How we are reducing chemicals and toxins

Building a cleaner, greener business

From staff uniforms to cleaning products and bathroom toiletries; we carefully source suppliers who share our values and deliver high-quality eco-friendly products. When we do find brilliant ethical companies and products, we are keen to shout about them, that’s why we contribute to the Montagne Verte Green Pages, a wonderful shared resource of responsible products, services and solutions available for business and domestic use in the Alps (and beyond).

We believe by sharing these resources and making environmentally conscious purchasing decisions we can make a difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, along with the chemical and toxic substances that are released into the natural environment.

Cleaning Products

After use, most cleaning products end up in domestic wastewater which is sent to wastewater treatment plants. However, all the chemical molecules aren’t eliminated before the water is released back into the natural environment because each toxic product requires special treatment. These treatments are expensive and are rarely done.

More than 100 000 chemical substances are authorised for sale, but we only completely know the effects on human health of about 5 000 of them.

The good news is, there’s a simple solution. We have made a complete switch to ecologically responsible and natural cleaning products. The only exception to this is when we are obligated to use a stronger antibacterial product for health reasons. The list of suppliers for our cleaning products includes Suma, Ecover, Ecoleaf and many others.

Staff Uniforms

Globally, the textile industry is estimated to contribute 3 – 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. Plus, there are other environmental impacts to consider, including intensive water use, water pollution through dying and textile production, and pesticide and herbicide pollution through the agricultural production of cotton. Microplastics, which are shed primarily from synthetic textiles during washing, are also polluting the oceans, potentially negatively impacting human health and natural ecosystems.

With all this mind, when it comes to sourcing our staff uniforms, we choose materials such as linen, hemp, organic cotton, or recycled fibres.  Impact Trading and it’s cotton brand, Cotton Roots, create the organic garments that make up our staff uniforms. The company holds a great number of ethical certificates for its Fairtrade standards in manufacturing. The farmers who produce the cotton are the key focus in this cycle. The whole chain, farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewing, embroidery and printing can be traced. It also follows EU REACH rules (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals).

Bathroom Toiletries

We provide REN beauty products in our chalet’s bathrooms so our guests can rest assured that they are using products on their skin which do not include synthetic fragrance or colours, pore-blocking petrochemicals, silicones, sulphates, PEGs, TEA/DEA, parabens, urea or animal ingredients. We have found REN’s products to be effective and luxurious to use, whilst being totally free from the skin-unfriendly ingredients routinely used in the skincare industry today.

REN also share our zero waste ambitions by using packaging designed to be recyclable,  reusable or containing recyclable materials. In addition, we buy the products in bulk and refill existing containers.

In the garden

Pesticides and other chemicals have, for several decades, become the go-to solution for all problems in the garden. The permaculture way is to find more natural solutions to such problems, such as weeds and pests. With permaculture techniques, solutions are long-term, rather than a quick fix, and may have multiple functions in the garden. For example, plenty of perennial plants create homes for all manner of beneficial insects – ladybirds, predatory wasps, hoverflies etc – which eat the trouble-making bugs and excrete valuable nutrients atop the soil. By the thoughtful design of our food forest, the natural pest controls kick in by themselves, and we create a vibrant eco system. We are very much at the beginning of this journey but excited by the prospect of growing many delicious tasting, organic vegetables, herbs, nuts and fruit to stock our kitchen.