Sustainable holidays: travelling sustainably is so important

Sustainable holidays

in our rural hotel
… something we really care about!

Sustainable holidays in a sustainable hotel

is becoming an increasingly important selection criterion for most tourists.

In the past, sustainable holidays in organic or eco-hotels were still a real exception. Just thinking about it, some people turned up their noses with disdain. But in the last 10 years, the picture has changed dramatically. Especially the events of the last few years have ensured that environmental and climate protection has become increasingly important.
That is why sustainability for us is one thing above all: incredibly important.

In recent years, we have repeatedly made adjustments and changes. The goal: to make our small family hotel even more sustainable and thus make our contribution to the conservation of nature.

Furthermore, we want to show that sustainable holidays and luxury are not mutually exclusive! In our hotel, luxury and sustainability merge and form a great symbiosis, which benefits you as our guest and the environment – in short, a classic win-win situation.

What are we doing now in terms of sustainable holidays?

Within our abilities, we would like to contribute to a sustainable world. Our contributions might be small and simple, but we really believe in the concept of “every little bit helps” and we’ve started putting our own house in order. We are not yet 100% zero-waste and climate-neutral, but we have been able to continuously improve our carbon-footprint in recent years.

Solar system:

Living, lucky enough, in an area with an average of 3000 hours of sun a year, we can produce almost 100% of all the hot water we need, may it be just for the usage of hot water or to run our central heating system. Our solar panels lie comfortably on the roof and produce that much hot water without exhausting themselves, we never have to ask our heating system for support.

Photovoltaic System:

Our photovoltaic system produces our complete daily energy requirement through its optimal alignment and state-of-the-art technology. Comfort usually means high energy consumption (e.g. for the pleasant room temperature thanks to air conditioning). And even though we are not a certified organic hotel, in recent years it has always been our target to do something for the environment in this area as well. And so, we are now almost self-sufficient – only at night, when it gets dark, we have to resort to other forms of energy 🙂

Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant:

Our location outside the village makes it impossible to be connected to the municipal sewage system. Therefore, we run our own small wastewater treatment plant and lead the clean wastewater, within the legally required specifications, back into nature – a cycle from which all parties profit.

In addition, the garden architecture has been adapted to the local conditions so that basically only a little water is needed for irrigation. Even in our desert-like climate, our wastewater treatment plant is big enough to water the garden sufficiently.

Recycling:

Even though it is a lot more work in a large house than it used to be in our little two-person household, our waste gets separated and recycled. Zero-Waste is probably an unattainable goal, but reducing waste, in general, is a daily goal for us. And packaging waste is a real challenge here in Spain. Therefore, we also encourage our guests, especially in the area of the Honesty-Bar (glass, cans, etc.) to participate and support us in separating the waste.

Cleaning and washing products:

Since our region finally also offers ecologically degradable cleaning products and detergents, we have almost completely switched our product range here. All products are free from EDTA, phosphates, phthalates, nickel, and paraffin. Furthermore, they contain no optical brighteners, enzymes, ammonia, chlorine, or bleach. They are vegan and not tested on animals.

In addition, the products are sold in large bag-in-boxes, which leads to a significant reduction in our plastic waste.

In addition, one thing should be said at this point: biodegradable cleaning agents also remove dirt, bacteria, and viruses reliably – alcohol is the secret sauce 😉

Food:

We clearly focus on regional and seasonal produce from local growers. Among other things, this ensures short transport routes and very little packaging.

To guarantee a varied cuisine though we sometimes need to fall back on other products, ensuring you, that we will always decide on the best available product.

Personally, we are great fans of the Slow Food movement!

Manpower:

Our responsibility does not end here. Actually, we do not need a lot of employees for our daily work (more likely we need more repairmen in this old house 🙂). But it was our heart’s desire to work with Spanish people. We were laughed at by a few people at the time, but looking back it was certainly the right decision. All of our partners work with official invoices (yep, the Spanish Economy needs tax money) and employees get a legal contract including social security, health insurance, and pension.

Because social responsibility is more important than ever in these times. Fairness, support, and cohesion are especially important in a small family business.

Our Cortijo El Sarmiento is legally fully registered at the Junta de Andalucia by the number CR/AL/000039.

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