Ecological sustainability is a long-term perspective of conservation of the ecosystem, and reduction of the general human impact on the natural environment.
The definition might be the least interesting part of the thing; Ecological sustainability is a long-term perspective of conservation of the ecosystem, and reduction of the general human impact on the natural environment.
Aiming to bring people’s imprint only up to a level that Earth can handle, the practices that stem from environmental sensitivity may include parameters that are characterized as “green” for being found within the safe zones for the planet’s productivity, experts say. But what happens when a place and its people are intuitively eco-ethical and totally outside of “trends” called sustainable?
Milia Mountain Retreat and Restaurant is an eco-lodge that opened up to its guests in the early 90s, after twelve years of exhaustive works of restoration on the remnants of a medieval settlement that was abandoned in the middle of the 20th century. When the last people left Milia, the intense hug of Mother Nature occupied the settlement and concurred the small valley, till it could no longer be traversed by man. However, when the two families of owners came back to the place and set their goal of revitalizing it, they spontaneously followed the impulse to use all the practices of ecological sensitivity that they had in their hands. Not only would they reuse the original material for restoration with minimum interventions, but they would also apply a series of measures of respect for Nature.
What Milia brings to today as a proposal for a sustainable and long-term eco-friendly traveling model is:
- Self-sufficiency of energy provision through solar panels for electricity and wood for heating & hot water
- Organic food production in the farms and yards of the property and the nearby area
- Systematic natural composting of organic material, including the leaves of trees that surround the area
- Biological treatment of wastewater
- Natural spring water supply towards the eco-lodge and the farm/yards
- Natural conditioning and zero electronic devices in the rooms
- Zero food waste, into the food chain of the property
- Natural reforestation of the area by minimizing goat grazing
Above practices were never viewed from a corporation’s perspective to become eco-friendly; they were a way of conscious living that became a corporate model. However, challenges are omnipresent as energy demands have risen throughout the years, the remoteness of the area considerably burdens, for example, introducing recyclables into the recycling chain and, what is more, the conservation of a property where Nature leads the way is a laborious and financially exhausting undertaking. Are we to feel alone on the planet? No way, as, gladly, more and more consciousness of sustainable traveling brings people together in preserving land as it is when they (thus we!) want to explore it.
Eco-lodges of different kinds with a common view on the caretaking of Mother Earth are gaining more and more respect and Milia Mountain Retreat & Restaurant with its 30 years of history is a high-vibrational and eco-sensitive option for guests from all over the world. What is to be added, however, in its priorities of the last decade is a faithful commitment to community-based traveling as well. Milia now actively promotes:
- Proposing local culture as an intangible heritage
- Sustaining local cultural attributes for the future
- Engaging local people with various activities and directly empowering local employment
- Creating site-specific cultural experiences within its surroundings and in the wider area, in order to present the uniqueness of the local community
- Directing travelers towards diverse experiences locally, in order to truly connect and interact with the community
- Stimulating the principles of slow and culturally aware traveling
The above list includes initiatives such as local artifacts preservation (old furniture and household items) for decorative use, prevention of erosion of cultural sensitive points, and old-fashioned public spots of community life -such as fountains-, the continuation of local feasts and traditions (“panigiria”, in greek, such as the chestnut feast in late October), the use of local SME’s and traditional manufacturing units for its activities (olive oil and wine production and bottling, honey collection, etc), and proposing alternative routes of the area instead of the typical checklist one would find within some seconds of internet search, to mention just a few.
Here to stay is a recent addition that Milia has introduced to the philosophy; a systematic organization of “Eco-events” based on the natural cycles of the Earth and several educational programs for the wider diffusion of the principles of the eco-model it represents. Aiming to see uniqueness stay untouched and be appreciated, newborn ideas are discussed, evaluated, and put into practice, but the vision stays the same…
For more information and/or interest in exploring the above points, you are encouraged to get in contact with us via e-mail at [email protected]