Lots of ski holiday companies and skiers are talking about doing more to fight climate change, but so far few are really going all out to aim towards zero CO2 emissions.
However this coming winter the Morzine-based catered chalet company AliKats are really going for just that with a whole swathe of measures aiming at minimising the emissions from a ski holiday with them.
“Since we started AliKats Mountain Holidays in 2011, sustainability has always been core to our operations. This year, we feel a step change is required in order to tackle the climate emergency we are all facing and we believe business should be the driving force behind that change. So we have put together an eco package that rewards our customers for reducing their impact on the environment,” said company co-founder Al Judge.
Travel to the Alps is the biggest issue with CO2 emissions and AliKats are encouraging their customers to travel be rail, with a tiny fraction of the emissions of air travel, by rewarding them with a free transfer to their accommodation from either Geneva or Cluses (for comparison, a private return transfer from Geneva Airport, with AliKats Mountain Holidays costs approximately £350 per eight seater minibus).
In Morzine itself the company has really upped the ante by ensuring its two news chalets Mélodie and Harmonie have heating and hot water managed by an air exchange heat pump.
They are also in the process of ensuring all electricity supplies to their 14 chalets will be 100% renewable by 2020 and the company’s central kitchen is run from a wood pellet boiler (no oil or gas!).
In resort AliKats have invested in an all-electric Renault Kangoo utility vehicle for staff to use.
Great food is a big part of the AliKats experience and Al and Kat have been looking at every way they can to reduce the use of plastic and cut the food miles. The long list of initiatives here include everything from compostable teabags to making their own yogurt to eliminate single use yogurt pots from chalets and buying cured meats from the local butcher to reduce single-use plastic containers.
But the butcher’s services are not required one night a week when the company serves up a meat-free menu in all of their catered chalets to reduce the environmental impact from livestock farming.
The rest? well all tissue and toilet roll is organic and made from bamboo (which grows much faster than trees) and all cleaning products and bathroom toiletries are chemical-free and organic. They are bought in bulk and refill existing containers. Even staff uniforms are all fair trade and made from organic, sustainably sourced materials where possible.
The company’s new special Eco Package cuts 10% off their regular rates for a chalet rental. But buyers of the package will have to skip air travel to get to Morzine and agree to a meat-free menu not just for one night but for their entire stay.
“The United Nations cited the livestock industry as the greatest threat to forests, wildlife and a stable climate. Indeed, globally, livestock releases as much greenhouse gases as all cars, trucks, planes and ships put together. Kat Judge, winner of the Morzine Source Food Awards for three years running (and now one of the judges for the same event) has devised an exquisite vegetarian menu packed with delicious local and seasonal produce; guests won’t miss the meat,” a company spokesperson said.