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Photo: Lianne Mackay Photography

GUARDSWELL FARM SUSTAINABLE EVENTS GUIDE “Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the abilit y of future generations to meet their own.’ With a couple of years of weddings + events under our belts at Guardswell, we have a fair few stories to tell, and hopefully some wisdom to share. One of the biggest “revelations”, shall we say, is a shocking one at that- the impact a wedding h a s o n t h e e n v i r o n m e n t . Th e w a s t e p r o d u c e d , t h e single use plastic and decorations, the flowers f l o w n i n f r o m Th a i l a n d . . . e v e n t h o s e o f u s w h o t r y to live our lives in as sustainable and concious way as possible, can find ourselves dragged into the world of weddings and forget to consider the impact that it is having on the world around us. As a business- we tr y our hardest to do ever ything in our power to ensure Guardswell has as little impact on the enviroment as possible - this is t wo fold. - For the entire greater good of the world- to ensure that our great grandchildren have a lush, green, thriving, buzzing with life world to live in. - And, because it has such a great instantly m e a s u r a b l e i m p a c t o n t h e f a r m . Th e f l o r a a n d fauna that appear when we manage the land correctly, the hares that are increasing in numbers on our own fields, the migratory butterflies that are stopping by, the native orchids growing in the meadow. If we pour chemicals down the drain, it doesnt go into a sewer and we can “forget” about it; it pollutes our land. With that in mind, we have popped together a few ideas and suggestions on making sustainability a big factor in your wedding planning. if you have any questions what so ever, please speak to Te a m G u a r d s w e l l a n d w e w i l l h e l p a s m u c h a s w e possibly can.

Photo: Lianne Mackay Photography

A FEW BIG CHANGES IN HOW WE RUN WEDDINGS F o r 2 0 21 w e d d i n g s m o v i n g f o r w a r d , w e a r e introducing a number of “critera ” that must be met at a Guardswell wedding- we know that some are hard to enforce, but we really want to tr y and make a Guardswell wedding as enviromentally concious as possible. We might not be changing the world- but we can try and make at least a little difference by ensuring events held in our building are making a few changes. Wh a t a re t h e 4 b i g i d e a s : 1 - F L O R I S T R Y . A s o f 2 0 21 , w e w i l l n o l o n g e r allow oasis/floral foam to be used in floral i n s t a l l a t i o n s a t G u a r d s w e l l . Th e r e a r e s o m a n y great alternatives- “moss-age” rolls, jars and jugs, troughs and planters. Floral foam doesnt break down in landfill, but leaches a plethora of horrific chemicals into the soil- prett y much a mega no-no, and a really simple change you can make to your wedding. We also ask that at least 50% of your flowers and foliage used are British grown, and/or plant-able potted plants (these can then be given out as gifts to family members or planted into your gardens). Please pass this information onto your florists, and once they are booked, we will get in touch with them to provide our sustainabilit y guidelines.

2 - WAST E . We c u r re n t l y a s k a l l s u p p l i e rs t o remove waste from the premesis, and we hope that they take a responsible attitude to the sorting and disposal of this. However, we have noticed that during events, all thoughts of sorting and recycling go out of the window as guests are carried along by the occassion. We currently do ask for all recycling to be sorted and popped i n t h e r i g h t b i n , b u t f r o m 2 0 21 t h i s w i l l b e m u c h stricter- and we hope that the general waste bin is tiny wee. We also ask that you consider ways in which you can minimise the waste created over a wedding weekend. Most of the waste is from food packaging- large ready meals, or trays of s a n d w i c h e s . Wh y n o t a s k y o u r A u n t a n d U n c l e i f they will make a big pot of soup for set up day, or pre -make some lasagnes to pop in the freezer and bring out on the Friday night- even these tiny changes make a massive different. 3 - N O S I N G L E U S E P L A S T I C . A s o f 2 0 21 , a l l single use plastic will be banned from Guardswell Farm. Again- hard to enforce in the food packaging front- but we will not allow plastic cups, straws, containers, favours, decoration, drinks containers- and this will apply for both wedding couples and suppliers 4- CATERING. Please discuss this with us in a d v a n c e i f y o u a r e c o n c e r n e d . Th i s i s m o r e o f a strong recommendation as opposed to a criterabut please please please - food sourcing must be considered and discussed well in advance with us and your caterer- we would hope that the main ingredients chosen are in season and sourced locally where possible. Guardswell can advise and provide a list of local producers, or caterers that use local/seasonal ingredients.

A FEW WEE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE YOUR WEDDING OR EVENT A LIT TLE MORE SUSTAINABLE Te a m G u a r d s w e l l a l l p u t o u r n o g g i n s t o g e t h e r - a n d have come up with the following sustainability guide for weddings and events held at Guardswell Farm. From easy changes, to big moves you can make. Have a wee read as you start the process and tr y and implement a few in your day.

FLORISTRY - Steer clear of floral foam- it never breaks down and its full of all sorts of horrible chemicals - Tr y t o c h o o s e a f l o r i s t w h o s p e c i a l i s e s o r i s happy to use British grown flowers and foliage. If you want to go the extra mile - consider an organic or chemical free flower farm. - Look at florists who are relatively near Guardswell to reduce miles traveled. If possible, see if they are happy to leave bouquets/button holes on the set up day (they can be popped in the walk in fridge/cold room) to save double journeys. - Recycle. Does your florist have vases/jugs/decor you can rent or borrow, to save you buying new? Alternatively, look in charity shops for cute bud vases or bottles. - Dried flowers are making a come back- why not pick grasses and flowers from your garden throughout the year and hang upside down to dr y and use at your wedding. Prett y special to have your own flowers there on the day. - Living is always best in our eyes. Pots of thyme on the tables, or troughs filled with living, moving g r a s s e s . Yo u c a n g r o w y o u r o w n i n t i m e f o r t h e wedding, rent from garden centres- or even buy and give out as gif ts af ter the wedding. We all have a really greenfingered family member who would love to be involved. - Consider a different t ype of “florist y�- why not buy vegetables from a local grower and have them instead of flowers- cardoons and artichokes are awesome - or even apples dotted along the centre of a table. Plus you have the added bonus of being able to eat it after wards. - Consider what will happen to your flowers after your wedding. Give them to family members- or ask us for a list of local nursing homes who would love your left over flowers.

DECORATION - Tr y r e n t i n g d e c o r a t i v e i t e m s i n s t e a d o f b u y i n g and ideally from rental companies near by the Guardswell to reduce road miles. - If you cant find an item to rent- why not check out the many second hand wedding facebook pages? Or alternatively, charity shops or auctions s o t h a t y o u c a n b u y s e c o n d h a n d . Yo u c o u l d e v e n sell the items back on facebook after wards, or donate back to charit y. - Beg + borrow. We all know someone who has just h a d a w e d d i n g , o r e v e n a f r i e n d o f a f r i e n d . Wh y not borrow some of the things they used for their wedding day. - Tr y u s i n g e v e r y d a y i t e m s , o r t h i n g s y o u c a n f i n d around the garden to decorate with. Big jars full of fir cones look ace, bottles with labels removed a r e b e a u t i f u l c a n d l e s t i c k s o r v a s e s . Yo u c o u l d speak to a local bar and ask them to keep all the bottles of one drink variety so that each table has the same. - Candles. Have a look into what the candle is made out of, and where it is made.

- Th i n k a b o u t y o u r s t a t i o n a r y. D o y o u n e e d t o send a heap of different note cards out with your i n v i t e s ? Wh y n o t h a v e a w e d d i n g w e b s i t e , s o s e n d digital save the dates. Not every person needs a menu, so have a shared one per table, or even write up the menu on the blackboard for guests to see when they arrive. - Fa v o u r s . A re t h e y re a l l y e s s e n t i a l ? Wh y n o t h a v e something plantable - a wee herb pot, or packet of wildflower seed? A bird feeding ball, or donate a lit tle money to charit y. If you have a packet of seed, you could even use them as place settings w i t h n a m e s w r i t t e n o n t h e m . Tr y a n d s t e e r c l e a r o f plastic in all favours. - Post wedding. Consider where your items will go after the wedding. If the answer is the bin, perhaps you dont need it. - Ta b l e L i n e n . W e w o u l d d e f i n i t e l y r e c o m m e n d fabric napkins (we dont think you need table c l o t h e s o n o u r t a b l e s ) . Th e s e c a n b e r e n t e d , o r you could buy fabric from a second hand shop and make your own- ripped up linen is gorgeous.

CATERING - Ask lots of questions when you are booking y o u r c a t e re r. Wh e re d o t h e y s o u rc e t h e i r produce? Can they provide a menu specifically for the time of year that you are getting m a r r i e d ? Wh a t d o t h e y d o w i t h t h e i r w a s t e p o s t event? How far away from Guardswell are they, and how do they get their staff to the event? We will be happy to suggest a range of caterers based on merit in these areas. - Consider the sourcing of any coffee + tea used during your event. Look at using loose leaf tea t o r e d u c e p l a s t i c i n t e a b a g s . Tr y t o u s e c r o c k e r y for serving teas and coffees instead of throw away cups. - Choose a baker for your wedding cake who is relatively nearby, and again, ask them about their sourcing. Is it fairtrade chocolate, is the butter from a scottish dair y, can you use scottish berries when in season?

BAR - Consider choosing a locally stocked bar- scottish spirits, british mixers, even a very local beer (we have a brewer y 2 miles away). - For dinners/socialising either side of the wedding, in the farmhouse or other accommodation, make sure all glass is sorted ready for recycling. - Th e b a r a t G u a r d s w e l l u s e s e c o - w a s h i n t h e glasses washing machines, and all machines are turned off outwith event times.

CLOTHING + ACCESSORIES - Th e r e a r e s o r e a l l y a m a z i n g s u s t a i n a b l e c l o t h i n g brands that make beautiful wedding dresses, or dresses for bridesmaids. Check where they have their fabric made also- and where the manufacturing takes place. - Have a look at second hand wedding dresses, a n d a l t e r i n g t h e m t o w o r k f o r y o u . Yo u m a y e n d up with something totally bespoke and really quite amazing. - Consider letting bridesmaids/groomsmen choose their own outfits for the day- either using something they already have or buying something they will definitely wear again. - Does a friend or family member have a lovely piece that you can borrow? Perhaps a special vail, or a pair of shoes. - Wh a t w i l l y o u d o w i t h y o u r d re s s a f t e r w a rd s ? Th e r e a r e s o m e g r e a t c h a r i t i e s t h a t d r e s s e s c a n be donated to. Or why not have it dyed and wear it again? Alternatively, have it altered and made into something else. - Yo u m a y f i n d s o m e g r e a t a c c e s s o r i e s i n v i n t a g e o r c h a r i t y s h o p s . Th e r e a r e s o m e g r e a t s e c o n d hand shops in Edinburgh that are dedicated to bridal wear, so its worth a look if you are in the area.

JEWELLERY - Wh e n p u rc h a s i n g r i n g s a n d o t h e r j e w e l l e r y f o r the wedding- why not try and find a local jeweller who can make them for you, and you can be involved in the entire process. - Find out where the metal and stones have come from- are they responsibly sourced? Some stones can come with certificates to back up their origin. - C o n s i d e r v i n t a g e j e w e l l e r y. Th e r e a r e s o m e r e a l l y beautiful pieces that are unlike anything you find new now- and more often than not, they are ver y dainty and fine. Have a jeweller check the claws of any stones to ensure that they are well set. - Any cool family jewels that are in something that y o u d n e v e r w e a r. P e r h a p s a b ro o c h t h a t j u s t s i t s i n a box- why not turn that into a ring, or perhaps a pair of earrings for the day. OT H E R W E D D I N G D AY S U P P L I E R S - Tr y t o c h o o s e a p h o t o g r a p h e r w h o l i v e s r e l a t i v e l y near by to save on road miles. - Th e s a m e g o e s f o r b a n d s - a r e t h e y t r a v e l l i n g b y p l a n e t o g e t h e r e ? Th e r e a r e s o m e a c e b a n d s within an hour of Guardswell, have a wee nosey. - Wh e n c h o o s i n g a h a i r a n d m a k e u p p ro v i d e r have a little chat about where they get their products from. Are they cruelt y free? Do they contain any horrible chemicals? Are their products organic?

PRESENTS + HONEYMOON - Consider asking guests to donate to a charity instead of giving gifts. - Th e r e a r e a h u g e n u m b e r o f e c o - h o l i d a y o p t i o n s a volunteering honeymoon, or perhaps a no-fly honeymoon. Ecotourism is booming, so you can usually find somewhere which takes sustainabilit y seriously. Have a peek at agritourism businesses around the world, or why not tr y something like “work-away” for a bit of travel and work combined. E N E R G Y + WAT E R U S AG E - Guardswell is serviced by both a hill water s u p p l y a n d b y m a i n s w a t e r. F l o r i s t s a re encouraged to use the outside tap near the door, u t i l i s i n g t he h i l l w a t e r. - Caterers are asked to ensure that taps are not left running at any point during the event. - Energy saving light bulbs are used throughout the Steading and all of the on-site accommodation. Lights are only on in the Steading, when necessar y. Timers are used for the festoon lights in the woods and toilet lights are automatic to avoid them being lef t on accidently. - Heating will only be put on in the Steading and accommodation when necessary and not exceed 24 ’ C . - Wa t e r b u t t s a r e u s e d a r o u n d t h e f a r m t o c o l l e c t rainwater for watering any flowers/vegetable patches during the dryer summer months. - Using generators is to be avoided where possible (unless in remote locations on the Farm)

Photo: Lianne Mackay Photography

Photo: Lianne Mackay Photography

TRANSPORT - Wh e re v e r p o s s i b l e , g u e s t s a n d s u p p l i e r s s h o u l d car share to reduce emissions, traffic and any impact on the local roads. - Guests should be encouraged to pre -book shuttles, mini busses for events, ideally with local transport companies, when they are unable to d r i v e t h e m s e l v e s . Th e y m a y b e a b l e t o f i n d o t h e r guests going back to the same places to share with. A LIT TLE TASTE OF WHAT GUARDSWELL ALREADY DOES A m e m b e r o f t h e G u a r d s w e l l Te a m w i l l d o a l i t t e r pick on the public road to Kinnaird after ever y event to ensure any litter is collected and sorted into the appropriate recycling/waste bin. Any food waste (if compostable) can be sorted and deposited into our compost site (prior to approval b y a m e m b e r o f t e a m G u a r d s w e l l ) . Th i s w i l l t h e n be used on our vegetable garden in the future. Any cleaning products used for the clean-up and general cleaning of all properties should be ecofriendly. All waste, which cannot be recycled or composted, should be disposed of in compostable bin bags (non-compostable bin bags are prohibited in any of the guest accommodation). All cloths used for cleaning should be washed and re -used for as long as possible. We of ten use recycled toweling from large hotel chains. Any miscellaneous items left over unexpectedly from events should be sorted in the best possible w a y , r e f e r r i n g t o t h e ‘ W a s t e H i e r a r c h y ’. After each event, as a team, we shall reflect and discuss ways to continually strive for increased sustainability!

WAYS I N W H I C H W E A R E A L R E A DY A S U STA I N A B L E VENUE: - Hand soap in bathrooms is made on site using eco castille soap and essential oils, and is dispensed in reusable glass bottles. - Reusable face cloths are used as as hand driers, paired with a crocadillo eco hand dr yer - All waste belonging to us is sorted and recycled post event- including “hazerdous” loo bin waste which is sorted and disposed of using the PHS eco scheme. -

Any bin bags used are compostable.

- Any floral waste composted- both our own and any lef t from weddings. We only ever use our own flowers or left over flowers in accommodation- and are ver y careful to adhere to times of flowering + growth. We predominantly use what others would call “weeds” in our arrangements and we are ver y careful to only take what wont damage the plant, and only from our own land, or land in which permission has been granted. - Most wedding couples stay on site with their close friends and families- no need to use wedding vehicles - Guardswell Grows can provide veg and herbs to weddings + events, using their “Fresh Sheet”, making sure you have the smallest food miles possible. -All lights are either only on when required or on sensors. Heating only on when necessary, and the building specced to allow for appropriate insulation to ensure heat is retained in the building.

Photo: Emma Lawson Photography

- All logs and kindling used on site is from our own woodlands. We are ver y careful about which trees are used, and make sure to leave deadwood on the forest floor to support microorganism and insect life. - Loo roll is “recycled paper� and bought in bulk to save on packaging. - All cleaning products used on the farm are eco cleaning products and bought where possible in 15 l b u l k t o a l l o w u s t o r e f i l l b o t t l e s . - Only LED energy efficient light bulbs are used in the Steading and Accommodation. - We tr y to use as lit tle paper as possible on the farm- with all info packs going out in digital f o r m a t . Th e o n l y p a p e r u s e d i n a c c o m m o d a t i o n is for the welcome sheet, and in the office, we o n l y r e q u i r e p a p e r f o r o u r Te r m s a n d C o n d i t i o n s , making us a relatively paper-free office. - Generally on the farm, we have moved to a more environmentally concious manner of managing t h e f a r m . We h a v e p l a n t e d o v e r 10 , 0 0 0 t re e s i n the last 3 years, as well as a large wildflower meadow, and managed the grassland to allow for more native wildflower to grow- managing grazing levels.


Profile for Guardswell Farm


GUARDSWELL FARM SUSTAINABLE EVENTS GUIDE “Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability...


GUARDSWELL FARM SUSTAINABLE EVENTS GUIDE “Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability...