Go Green with us!
Because it's a beautiful planet we have in our hands.
Housing. Food. Transportation. Product consumption. Those very very basics of the lives of so many of us today, yet also the most significant contributors to the carbon footprint. The good news are that every single one of us can have an impact, with even very little changes and choices in our everyday lives.
The Happy Hamlet wouldn’t be as happy if it weren’t surrounded by beautiful, wild and clean nature. Anyone who has visited would surely agree that the greenery all around us has an important role in making the stay with us unique and pleasant.
We recycle waste. We recycle and upcycle anything we can imagine as per furniture and decoration. We buy local (mainly organic) produce from nearby farmers. We grow our own veggies in the garden and have dozens of fruit trees. We prepare our own homemade biodegradable cleaning products, make fruit jams and preserve olives. We have natural springs the water of which we use for gardening (hopefully one day for a lot more, but as per all the norms this is a longer process). And, we have two goats as our “natural brushcutters”!
However, we acknowledge the fact that visiting us forces many travel by plane. We still want you all to come and stay with us, which is why as our 2019 New Year’s resolution we’re committing to compensate for the flight carbon footprint of the Hamlet guests. Having now spent a lot of time researching online and discussing with experts, we are about to finalize the case with a chosen organization with suitable means of compensation. By following us and our news you’ll be the first one to know once announced!
In our day to day lives as well as while hosting our guests we strive to make the best possible and most sustainable choices. Sharing some of those with you below and we’ll be glad to hear other tips and ideas on how to be even better in our green efforts! We’ve also prepared a little summary on GREEN TRAVEL TIPS for you as a traveler, it’s got some handy tips to consider before, during and even after your trip. Please have a look and share if you find it as important as we do!
"Don’t blow it - good planets are hard to find."
- quoted in Time
Upcycling & Recycling
The majority of our furniture and decoration is either bought at local Brocantes (French for second-hand treasure heaven), hand-made or upcycled by ourselves. There are, of course, items we’ve needed to buy new for your comfort, such as beds, mattresses, linen, and bathroom equipment.
Nevertheless, the soul and ambiance of the Hamlet is much owed to the pieces and elements that have a history and some interesting stories to tell!
We understand how privileged we are with the diverse agriculture surrounding us. During the season the majority of our groceries come from the markets or directly from the neighboring farmers. For us buying local is probably the most important part of ecological thinking as it not only cuts down the massive carbon footprint from transportation but it also supports small businesses that are vital for the countryside to survive.
The best way to show you how lucky we are is that you visit and taste it for yourself. But also, you can have a look at this little “Foodie map” we’ve put together to pinpoint our neighboring producers.
Garden & Wild herbs
No matter when in the season you visit, we’ll always have something fresh in our garden: tomatoes, salads, onions, garlic, peppers, green beans, aubergines, courgettes, or potatoes. Tons of wild herbs can be found all around, so you’ll most likely enjoy a meal with rosemary, sage, fennel, thyme, mint or other. Truffle and wild asparagus hide in our woods (don’t tell anyone!).
There are dozens of fruit trees around the property: figs, walnuts and hazelnuts, almonds, apples, pears, peaches, plums and cherries – even olives. None of ours are as perfect-colored or shaped as they come in the supermarkets – but we can assure you that the fresh fig you’ll pick directly from a tree will be a sweet treat!
Some of those garden goodies we like to conserve: our homemade jams (figs, plums, cherries, and apples) are served for example for your breakfast or with cheese plates after dinner, and for apéro you may taste our homemade « Olives à la Greque ».
There are other products we prepare ourselves, such as the very basic and simple, yet efficient cleaning product. Leftover lemon skins combined with vinegar, kept in the fridge for some days, works perfectly well for all general cleaning. Our body scrub with olive oil, brown sugar and wild herbs from the garden (e.g. sage, lavender or rosemary) makes a nice gift to that someone special.
We recycle not only various trash (metal, glass, plastic, bio, paper, carton), but we also reuse everything possible (glass jars, tin cans etc.). Our kitchen waste goes directly to a large compost in our garden, providing us excellent soil improver.
Needless to say we don’t use any disposable tableware, and we’re happy about the new law that will take in effect in 2020, banning the use of plastic plates, cups and utensils in France – following the law that bans plastic bags in grocery stores. Step by step together we can shift towards Zero Waste.
We’ve also found a wonderful French charity organisation called « Bouchons d’amour » (Caps of Love), which sells recycled bottle caps to the plastic industry and uses the proceeds to provide help to people with disabilities. More info (only in French) on their website.
Water & Electricity
There are several natural springs on our property and our vision is to use them substantially in the future. Before officially authorized to do so, we use the spring water (together with collected rainfall) for watering the garden and plants.
The accommodation industry is challenging when it comes to the use of water and electricity. We try our best to save energy (and water) and ask our guests to do so with us. We encourage the reuse of towels during the whole stay, and we ask to pay attention to turning off lights when not needed. We use solar panel bulbs outdoors and we’re investigating the possibility of setting up large solar panels on our fields.
Our natural swimming pool is cleaned without chlorine or any other chemicals (which makes it also feel like swimming in a lake rather than a pool).