Ecology at the lodge
Whatever our opinions, beliefs and practices on ecology, there are a number of green behaviours that can do no harm.
But we need to be aware of what we are doing, what choices we are making, and the orders of magnitude. Here is a tool that, in less than 5 minutes, allows you to know where you stand:
This is why, when we took over the gîtes de la Burague at the beginning of 2016, we were initially pleased to note that the gîtes had been renovated with a concern for authenticity which is in line with theecology The first thing we noticed was that it was beautiful, and that the renovation that had been undertaken 10 years earlier looked very recent. Our first observation was that it was beautiful, and that the renovation that had been undertaken 10 years earlier looked very recent. Beautiful and sustainable in a way. So we decided to follow this spirit of the place, whenever we could. This is where we are now.
The first thing we had to do when we bought this beautiful complex of gîtes was to choose an electricity provider. As this is now very easy, we opted for Alternaan alternative electricity provider. Would you prefer your electricity to come from wind, solar or hydroelectric power, or from a coal or gas power plant?
A dozen solar panels installed below the pool help us produce electricity for our own consumption. If you want to help us make the best use of this energy, please run your machines preferably between 2 and 6 pm (the hours that concentrate 80% of the production), because everything that is not consumed is lost.
Solar pool heating
The Dordogne is a beautiful place in the low season, but if the weather is good from April to November, it is a shame not to be able to enjoy the pool. That's why we wanted it to be heated. Here again, we chose solar energy: silent, clean, and no more expensive than a heat pump. And for good measure, the pool shower is also solar heated. On the other hand, if there is no sun, the pool will not heat up. But few people feel like swimming when the weather is not so good!
We have replaced almost all the light bulbs with LEDs and we use small solar panels to light your evenings while sitting in your garden.
Heating with wood
As one of the gîtes has no heating and is difficult to heat (180 m², 4 m ceiling height on the ground floor and 8 m on the first floor), we finally opted for a 24 Kwh Canadian stove for the gîte Caves of the Périgord and an open insert for the gîte DordogneThis makes it possible to build a fire in an open fireplace, while respecting the new environmental regulations.
Aesthetic choice above all, we avoid plastic, especially for garden and pool furniture. Of course, it's more maintenance...but it's so much more beautiful!
The products we provide (washing up liquid, shower gel, etc) are organic and use reusable containers whenever possible
Filtered water and Sodastream
For your water consumption, we provide water filters for pleasant drinking tap water (not only bacteriologically pure) and Sodastream for those who prefer sparkling water. It's simple and there's less plastic and fewer bottles to carry.
We provide you with a cartridge of organic and fair trade compatible Nespresso capsules.
A gesture that does not require any particular effort, just to be careful!
Detergents, weed killers, fertilizers
To clean, polish, shine or weed, there are plenty of effective but expensive and sometimes dangerous chemical products, as the recent ban on Roundup in France shows. This is an opportunity for us to discover many more natural products that are just as effective, much less expensive and without risk to health or the environment.
We use black soap, white vinegar, bamboo sponges and cloths and linseed oil to maintain the gîtes: Simple, ecological, efficient.
Compost for plants
When you have a large garden to maintain, with mowing, trimming, pruning, etc., why not reuse this waste on site rather than taking it to the waste disposal centre? A few planks, a little patience (three years anyway), and our soil is now ready for our next planting.
Two rainwater recovery tanks allow us to reduce the watering needed for planting. The selection of adapted species, able to withstand heat, cold, drought and humidity, has done the rest. But the results are there: a water consumption divided by two.
Oyas (or ollas) are pots of porous soil that are placed at the foot of the plant to be watered. This considerably reduces evaporation losses and the accordion effect - too much water and then not enough water if you forget to water regularly, for example. Oyas have been around at least since the Han dynasty in China or Roman times in Europe.
Organic vegetable garden
Part of the garden is reserved for our organic vegetable garden: tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, melons and strawberries in summer; potatoes, pumpkins and other squash in autumn.
Of course, we can share some of our production with you!
The garden has more than 80 different species of flowers (not including succulents and the flower meadow, which in itself is a source of biodiversity) and we have planted bamboo hedges and laurel bushes, and over 20 species of trees - walnut, almond, magnolia, lilac, albizia, cypress, umbrella pine, forsythia, eucalyptus, oak, lemon, plum, catalpa, liquidambar, gingko biloba, olive, palm, banana and Japanese quince. All this makes butterflies and bees happy!
Plug for hybrid or electric cars
We have installed charging points for hybrid and electric cars in the car park (domestic plugs). If you recharge at the optimum times (between 2pm and 6pm) you will be using the electricity produced by our solar panels.
Pooling of equipment for intermittent use
We could have designed cottages with the trappings of luxury - private pool, private jacuzzi, private sauna, etc... but we felt that this made little sense and that sharing the pool (14 x 6 m), the sauna, the jacuzzi, the games room, the bicycles or the massage chair was not a disadvantage: You only spend a few minutes or a few hours on each of these activities, and we have never had a case where everyone wanted to do the same activity at the same time.
In short, in your gîte, the idea is not concrete, not plastic, not bling-bling. Rather, beautiful and sustainable. Which is good news for an 18th century charterhouse in an area classified as a historical monument!
These are just small things, and we're not going to save the planet with them, of course. But this kind of environment is so much nicer!
Why is our gîte Jardins du Périgord a "green gîte"?
Yes, you can combine ecology and aesthetics, responsible holidays and pleasant holidays.
For years, we have been making our gîtes green, eco-responsible, ecological - let's call them what we will - a bit like Mr Jourdain was making prose? without knowing it. It was when we added up all our micro-choices that we realised that we were well on the way to making the ecological transition to eco-responsible accommodation (without being perfect, of course).
Here is what we are doing so that together we can reduce our ecological footprint in general and our carbon footprint in particular:
Design of the lodge and materials
- Double glazing on most windows
- Attic insulation with hemp
- Old stone barn with exposed timber frame and chestnut parquet flooring on the first floor.
- Garden furniture: acacia, not plastic
A large part of the electricity produced is supplied by our solar panels, especially in the hot summer months. This enables us to supply the air conditioningThis is a must for hot days, for example. This shows that ecology is not always the enemy of comfort!
For the rest of the electricity needs, our supplier Alterna favours renewable energy. Of course, we use LEDs and electrical appliances with at least an A rating (some are A+ or A++). Outdoor lighting is either LED-based or solar-powered.
By sharing the most energy consuming facilities (swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi) with our two other gîtes, we are able to significantly reduce our water and electricity consumption per person.
The salt pool requires very few chemicals. It is heated by dedicated solar panels (which do not produce electricity but only hot water).
The car park is equipped with domestic plugs to recharge your hybrid or electric cars, and you will be doubly virtuous if you recharge your car between midday and 8pm, as you will then be consuming the electricity from our photovoltaic panels!
Tap water: A Brita carafe with filter is available, allowing you to drink purified tap water. For those who want sparkling water, we have a Sodastream available. All this not only avoids plastic bottles, but also the need to carry them!
Rainwater harvesting: In some years we do not need to use city water for watering the garden and vegetable patch.
Oyas: This age-old technique consists of filling porous earthen pots buried at the foot of the plants with water, which prevents evaporation.
Plants adapted to the climate: Our specifications are both simple and complicated. We need plants that can withstand frost in winter and drought in summer, that flower from April to November, and that are melliferous if possible. For the vegetable garden, we use organic seeds that require little water, often old species.
Cultivation: We do not use any pesticides and use simple techniques ? mulching, organic fertiliser, and vinegar with coarse salt to make the paths more presentable. For our boxwoods, regularly visited by the pyralid moth, we use an organic insecticide based on bacillus thuringiensis.
The welcome products we provide are organic (Nespresso compatible capsules, wine, apple juice) as well as shower gel or washing up liquid.
The garden has over 80 different species of flowers (not including succulents and the flower meadow) and we have planted bamboo and laurel hedges, walnut trees, almond trees, magnolia, lilac, albizia, cypress, forsythia, eucalyptus, catalpa, liquidambar, gingko biloba, olive trees, palms, banana trees and Japanese quince. All this makes butterflies and bees happy!
- Waste separation
Directions for use and indications
- To the local producers organic or not, rather than to the supermarkets.
- Mapstr application (@gites.de.cenac)
Our other gîtes on the property: Gîte Grottes du Périgord (for 7 people) Gîte Dordogne (for 9 people)