In an age of plastic waste and landfill rubbish, there are a lot of ways to make a difference.

At The Yurt, we love all these ideas and work hard to be as ecologically sustainable as possible. This year, we’ve made sustainability a primary focus, beginning with biodegradable napkins and fewer plastic bags, right up to minimising all food miles. We grow fresh vegetables and herbs on-site in our Kitchen Garden, and even save our food waste for a local family’s pig farm.

We’ve made sure that any delivery drivers only drop off full loads to minimise wasted trips and maximise fuel efficiency. Plastic packaging is sent back to be used again and even the worn-out wooden crates find a resting home on our log-burner.

Solar panels on our barn roof power all the electricity on site and our own reservoir for the Nursery creates a very clever on-site heating system. Our Wood Chip Biomass Boiler uses waste wood from the Nursery to power all the hot water and heating on the site. All the wood used at Nicholson’s is harvested from arboricultural works within Oxfordshire, from managed woodlands.

Our latest change is the installation of a wood-burner in the Yurt replacing our old electric heater, which requires no electricity and just a handful of logs per day, which are plentiful here.

We’re still striving to become 100% sustainable, and we won’t stop until we are. Small changes, like making sure our tea-bags are biodegradable and aren’t shipped in plastic bags, are just the beginning – thankfully, all these little adjustments all add up to creating a bigger, greener picture. Minimising food waste and putting what’s left to good use makes an enormous difference.

Two million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year and just by saving our vegetable peelings for livestock, coffee grounds for plant food, and our ‘not-so-pretty’ veggies for homemade stock, we can all make a huge difference.

Local organic produce plays a huge role in our sustainable plans. We update our menu every month with the best, seasonal, local produce. Organic fruit and vegetables are dropped off from nearby farms and salad leaves hail from North Aston Organics veg-box scheme. Our talented kitchen team take these raw ingredients and creates simple, delicious fare that changes with the seasons.

As with all our suppliers, we love to support local, organic and family-orientated businesses. Our free-range eggs come from a family farm in Witney. All our meat is free-range, British and from family-run farms. The cream and ice-cream is from the organic dairy in North Aston, the butter and flour from Gloucester – the list goes on.

We then create all our lunches, cakes, biscuits and breakfasts right here. We make sure that nothing is wasted and every single ingredient finds a home. So when you order a take-away hot chocolate, it comes from organic, fair-trade single-origin cocoa and is served in a biodegradable, recycled cup, or you get 20p off if you reuse or bring in your own cup. When we look at the bigger picture, it becomes much easier to see what needs to be done; reducing waste, saving energy, recycling, reusing/repurposing all adds up to create a big difference.

We are so proud to be working towards a more green and eco-friendly future.