Please help us care for the environment

Here at the Guardhouse we are aware of the challenges that our environment faces, and we are optimistic about human ability to overcome these.

Our small cafe sits in a national nature reserve, surrounded by the sea, with rare wildlife on view every single day. We want to play our part, and ask you to help us, to protect these beautiful surroundings.

Reducing plastic and single-use packaging

Everyone is aware of the damage that plastic particles are doing to the oceans. As a result we have taken many steps to cut down on plastic use. However we always try to look at the bigger picture for the environment: e.g. the carbon footprint of paper bags and glass bottles is huge, compared to using plastic! So with each change we’ve tried to think carefully about how to reduce our consumption, not just swap to another type of material.

Our ways of helping:

Straws are now made from paper – and we only give them out if you ask

Most soft drinks are now in aluminium cans, as the carbon footprint of aluminium (as long as it is recycled) is lower than plastic bottles.

We’ve removed Capri Suns from our drinks fridges. We offer cups of squash for children instead.

Small, wrapped items like KitKats have largely gone too – we have plenty of lovely homemade cakes.

We always offer tap water and are happy to refill bottles.

Single-use items such as sachets for ketchup and sugar have been largely removed in recent years, using instead a pump system for Ketchup and lumps for sugar.

One of our particular bugbears is Takeaway Cups. These have somehow become an essential part of modern life yet the impact on the environment is huge.

If you’d like your drink in a takeaway cup, we will charge a latte levy (currently 10p) which we donate to environmental charities.

But if you bring your own cup you will get 25p off a takeaway drink!

We also sell reusable bamboo cups. Currently on sale for just £5.00 (and we’ll put your first drink in it for free!).

We ensure that ALL our takeaway packaging is biodegradeable – although question whether this really helps the environment – the best option is not to use a throw-away item!

Covid was a disaster for single-use packaging and we have seen customer behaviour change dramatically in the recovery years, with throw-away cups and packaging seeming the norm for many people now. Bit by bit we are reintroducing our environmental policies on single-use packaging of all types.

Using local, seasonal and low-carbon ingredients

At the Guardhouse we do everything we can to limit the transport of our food. For example:

  • We use locally caught fish, milk and cream from south-west dairies, vegetables which are in season, beer brewed only 5 miles from the café.
  • We encourage customers to try vegetarian and vegan food. Our ever-changing seasonal specials always feature meat-free dishes – with an according far lower carbon footprint.
  • we use local suppliers to keep food miles lower – see more of our local suppliers.
  • We look at how our suppliers treat the environment: We have chosen to buy coffee from Owen’s because their beans are all fairtrade and rainforest alliance certified, their entire process is organic, and their roaster is very modern with ultra-low CO2 emissions.
Owen Coffee: an eco-friendly roaster

Re-use & recycle

We recycle all our aluminium, plastic, glass and cardboard waste. We try and reuse and are helped in this by an amazing local business, D&D Commercial Cleaning Supplies. Dennis refills our plastic bottles of dishwashing liquid, hand soap, commercial cleaners rather than having to buy new plastic containers.

Dennis has a particularly innovative solution for the ‘cartridges’ of hand soap & sanitiser which are standard in our industry. Most places throw away these heavy-duty plastic containers after each use. But Dennis has supplied us with special reservoirs to go inside the soap and sanitiser dispensers, which we can refill from a 5L plastic container – which in turn he refills from his bulk supply.

Each year we avoid many bins full of plastic bottles as a result of these steps. Thanks Dennis!