More and more of us are becoming aware of the environment and becoming conscious of what we can do to help look after our planet.

 

But one pub has taken it one step further by putting the carbon footprint on the menu. National Trust-owned pub Sticklebarn, in Great Langdale, Cumbria, now details the impact each meal will have on the environment.

Manager Gareth Fuke says: "When we first took on the pub, that was the route that we went down. We thought there was an opportunity to do something different by being owned by the National Trust.

"All of our beer is local – from within 30 miles of the pub. All of our food is taking the National Trust ethos of being sourced as locally as possible. Meat comes from within 30 to 50 miles away.

"With our menu, we have tried to make it a little bit different. My kitchen staff are inspired by the street food, which has been on-trend for the last few years. We are trying to be on trend but keeping it traditional as well.

The pub has a mixture of punters visiting. Being situated in the heart of the Lake District, it attracts a lot of tourists.

"In school holidays and at peak times, there are a lot of families," Gareth says.

"We have a whole programme of events on. We offer a lot for different people. We get everything from the day tripper who comes out in the car to your regular holidaymaker who loves walking.

"Then you get people who are just passing and are interested and didn't know it's a National Trust pub.

"We don't shout about it too much but when people find out it's a National Trust pub, they think it's really cool. We are trying to attract people to come for the day and make it a bit of a destination."

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The pub teamed up with Lancaster University's Mike Berners-Lee, a leading expert in carbon foot printing to produce the ratings. Mike and experts at Small World Consulting, part of the University, say a carbon footprint is the best estimate of a meal's full climate change impact. It is is usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

For context, an average person in the UK person is responsible for around 9kg of CO2 a day through what they eat and drink, depending on their diet.
Mike and Small World Consultancy spent 10 years creating a database and a tool to measure carbon emissions.

Give peas a chance

One of the worst offenders on Sticklebarn's menu is the Ropa Vieja Chilli, which produces 5.4kg of emissions. The Slow Roasted Lamb Burger produces a similar amount. On the flipside, the pub's Crunchy Black Bean Burger produces just 0.86kg of emissions and the Chana Masala, a vegan chickpea curry, produces 1.69kg.

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"It's interesting. We do get people asking about it. It's something we've done for two years," Gareth adds. "We have noticed since we had more vegan and vegetarian options on the menu that people are choosing those dishes. I don't know if that's just a lifestyle choice. We are getting a bit of a reputation for doing good vegan and vegetarian food. We have noticed a trend of more people going for plant-based options.

"We wanted to try it and see what our visitors did with that information. We put it on the menu to see what the response was. We haven't shouted about it. It's worked out really well."

The carbon footprint information isn't the only thing the team to do help the environment. For 60 per cent of the year, the pub is run on green energy, thanks to its hydro system in the Greenburn Valley, which feeds back to the National Grid.

And the team's hard work is paying off as last year, the pub was awarded two out of three stars by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Gareth adds: "It's about thinking about what you can do to become as sustainable as possible. It's about looking at the impact that people have on the planet with things like waste reduction. It's doing the little things that make a big impact."

Sticklebarn
Great Langdale, Cumbria

Style: Traditional Lakeland pub with modern influences in its food
Staff: 20
Wet/dry split: 60/40
Online: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sticklebarn