Responsible travel: Naxos vacation accommodation, villa and B&B, Greece
Our mission is to increase knowledge and awareness of the island landscape and culture, and the threats to it, and to share this with our guests. To actively contribute to and participate in the welfare of the island environment. To actively promote sustainable tourism, both locally and as advisors to the Greek Ministry of Tourism.
At the house, we compost and do not use unacceptable chemicals on our garden and vineyard; we use ground water collected in own cistern to water the garden. We keep water usage to the minimum and encourage our guests to do the same; eg., not letting tap water run unnecessarily, change linen when requested/necessary. We use low energy bulbs and decided against air-conditioning in favour of good roof insulation, creating draughts, and installation of insect screens on windows. We use eco-friendly cleaning products if they are available.
We talk to our guests and anyone who works with us about environmental issues, and encourage them to reduce/recycle waste, reduce use of plastic bags, bottles, etc. We also mention practical ways in which they can reduce environmental impact in written notes.
We collaborate with a local family/taverna in the running of our vineyard – they take 70 percent of the yield in return for expert local advice and skilled labour. We use local labour; on other islands, we train local people to look after our customers. We buy local produce as much as possible, as detailed above.
We promote the island’s products to our guests with passion and enthusiasm. We let our guests know of local concerts and festivals, and take them to villages away from the main tourist centres that really need support from an increased number of customers. We continue to improve our facility in Greek and to build up trusting relationships with the locals, and we try to help some of them to understand and meet the needs of foreigners visiting the island, but this is not always easy.
We support local community newspaper by contributing articles on walking, archaeology, environment etc. In our written walking directions and talking directly to guests we give detailed information on historical sites and archaeological significance, conservation, local lifestyle, farming and traditions, natural history and environmental concerns.
We use and promote local produce (milk, cheese, meat, seasonal vegetables) as much as possible, and buy organic or fair trade products if available.