how many environmental miles the product has travelled. We make a point of choosing products that have the least number of environmental miles. This helps us to support local & regional producers while helping to reduce carbon emissions.
  • We try where possible to use businesses or companies with a published environmental policy.
  • All toilet & kitchen rolls that we use are made from 100% recycled material.
David Stephens & John O'Flaherty, Overcombe House, Old Station Road, Horrabridge, Dartmoor National Park, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7RA
Tel: 01822 853501      enquiries@overcombehotel.co.uk

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