We live in a region blessed with rather extraordinary illustrations of nature's bounty: large areas of unsullied natural assets which draw thousands of visitors each year. Our tourism industry is one of our most valued economic sectors and we boast a multitude of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. Fortunately, there is also a rising trend to cater for the eco-conscious traveller.
Many discerning travellers today seek out accommodation establishments which strive to implement eco-friendly measures in their business practices, places that are cognizant about any possible impact they have on the environment within which they operate. There are so many ways in which accommodation establishments can make a difference - some big, some small - but all collectively important.
Many establishments in our area are extremely mindful of the fact that the integrity of our environment and the sustainability of our region's iconic natural resources are of paramount importance.
If you are looking for places to stay that really do their bit to showcase the region's incredible beauty, all the while taking laudable steps to tread lightly in order that our remarkable network of life found in the Garden Route may endure, visit www.lovetostay.co.za (a locally based company) which provides a comprehensive “Green Heart Guide to Eco-friendly Accommodation in South Africa”.
It takes a lot of passion, hard work and commitment to GO truly GREEN. There is a certain establishment in our area that we would take the opportunity to showcase. It is a place that is completely green and off the grid – certainly an inspiration to all!!
Tree Spirit Cottage
Nestled in the forest high above Knysna, Tree Spirit Cottage is situated on one of the farms originally inhabited by Italian settlers, as featured in Dalene Matthee's well-known book, The Mulberry Forest.
The farm dates back to the late 1800’s and boasts ruins from the original house and well. This 8.5 hectare property combines the beauty of both fynbos and forest and hosts an abundance of birds and wildlife. Completely solar-powered, it provides the peace and solitude to be at one with nature and epitomises the off the grid ethos.
They have implemented the following environmentally friendly measures:
• The entire farm is solar-powered.
• They harvest and filter rainwater for household and drinking use.
• The vegetable garden is irrigated using dam water.
• They do not use any harmful chemical products in the households or gardens.
• All fresh produce which is grown on the farm originates from non-GMO, chemical free, organic seed and is grown according to permaculture principles.
• Chickens on the farm assist in the preparation of beds and soil conditioning for the growing of fresh fruit and vegetables. They also provide fresh eggs daily and are always a great source of entertainment.
• Beehives have been introduced to assist with the pollination of plants. They are provided with a secure, healthy environment, including an abundance of flowers and fynbos upon which they can feast.
For more information visit: www.treespiritcottages.com