We were thrilled to see a recent report that the green economy in the Malaga province was really growing, with more and more organic agriculture and agro-industry. This is wonderful news for the area and also for consumers who should have easier access to healthier and tastier locally grown food, which makes less of an impact on the environment – happy days!
There are a number of fruit and veg shops which only stock organic produce that have been springing up recently, as well as restaurants and cafes which use only organic and locally sourced produce, so it’s definitely catching on with consumers too. There’s even a fast recharge point for electric cars in central Marbella too.
At The Urban Villa we’re really passionate about protecting our environment and doing our bit. As we’re located in the stunning natural park and “biosphere” of the Sierra de las Nieves, the amazing countryside all around us is very inspiring. Here you can enjoy very low impact activities such as hiking, mountain biking and horse riding. You can also stroll into the nearby village of Ojen and buy locally produced artisan goods and delicious fruit and vegetables, just a few kilometres away from the hotel – a great souvenir of your holiday, or just a yummy snack.
One way we go green at the hotel and serve the freshest of food in our restaurant is our organic vegetable garden where we grow a wide range of delicious fruit, herbs & vegetables. It’s great to get your hands dirty and grow your own food and there’s no easier way to reduce food miles and packaging of course.
The hotel recycles paper, boxes, plastic and glass bottles and try to use only glass bottles rather than plastic. We also buy local where possible, often buying the oranges from our neighbours for the freshly squeezed orange juice on the breakfast buffet – you can’t get much more local than that! As we get our water from a deep well and are dependent on the underground springs, we try to minimise water use as much as possible throughout the hotel and ask guests to reuse towels where possible. To reduce electricity consumption and improve the level of comfort for guests we air dry our sheets rather than tumble dry them – after all we have a lot of lovely Spanish sunshine and fresh air to help us here in Marbella!
Not only that, but we try to use organic products for cleaning and avoid using chemical sprays in the rooms to keep everything as natural as possible. Please tell us if you have any allergies to chemicals and we will go out of our way to make you comfortable. We once cleaned a guest’s room with only vinegar and water to ensure a wonderful stay! Just let us know in advance.
The Urban Villa loves to support local environmental projects such as Arboretum Marbella, a “People’s Forest” just outside central Marbella where they are dedicated to environmental education and encouraging people to be more sustainable. They have planted thousands of native species trees and shrubs which have captured nearly 170,000 tons of C02 from the air and have created allotments for local people to grow their own.
We popped down there for their Spring Fair recently and loved the atmosphere and project. If you want to go and experience it for yourself whilst you’re here, they have a Summer Fair on Saturday 18th June from 8pm to midnight which will be a special candle lit festival with live music, stalls and a great atmosphere. They also run courses to teach kids and adults all about permaculture, with half day courses for kids every two months and an annual Permaculture Design Course which is being held this year from 8th to the 20th of October. Find out more about Arboretum on Facebook.
The great news is that there are plans a foot to make Marbella even more sustainable in years to come, so we expect more great initiatives such as these. If you’re inspired to be green next time you travel, check out these handy green travel tips
We hope you’ll come and visit us soon and be inspired by our little slice of paradise.