The Environ­ment and Chalet La Foret: Respon­si­ble Tourism
We are working on several initia­tives to make the chalet as eco-friendly as possi­ble:
Recycling
If you’d like to recycle some of your rubbish, we have provided two bins to help keep them separate. Les Praz has several recycling points, one of which is conve­niently on the way to the Flegere lift from the chalet. There are separate bins for:

  • Glass “Verre”
  • All other recyclables, includ­ing plastics and paper
  • Non-recyclable rubbish (“Dechets”).

CO2 emissions — towards a carbon neutral chalet
We are hoping to offset the carbon emissions of the chalet by support­ing a local tree plant­ing program and by plant­ing trees ourselves. As of winter 2010, we have already planted around 50 trees and shrubs so far — almost all native species, refor­est­ing the fringes of the garden with pine, larch, rowan and birch.
Clean­ing products
We are moving as many of our clean­ing products as possi­ble to eco-friendly alter­na­tives. All the deter­gents, dishwasher tablets and washing up liquid etc that we provide are now green brands such as Ecover, and as much of the chalet clean­ing products as possi­ble. We continue to research and improve in this area.
Green electric­ity
Green electri­cal tariffs were only intro­duced very recently in France, but there are now several good providers. Owe are just in the process of chang­ing our provider and will update later with details.
The chalet
The chalet itself is largely constructed of natural materi­als (local larch and granite). Larch is a high altitude wood — you’ll notice the pine trees change to larch trees as you ascend the slopes in Chamonix — with partic­u­larly good natural insula­tion proper­ties. It has a double thick­ness roof for extra insula­tion, is fully double glazed, and the curtains are thermal lined to help keep the heat in as much as possi­ble. There is a wood fire downstairs, and using this renew­able form of heating helps to cut electric­ity use. We have replaced many light­bulbs with energy-efficient ones, and are contin­u­ing our search for suitable bulbs for the remain­der.
We’d be delighted to hear any sugges­tions that you may have.

Respect the Mountain

The Ski Club of Great Britain’s Respect The Mountain Campaign was launched to help safeguard the natural environ­ment and the long-term future of skiing.
The aim of the campaign is to remind people to be aware of the delicate environ­ment we live and play in and advises people to try and follow the seven steps:
Seven easy steps
1. Be aware of your environ­men­tal impact as skiers and board­ers
Educate yourself about your environ­men­tal impact on the mountains, and what you can do to minimise it.

2. Do not leave litter on the slopes
When the snow melts, the litter will still be there. Bin it or take it home. Orange peel takes up to two years to break down, and cigarette ends up to five years. If you find litter on the slopes, do the right thing — pick it up.

3. Respect the natural habitat of mountain animals and plants
If you ski through trees, you can damage them by knock­ing off branches and killing young shoots under the snow. Take care. Many areas are out of bounds to protect the natural habitat of animals and plants — not just for safety reasons.

4. Choose a resort which uses environ­men­tally friendly practices
Many resorts now use bio-diesel fuel in piste-bashers, solar panels for heating, hydro-electricity/wind energy for power and a host of other initia­tives. Some resorts use the Inter­na­tional Standards Organ­i­sa­tion (ISO) 14001 as a mark of their environ­men­tal creden­tials.
(Chamonix is making good progress in this area. See the current review of respon­si­ble tourism in Chamonix.)

5. Encour­age tour opera­tors to adopt green policies

Find out if your tour opera­tor offers train travel as an alter­na­tive to flying, if they use paper from sustain­able forests for their brochures, if they use, for example, low-wattage light bulbs in their chalets and bio-degradable detergents.

6. Do your bit to reduce global warming on holiday and at home
Re-use your towels each day, re-cycle house­hold waste and switch off electri­cal appli­ances when not in use.

7. Reduce CO2 emissions
By flying fewer miles, or switch­ing from air to rail, you can help reduce the volume of green­house gases that contribute to climate change. When possi­ble, use your bike instead of your car.

Organ­i­sa­tions

Respect the Mountains