Environmentally and Socially Responsible Holidays
With minimum detriment to the environment and while enriching local culture guests at le Moulin du Chemin can enjoy delightful countryside, visit local places of interest and indulge in an abundance of wonderful food and wine.
All these ecological plus's at le Moulin du Chemin – as well as a marvellous ambiance.
The Birdsong and Utter Peace are Unforgettable - Stewart & Merrill, Sydney, Australia
The carbon footprint of city dwellers is normally greater at home than when away on holiday at le Moulin du Chemin. Le Moulin du Chemin is remote and isolated from any town or city and therefore has no need for the carbon emitting infrastructure associated with towns and cities and bearing in mind that on holiday individuals are pottering about on foot, on a bike or just pottering about.
It is interesting to compare the average annual tonnes of fossil CO² emitted per capita in various countries during 2017, as follows :
- World 4.9
- France 5.2
- UK 5.7
- New Zealand 7.8
- Ireland 8.2
- Germany 9.7
- USA 15.7
- Australia 16.5
- Canada 16.9
Attention is paid to the provenance of the food provided at le Moulin du Chemin, with reference to quality – including production method – and food miles. As far as possible ingredients are local. Non-local produce comes from other parts of France and unavoidably imported food is generally from not too distant Spain and Morocco.
"A unique experience! Very enjoyable stay - confortable, environmental, great hospitality......" - Murray, Mary-Ellen & Alison, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
The copious quantities of wines served at le Moulin du Chemin (and included in the price) are local, from the nearby wine regions of Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Anjou and Fiefs Vendéen as well as other wine producing areas within France. Le Moulin du Chemin is situated between the Bordeaux region and the Loire valley, with the Vendee immediately to the west. Thus the wine-miles may also be considered to be favourable.
Small bottles of mineral water are provided for guest's convenience, to carry on walks and cycle rides. We propose guests should refill the bottles with our very drinkable piped water supplied from the barrage at Mervent. Mervent water has been recycled by nature – not by humans. Refilling saves energy and pollution associated with manufacture, disposal and transportation of the bottles.
Winter heating at le Moulin du Chemin is mainly from logs cut from trees - ie renewable energy. The firewood is cut and seasoned from trees growing on the site, thus eliminating the adverse environmental impacts of artificial drying and transportation of the logs. Some of the trees are felled by storms, other trees are selected for felling according to expediency, such as trees in dangerous physical condition or for the purpose of land management.
Trunks and branches of felled trees are used as logs for heating. Twigs and small branches are chipped and composted, thus trapping their C0² in eventual soil. This is in contrast to the earlier practice of burning twigs and small branches which released their CO² to atmosphere.
The vigour of new growth that takes place in the first years following felling of trees is said to sequester more CO² than the annual contribution of the original trees. This is due to the natural vigour of the new growth and the benefit to ground plants of additional light reaching ground level.
The maximum number of guests at le Moulin du Chemin is limited to ten and – because the tourist infrastructure does not generally exist – few other people make use of the hundreds of miles of delightful paths, tracks and country lanes in the region. The impact of visitors on the countryside is therefore negligible. Consequently natural habitats are not under pressure from tourism. A balance of good soil fertility, plenty of sunshine and sufficient rainfall ensures that any minor upsets to local natural flora and fauna are rapidly reconciled.
The holiday operation at le Moulin du Chemin has existed for more than a quarter of a century. The presence of the holiday operation and the guests that the holidays bring to a tiny, remote and rural community are perceived locally as a social asset. The benefits to the local economy are well acknowledged.
Other Little Things
Little things will make a difference if enough people make an effort. Here are some more small environmentally friendly things at le Moulin du Chemin.
- The banana plant in the garden at le Moulin du Chemin makes hugh growth during the summer, trapping CO² in the stems, flowers and leaves. The summer growth dies back in after the first frost and is composted eventually to produce soil rich in CO². By way of information, no bananas at le Moulin du Chemin have ever yet matured enough to eat.
- Bamboo is harvested at le Moulin du Chemin to control the size of the bamboo plot. Some of the harvested material is utilized and the remainder is chipped and composted eventually to produce soil rich in CO².
- Most car journeys in connection with le Moulin du Chemin are made with a relatively ecological hybrid vehicle.
- Food waste arising from the holiday operation is fed to the free range chickens on site or, if they won’t eat it, it is composted.
- The post-lady collects as well as delivers mail, thus eliminating the need for numerous individual journeys to the village post office.
- Packed lunches are provided in bio-degradable bags.
- The pool is heated – when heating is necessary – to 29°C, by an energy efficient heat pump.
The environmental and social credentials of holidays at le Moulin du Chemin have been vetted and accredited by Responsible Travel, a travel marketing company based in Brighton, UK.
The term "social" in this context means the use of local resources and broadly acknowledges recognition and general respect with regard towards local culture, customs and traditions.
Responsible Travel was founded in 2001 to sell holidays which could be shown to be socially and environmentally sustainable.
Responsible Travel market the holidays provided by le Moulin du Chemin along with 400 other holiday providers.