We constantly focus on our company’s operational practices which includes being sustainable, responsible, and eco-friendly. Our aim is to reduce negative impacts and increase the positive effects. We aim to do as much as we can as soon as we can.
We encourage our visitors by providing suggestions of ways to minimise any negative impact on the local culture and environment whilst also maintaining respect for the environment and local people.
We reduce and where possible reuse household waste and paper and we encourage our guests to reduce the use of plastic water bottles. We always suggest that our guests bring a re-useable water bottle on their holidays with us.
We want to create a positive environmental impact and educate visitors to be sensitive towards the environment by making sure we all understand the rules of the countryside such as keeping to the paths, avoiding unnecessary noise, watching fauna from a distance, taking care not to damage plants and not to leave a trace of our presence. Our aim is to avoid unintentional thoughtless actions which can be quite damaging for local ecosystems.
We encourage hikers to respect private property, stay on the signed paths, be kind and respectful to locals and, where possible, to photograph damaged signs and report it to us.
Most of the walks start and end at our location thus minimising the use of transport, which further reduces our carbon foot print.
Our accommodation uses renewable energy; hot water is generated through our solar panels.
We have joined the Facebook group, Algarve Clean Up – Only Planet and as a walking guide volunteer we help organise clean up event walks in our countryside. We were inspired by Hielo van Luijk, who is from the Netherlands, and currently sailing around the world. He formed the Facebook group Only Planet as a platform to enlighten readers that it is possible to travel and be sustainable by using the wind and actually contribute positively to destinations by cleaning up the mess left in our beautiful natural environments. Before moving onto his next destination, his objective is to encourage and motivate others to participate and do the same and that is how the Facebook group Algarve Clean Up – Only Planet was formed.
On our walks we scoop up waste that floats or is left on the surrounding areas of the barragem Funcho, such as plastic water bottles, disposable masks, plastic bags and even disused appliances which are particular bad for the water life!
We encourage our visitors to purchase local, handmade or locally produced crafts by visiting nearby villages where we can promote the local heritage, architecture, culture, arts, crafts, tradition and gastronomy of our region. We enjoy meals in local family owned restaurants and we support local income by employing local guides, art tutors and cleaners from our area.
The produce used to prepare meals at Figs on the Funcho are locally sourced as much as possible by shopping at our local village market. Even the honey served at breakfast is purchased from our local beekeepers who also tend to our lovely garden. Olive oil produced in our local area is used in our kitchen.
Positive impact can refer to the increase in jobs (employment for painting tutors, creative art (tile painting), a higher quality of life for locals, and an increase in wealth of an area.
Our pre-trip suggestions of local services that provide local community benefits (e.g. restaurants, guides, shops, craft markets can be viewed on our Things to Do page.
We have partnered with VitaNatura (providing nesting boxes, improve environmental quality of goods produced and reducing the use of poisons on agriculture as owls catch mice and rats) you can read more about this in our featured chapter of A New Life in Algarve Portugal
Our focus on a wide range of tourist attractions and things to do promotes activities beyond Algarve’s sun, surf and sand, such as visits to local social projects with direct or indirect benefits to the host community, visiting Loule where creative tourism is promoted with its network of shops: palm weaving, tile painting, clay and copper, and studios: watchmaker and luthier.