Holiday cottage in Alicante

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Holiday cottage in Alicante

Environment

This part of Spain has an exceptionally high level of biodiversity, there are over 3000 species of vascular plants in the Valencian Community of over 10% of them are local or Spanish endemics.

To maintain the species diversity on the acre of almond orchard adjoining the cottage we cultivate the soil rather than using herbicides, this allows the plant species typical of arable land to complete their life cycle and set seed and adds organic matter into the soil which supports the soil decomposer community so important for healthy soil.

A healthy herbaceous growth is essential for invertebates, providing them with a source of insects on which to feed and which in turn provide food for animals further up the food chain.

We avoid the use of pesticides on the almonds except when there is absolutely no alternative. We have found the best way of reducing pests is to spray the trees with an organic oil in January just before the flower buds start to swell, this kills the eggs of 90% of common pests and is completely non-toxic.

We are committed to reducing the environmental effects of our holiday cottage by recycling. There are recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass, clients can leave all recyclables and we will deposit them in the appropriate recycling container. The remaining material is sent to a central recycling plant where organic and non-organic materials are separated and sent for composting or recycling.

Water is a scarce resource in Mediterranean countries so we encourage our guests to shower instead of bath to reduce water consumption. The toilets are equipped with a full or half flush mechanism which, if properly used, significantly reduces the quantity of water. In the garden we use drip irrigation systems for the flowerbeds and for the young trees planted in the orchard.

The house is fully insulated and has double-glazing to minimize energy losses. We have a low energy use washing machine and use low energy lightbulbs, we do not have air-conditioning installed, instead use low energy fans for cooling during heatwaves. We also publish a leaflet with information about the holiday cottage and ways to save energy. We plant trees every year to replace losses, the firewood produced is used for heating our home and therefore reduces carbon emissions.

The house has been renovated using traditional materials where possible, timber, local gypsum and stone and respecting the local architectural style. We have retained the original timber beams and concave ceilings characteristic of the area.

Public transport to the village is almost non-existent but we encourage our guests to make the trip from the airport to the nearest bus stop by public transport, it only requires one change and is very inexpensive.

Community

This accommodation is of direct benefit to the local community. Firstly because we use local services to maintain the property, secondly because your meals and food are purchased in the village and thirdly because it helps us to maintain the land we farm. We are committed to maintaining the biological and agricultural diversity of our farmland and by staying in our cottage you are actively contributing to this process.

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