POD 8: What can we do to help the environment?
Every ecological gesture each of us takes makes a difference. We make a difference to the world by how we use our human energy (in the actions we take), and by how we spend our money.
The World Wildlife Fund states that the two areas we can make the most impact is in our energy use (electricity/ fuel) and in what we eat (and drink). You can find global footprint calculators online that help to understand your individual impact like the global impact calculator from World Wildlife Fund.
As a business we are responsible for what we do to our environment, for ourselves, our employees and our neighbours. Perhaps as farmers this is even more acute as we affect people’s lives by what we do to their water sources, air, food and consequently their health. We are always looking for ways to improve. Below we have listed some of the actions we have taken. We would love to hear your suggestions!
Actions that make a difference
What we do today. Do you have ideas for us?
Here’s a list of eight things we do to reduce our ecological footprint as a business and as a home.
- Sean grows hundreds of kilograms of vegetables and fruit on the Chateau Feely vegetable plot of about 10*10 metres. It’s incredible how much he produces on a small area. Growing something organic, even simple herbs on a balcony, makes a difference.
- At Chateau Feely the food we serve is organic and even the sheets and towels are organic. We know how important it is to select certified organic produce, everything from food to cotton, for our health, the health of the farmer and the environment.
- Most of the food served at Chateau Feely is local and you can’t get more local than the wine you drink when you visit or stay here. Eating local and seasonal helps keep our food kilometres down.
- We follow the 5 Rs for waste – Refuse Reduce Reuse (+repair) Recycle Rot. We collect and reuse our cardboard boxes from local restaurants. When they are too worn to reuse, we use them in the potager. We compost (rot) all our living waste and it becomes fertiliser for the garden. We say no to packaging that is unnecessary and ask our suppliers to change to more ecological solutions.
- Chateau Feely offers collection from and return to the local station in Gardonne, for half day and day visits, for multi day tours and for weekly gite bookings so guests can bike, walk and take public transport instead of using a car.
- We use a green energy supplier that ensures that 100% equivalent of our energy is from renewable energy sources. Damaged trellis poles in the vineyard are reused for fires that provide our winter heat. We reduce electricity use by switching off lights, adjusting clothes and layers to the season.
- We save the rain water collected on the roofs of the property for watering the garden and for making our sprays and teas.
- Our packaging for the wine is the most eco-friendly option we can source -for example bottles that are energy efficients ‘ecova’ and labels from 100% recycled paper.
- A new reflection for us is that of our digital consumption. Digital activities represent a growing part in energy consumption and are estimated at close to 10% of total energy use today. But we need to stay current and offer video, regular posts on social media and an alive website so we are seeking a balance. We use new compression technology on our website to help to decrease this.
We find that our moods are lifted by being outside and in nature, a walk outside gives us vitamin D and endorphins. If you are reading this online, we invite you to visit Chateau Feely to walk the vineyards and the new organic biodynamic trail. We would love to see you here!
Do you have ideas for us? We would love to hear from you. Join us on facebook at www.facebook.com/chateaufeely, twitter and instagram @chateaufeely so we can share them.
Conclusion: making a difference
Every action we take to look after ourselves and our planet makes a difference. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the challenges presented by the climate crisis, chemical farming and the mass extinction taking place on earth but each of us really does make a difference.
If we all act together then we can make even more of a difference. We hope that this trail has offered you some food for thought. Had this trail has challenged your thinking? Given you ideas for how you can take action? Or how we can take action? We would love to hear your ideas. Share your thoughts with us via our contact form or via facebook or instagram or via twitter.
If you arrived on this page jump to the start of the online organic and biodynamic winegrowing trail. We invite you to come and learn more with a visit to Chateau Feely in South West France ; stay with us or do a multi day course or multi day tour and join our mailing list to receive our seasonal newsletter, events, wine pairing, recipes and more info on this topic at the bottom right of this page.