France Outdoors

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France Outdoors was founded in 2008 by Vincent & Florence Lamy. After living in Galway for 8 years, Vincent & Florence moved back to France to set up France Outdoors, a small, family-run agency specialised in organising custom guided walking trips in France & Europe. France Outdoors now proposes a large portfolio of active trips, from guided walking and trekking, to winter snowshoe and skiing, and of course road cycling, to destinations in France, Europe, North Africa and as far away as Nepal and Patagonia.
Member since: 10 May 2019

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

We contribute to the local tourism industry by working with a network of local actors, that we have built up over the past 7 years. All our guides are local, and are all independent workers who are passionate about the region, it's mountains and culture, and have by choice created their own jobs in a trade that can be seasonal and dependent on outside factors, with all the associated difficulties.
Accommodation we use, whether in mountain refuges or chalets, or hotels, is all locally-owned and family run. Hotels and gîtes employ locally and are of direct benefit to the community. Food products are sourced locally, whether it be Provençal cuisine or typically mountain fare.

Environmental responsibility

All of our activities are low-impact on the environment, and the guides are always on hand to gently educate on best practices, whether they be environmental or cultural. We use public transport when possible on hiking trips, or small local operators when this is not possible. We operate a strict anti-litter policy on all our trips, and indeed all of our clients know and appreciate this.

In the office, we recycle as much as possible. Ink cartridges are reused, as is paper. Heating is electric, a clean source in this region of hydro-electricity, rather than wood-burning. Lights and electrical fittings are energy saving and everything is turned off in the evening. The region has a global recycling policy to which we subscribe, with the goal that 50% of all waste be recycled.

Water is a really important issue with active trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Water can be provided for clients on all trips and water receptacles are recycled or reused where appropriate. As tap water in the region is drinkable, clients will be encouraged to use tap water and to reuse plastic bottles, rather than buying bottled water.

Social responsibility

We use local leaders to help preserve the way of life in their area and offer regular training so they can also educate our travellers on how to be more responsible and respectful of local natural and cultural heritage. Fresh produce (such as cheese and meat) is sourced locally as much as possible. Picnic lunches (cold meats, cheese, bread etc.) are sourced at locally supplied stores and evening meals are either taken at our accommodation or local, family-run restaurants. Clients are encouraged to stop at local cafés or shops when possible, - local cafés are often seasonal and dependant on tourism for their livelihood, while providing valuable employment in areas where tourism is the principal, or only, employment option, particularly for younger people.

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