Our sustainability ethos

Sustainable experiences are a key ethos for Lilypod. It’s a principle that guides, educates and influences all that we do.

 

Our pods- Designed to be a light touch on our planet and environment

 

Hewn from locally grown timbers, predominantly Larch and Douglas Fir sourced from Devon Sawmills.

 

Fully insulated for thermal efficiency, staying cool in summer and toasty warm in winter with reduced energy costs. We use a multi foil system which contains 40% recycled material and is 100% recyclable at end of life.

 

Our pontoon walkways to the pods float on recycled olive barrels. These robust units come to the UK and are not reused or returned by the manufacturer, but we give them a new purpose. Being a food grade product they are waterproof, UV stable and don’t leach chemicals into the
water.

 

The pods float on purpose-built float chambers made from recycled plastics.

 

The outer shells of the pods are made from charred larch timber, an ancient technique called Shou sugi ban. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but this process makes the timber highly resistant to rot, insect attack and fire. All without the use of chemicals that could otherwise enter the water system.

 

We design and hand build our Lilypod domes here in Devon. This enables us to to be in full control of ethically sourced supply chains and workshop practises that minimise waste and repurpose offcuts into some of the furniture we have in the pods.

 

Our pods are fitted with a separating compost loo system. The benefits of which are numerous – water saving – traditional flushing toilets use 5lt of water per flush (source Consumer council for Water https://www.ccw.org.uk/) and the processing of sewage in the UK is woefully inefficient
with record numbers of unsanctioned untreated sewage discharges by the water companies into our rivers and seas (source Surfers Against Sewage https://www.sas.org.uk/).

 

We take the humous from the composting loo and compost it down into natural organic safe fertiliser, its a process that takes 12 months after which we can use to help grow and nourish plants, shrubs and trees at the site.

 

Powered by the Sun

 

We are a fully off grid stay. We produce 100% of our power with renewables. No connection to the national grid or the sewer system.


Each pod has its own solar array to capture the suns power, even in winter months. The power is stored in state of the art Victron Lithium batteries.

 

Grey water systems – grey water is the term given to waste water from the pods shower and sinks – the pods are equipped with a robust grey water processing system in which waste water is passed through a settling tank where fats and cooking solids get separated from the water and sent to a bilge tank where it is automatically pumped from the pod to a land based soakaway location 15m away from the waters edge so no water enters the lake. We further insure better water quality by suppling the pod with eco friendly detergents such as Ecocover washing up liquid and Faith in Nature products- all plant based and biodegradable. We also make our own cleaning products from essential oils, witch hazel and vinegar reducing the reliance on chemical based products and they smell great too.

 

We use Naked Sprout to supply all our toilet consumables, using unbleached and ethically sourced bamboo products.

 

The firewood used in our pods is either sourced from our own managed coppicing or locally managed woodland.

 

We do not use hot tubs, although popular with guests they just don’t measure up to our sustainability ethos.

 

The energy needed to heat a hot tub both electrically or wood fired is approximately 2.5kw per hour or 60kw a day or 25-50kg of wood for a single use.
All hot tubs need chemicals added to keep down bacteria, like a swimming pool, normally in the form of chlorine or bromine granules. The water is dosed with chemicals, every day to a week depending on how often it’s used. This chemical water is then disposed of either in the main
sewer system or more often left to drain out on the land causing the depletion of microbes and nutrients in the soil- essentially poisoning it.

 

Waterscape and environs

 

We are blessed with a biodiverse rich environment at Lilypod, a true haven for wildlife. It’s our responsibility to enhance, manage and care for this beautiful slice of paradise.

 

The lake is a former lime quarry abandoned in the late 1800s and naturally filled from underground springs. The lake is approximately 4.5 acres with a further 5 acres of surrounding woodland.

 

Since acquiring the site in early 2022 we have been busy learning how best to care for the existing biodiversity and ways we can enhance it’s richness.

 

The basics – all guest waste from the pods is recycled, we compost food waste, glass plastic and cardboard are recycled along with general waste through Devon waste who have a zero to landfill policy.

 

Land and water management – Working with nature

 

We have reduced areas of monoculture or invasive plant species and planted perennial and annual wild flower areas to encourage more pollinators and insect diversity.

 

Our woodland absorbs 15 tonnes of carbon per year (Trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere which they use to grow. On average, one hectare of native broadleaf woodland will store 300 – 350 tonnes of carbon over a 100-year period source- https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/)
We have also planted 100 new saplings, which will improve and maintain this amazing system.

 

Grassland areas are allowed to grow naturally in May/June to allow more abundant areas for pollinators.

 

We use horticultural vinegar as weedkiller rather than relaying solely on glycophosphate chemicals.

 

Fallen trees around the lake edge are left in situ. They form important habitats for juvenile fish and provide natural cover and hunting grounds for birds such as kingfishers and herons.

 

A local ecosystem of amazing people and businesses

 

Sustainability should be encompassing, inclusive and supportive.

 

We actively support other businesses in the local area by recommending and signposting our guests to them through our digital welcome guide (TouchStay) that each guest receives when booking with us.

 

We only use local businesses from Devon as part of our in house team from digital support to tractor drives. As a responsible business all who help make Lilypod possible get above well above the national living wage.

 

Future goals

 

We are always leaning and adapting to new challenges and looking at ways we can improve our environment and guest experience. Our aim to be a carbon negative or climate positive business, by removing more carbon from the atmosphere than we produce.

 

We are also introducing habitat boxes for a variety of species at Lilypod.
For the pollinators we are making a natural log hive, these ingenious hive’s, mounted high in the trees provide a home for our bee’s. Check them out (https://beekindhives.uk/the-log-hive/ ) and see progress on our socials.
We will also be making bat and owl boxes for our nocturnal friends with camera feeds so we can bring them digitally to our guests.

 

Links to some of our suppliers:
https://nakedsprout.uk
https://www.faithinnature.co.uk
https://purdyandfigg.com/pages/homepage-new

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