Responsible travel: Limassol luxury villa accommodation, Cyprus
Plants and Wildlife
The villa gardens, matured over several decades, are a safe haven for over 10 species of bird, including swallows, several types of sparrow, and goldfinches. Birds and wildlife in general are welcome in our gardens as we believe in harmony with the environment. Some of the trees are over 20 meters tall, making them the tallest trees in the immediate vicinity, and a definite stopover spot for birds. One can hear birdsongs throughout the day, but especially in the morning, making breakfast in the garden a particularly joyful and peaceful experience.
The gardens have over 60 different species of plants, carefully selected and grown over the decades to create a harmonious result. To maintain the gardens during times of drought - which is not uncommon in Cyprus - and ensure their wellbeing, as well as the wildlife’s that inhabits them, we have drilled and developed our own waterholes, which get replenished every year whenever there is rain fall. This also cuts down the usage of water from the local water company, and helps preserve drinking water for our neighbours and local community.
We use solar power for water heating, taking advantage of the over 300 sunny days a year that Cyprus enjoys. This drastically cuts down our carbon footprint.
We are considering using solar power to heat the swimming pool.
All windows are double glazed, the walls contain insulation, and so do the lofts, making the villa an extremely energy efficient house.
We have installed energy efficient lighting throughout the property, as well as light timers, which switch outside lights off after a certain amount of time, to ensure lights don’t unnecessarily work all through the night.
Cyprus is a hot and sunny country, making air conditioning indispensable. Even so, it should be used responsibly and with an awareness of its energy impact. For example, having all the windows and doors open, whilst the air conditioning is on, is just a terrible waste of energy. Not only will the rooms not cool down at all, but this wastage will also make a big black hole in the environmental karma of whoever’s responsible! To help reduce the environmental impact of air conditioning we explain the cost of air conditioning to the villa guests, and have installed a meter so they can track their usage. The air conditioning cost is separate from the other villa holiday charges on purpose: to help make guests more aware and responsible with their energy usage.
Recycling is not yet common in Cyprus, and there is still a long way to go till the country approaches the household waste recycling rates seen elsewhere in the European Union, but we recycle as much as is locally possible, and encourage our guests to recycle. We have installed specially marked bins for different types of waste and we re-use items in the estate wherever possible.
Our office is paperless, all our communication is by email and we keep paper printing to an absolute minimum.
Our staff all live locally and almost all are within walking distance of the villa. We also use local trades and crafts people to the greatest extent possible.
We buy local produce for our welcome hampers, and recommend local businesses e.g. wineries, shops and restaurants.
Whenever there are gatherings, re-unions, weddings etc. on the villa grounds we supply fruit and vegetables grown in our gardens, olive oil we have produced, and organic food items from local producers.
Going forward we plan to offer lessons in mosaics and hagiography, both of which are local art forms with a particularly long and interesting history. The villa is full of mosaic art produced by a local artist.
The villa is not in (or even remotely near) commercial tourist resorts. It is on the edge of a quiet local community, overlooking green fields and is only a few minutes away from an unspoilt beach. Due to this guests do get to appreciate and experience life as a local.
We always look for ways to improve on our environmental and community interactions, and welcome any suggestions our guests may have.