How we are trying to care for our planet at Ribbonwood Retreat B & B Accommodation
After buying the land 16 years ago, we built our home with comfort and sustainability in mind. The name “Ribbonwood” was chosen due to the large ribbonwood tree beside the state highway in front of our home, one of the few remaining in the area as their bark was palatable to hungry cattle. We have planted many more ribbonwoods, much to the delight of the local kereru, which feed on the leaves in early spring. Our home was constructed to conserve energy, with insulation in walls and ceiling and double glazed windows to maximise passive solar heating. We have planted more than a hundred native shrubs and trees to offset carbon emissions from our business and travel. Many of these were sourced as seedlings that were found growing on the property and carefully transplanted and nurtured in pots until large enough to be planted out. Some of theses are long lived tree species which attract native birds, such as tui, bellbird and kereru. Weeds are suppressed with mulch sourced from chipper waste from roadside clearance activity nearby and composted here at Ribbonwood. We have a large garden and tunnel house, producing vegetables and berries for us and our guests. Our orchard is being developed with a framework of shelter already in place and we are delighted that our hazelnut trees are producing so we can share them with guests in our home made treats.
Our electricity supplier uses hydro electric power stations, the nearest being only 15 km away. We have installed an energy efficient heat pump in the cottage. Heatingis provided from a modern solid fuel stove utilising firewood from trees grown on the property. We separate waste as much as possible by sorting paper, glass, aluminium and tin cans to be recycled at our local waste station. Green material is also separated and composted for use in our garden. We provide guest shampoo and conditioner in convenient pump bottles that reduce the waste of small plastic bottles and packaging. The products are handcrafted in New Zealand using locally sourced and organic products wherever possible.
Locally we volunteer in local conservation initiatives such as assisting in the Kiwi Recovery Program. Before becoming B&B hosts, Jo managed the Kiwi Recovery Program for ten years and Julie taught at the local school, fostering an appreciation of the environment in her pupils. She won a West Coast Community Award in 2008 for her environmental work with children.
It is a joy to live here with the fabulous views of the glaciers and mountains with the rainforest on the lower slopes. We especially enjoy being able to watch the trees and shrubs we planted mature and provide food and habitat for so many birds. This spring we were rewarded with fledgling bellbirds and fantails, whose parent birds nested in our trees. We hope that you will visit to enjoy the environment we have created, to share our gorgeous views and hear the birdsong.
Ribbonwood B & B accommodation is conveniently located just 5 km from Franz Josef Glacier Village. We are close to the restaurants (some offer a complimentary taxi service to and fro.) Ribbonwood is ten kilometres and ten minutes drive from the glacier.
We are proudly a quality assessed Bed and Breakfast