Pawel is committed to ensuring that Yurts in Cyprus is a sustainable, off-grid project which aims toward making travel and living sustainable. “I hope to inspire others in making small adjustments in how we use, consume and then put something back into the planet.We recycle paper, plastic, glass, metal and aluminum. All leftover food is eaten by us or goes to our compost bins which are used on our land. Half-used toiletries are used by us, then put in the recycling. We collect all fire ash and put it on tree roots (it raises the P.H content in soil) We try to ensure that many things are within a cycle here”
The electricity is generated from renewable sources, a hybrid system of both solar panels and a wind turbine, which we are really happy about. We recycle all plastic amenity bottles, refilling them as we go. All of our cleaning products are non-toxic without any chemicals. We use eco-friendly light bulbs and any burned out ones go for recycling, same for batteries! We supply complimentary bottled water, washing, sterilising and re-using the bottles, encouraging guests to leave their plastic at home. We like "upcycling" furniture rather than replacing it. Some of the furniture in the Yurts is recycled and everything in Koliba Cabin is home made and hand made by Pawel. Many items that we no longer have a need for have been given to charity rather than taking to landfill. ALL electrical items including fridges, freezer and washing machine are new and are 'AAA' energy rated. The washing machine is used on the shortest cycle for the wash and uses minimal water.
"Yet, we are aware that it is not enough to simply focus on upcycling and recycling so we try to shop consciously, questioning weather we actually have a need before we buy something. This is a quiet revolution happening throughout the globe.”
There is an ongoing permaculture design happening (Big Shout out to Gabriel and Sofia from http://petrera.land/en/) and there have been over 300 tree's planted here, which goes a big way in providing the oxygen that we are breathing. (The magic of photosynthesis; trees taking in carbon dioxide and working to produce the oxygen we breathe.)
We also run a grey water management system which ensures a reduction in the need for fresh water. By saving on fresh water, we not only significantly reduce the spend on water bills, but it also has a broader community and worldwide benefit in reducing demands on public water supply, which is a real benefit in Cyprus as there is often water shortages. Overall, reducing the amount of wastewater entering sewers or on-site treatment systems lessens our impact. All the shower heads are low-flow and the toilets are either compost or low-flow, which saves up to 230 tonnes PER YEAR, ALONE, just on our Project Site!! As well as that incredible water saving system, there is no impact on the water sewer system in cleaning that water. Phew! That's impressive.
On top of that, we get the added bonus of free fertilizer for our garden and trees! We encourage guests who wish to pee on the trees to do so; human urine is naturally rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus – the very same ingredients in manufactured store-bought conventional fertilizers!
Something that we are extremely excited about is the creation of our very own garden! The first Poly Tunnel and wicking beds are going up soon! So whilst we only serve you locally sourced ingredients (no processed food in our kitchen!) we hope to be able to offer you produce straight from our gardens in the very near future! In the meanwhile, all your food is sourced locally to reduce food miles and ensure no cargo/air transportation is required (Who is still eating potatoes from China?!!) and everything is homemade with love and cooked to minimise waste and amount of refrigeration needed. Wines are sourced from a local winery with all grapes grown here in Cyprus.
With regards to the local economy, when we can't do something ourselves, we use local tradespeople and suppliers and we encourage guests to spend money locally to sustain the local economy - promoting the local attractions and special places to visit, of which there is an abundance! We provide routes for our favourite walks, hikes and bike rides and umbrellas for the rare times it rains in Cyprus!
Unfortunately, hunting is still a regular past-time here in Cyprus so we try to encourage the wildlife by feeding birds on the land and allow parts of areas to grow in their more wilder nature. We are always happy to see bee's buzzing around the plants and worms busy in the soil – all great signs that there is an eco system working!
And then there are the little things like not having brochures for The Yurts – the website is comprehensive as you can see and we save the need for printing. When we do print, we do so double sided using recycled ink cartridges and any printed waste paper is utilised on the other side for our grocery lists!
As you can see, we are big into 'green' :) Every Little Thing Truly Does Help and Have An Impact.We have had a lot of guests ask us over time how they can also be part of this; although not exhaustive, some things to consider are below. We are working towards recognition for our efforts (Something rare for B&B's, more so than in Cyprus!) so we thank for your contribution.
How Guests Can Help and Participate:
Don't print out your confirmation emails (we don't need to see them!), We already have your booking confirmation logged with all your information before your arrival so we avoid the need of printing registration forms.
Turn off taps when brushing teeth.
Use the short flush facility on toilets.
Don't ask for your towels to be replaced or washed daily.
Close the door if you have the fire burning.
Put a jumper on rather than burning another log on the fire.
Turn your lights off when leaving The Yurts or Koliba.
Use our external recycling bin for your rubbish or leave it at the side of your bedroom bin.