Do You Forget to be Green on Holiday?
Being on holiday should not be a reason to be less environmentally aware and we are doing our best to help in any way we can.
Our cluster of self-catering cottages situated in the hills above Lake Viñuela are in an area of outstanding beauty and one which is extremely environmentally sensitive. The lake below supplies water to Malaga and the authorities are ever watchful of businesses around its edge.
Despite our desire to be greener it is often difficult in Spain, due sometimes to the infrastructure, or maybe the lack of it, (no mains drainage for example) and it took over three years to get a bottle bank, and then it only came after writing a personal plea to the local Mayor!
Friendly Cottages: Inside our cottages we have reverse cycle airconditioning which means that the energy consumption is at a minimum whether providing heat or cooling. In fact the units use no more than a small light bulb. These units also have a metered electricity supply because it was found that guests simply left them running night and day even when they were out. The meter needs a 5€ card and will give about thirty hours use, so not at all expensive but enough to encourage people to use the system wisely.
Water heating has also been subject to change and following a succesful pilot scheme this summer all cottages will have electric/solar water heating in future. This will replace insantaneous gas heaters which are common in Spain, but always expensive to run and maintain.
Waste Treatment: A major development this year, at a cost of over 20,000€, has been the design of a waste and sewage treatment plant which will enable 100% recycling of waste from the ten cottages and restaurant. It has been designed in Denmark, built in the Czech Republic, and will be the first such plant in Spain. The final stage of the water treatment uses ultra violet light and Cantueso will use the recycled water to irrigate their extensive gardens, with oversupply going to the neighbouring olive groves.
Soft Water Pool: As you would expect we have a large swimming pool and it has a salt water generator to produce chlorine; used in the disinfection of the water. The salt is hardly noticeable but creates a “soft” water effect similar to pure rain water which is very nice to bathe in. It also means that a minimum of chemicals have to be added to the pool
Food Too: Our on-site restaurant uses wherever possible organic produce and locally grown fruit and vegetables in season. We also grow many of their own herbs and fruit such as oranges, lemons, figs, grapes, peaches and even pomegranites. Growing fruit and vegetables is not without its problems as Spain has its share of pests which has led to using old fashioned remedies such as boiling garlic and spraying the left over water onto the citrus fruits. We also plant insect repelling herbs next to plants which are susceptible to these little invaders.