An ecological approach
Three long-time friends, we – Jessica, Léo and Nicolas – decided to take over Les Mésanges camping in 2018. The campsite is located close to the Settons lake, right in the midst of the Regional Natural Park of Morvan, boasting exeptional natural surroundings we strive to preserve.
Ecological issues have always been present in our associative and professional experiences, this is why eco-tourism naturally occupied a central place in the campsite management! Below is the detail of our concrete actions to promote green tourism.
Our actions on the campsite
Local supply limits shipping distance while promoting the dynamism of the regional economy. Therefore, we developed a network of local suppliers providing goods for the grocery, drinks for the bar and cheese, meat or vegetables for the restaurant. Plus considering that products themselves have an ecological impact, depending on how they are made or produced, we opt for organic farming. Below is a map of our suppliers:
In an other field, our cleaning products are chosen considering their composition: no oil-based components, easily biodegradable and low emission use. Most of the products are Ecocert certified or at least Ecolabel approved. When possible, we use simple products such as: vinegar, soft soap or bicarbonate of soda. Our main suppliers are Purodor (“Atout Vert” product range) and Etamine du Lys.
The whole camping’s electricity is a 100% renewable! Our supplier Enercoop is based on a network of green electricity producers (hydraulic, wind, photo-voltaic and biomass) unlike traditional suppliers that propose “green contracts” by buying pseudo green-certified electricity.
We installed solar panels to heat water for our biggest sanitary facility!
Moreover we work on controlling energy consumption on-site:
- The buildings are ligt by LED bulbs;
- The sanitary facilities are equipped with motion detectors for lighting;
- Except for sanitary facilities, we turn the lights off after 11 pm: an opportunity to enjoy our nice starry sky!
- The Bistrot is heated by a fireplace;
- Our chalets and cottages are thermally insulated (see Eco-construction);
- Regular meter readings allow us to rapidly detect any water or electricity problem.
Waste is sorted in a standard way (packaging, household waste, glass, paper) and we collect batteries and light bulbs at reception. Signs explain sorting instructions relative to the local authority.
You have the possibility to compost organic waste or feed the chickens with the leftovers!
Summers tend to be drier, therefore we work on saving drinkable water:
- Every sink is equipped with push button taps;
- The vegetable garden is reasonably watered with spring water;
- Green spaces are not watered, except for young trees!
- The perennial flowers are chosen for their compatibility to the local climate and their low water needs;
- The reception’s building is equipped with rainwater collectors;
- We are evaluating the possibility to install dry toilets;
- Regular meter readings allow us to rapidly detect any leak.
Moreover, our new sewage purification system has been installed in 2019. With the help of “l’Agence de l’Eau Seine-Normandie” we changed the old conventional system for an ecological system using reed filters. For more information you can consult our signs describing the purification mechanism based on micro-organisms.
Most of our new constructions are conceived and made by ourselves. This allows us to choose ecological and lasting materials with a low environmental impact. Here are few examples of our achievements:
- Our chalets and cottages, with their wooden skeleton and thermal insulation. The wood we mainly use is Douglas pine, sourced from the Morvan. We buy wood to a local sawyer: Bois du Guidon.. For insulation we use wood wool, cellulose wadding, or a mix of cotton, hemp and flax. In the chalets, the walls are coated with a mix of sand and clay.
- Bistrot tables, with their oak boards and their homemade welded steel feet.
- The bistrot’s covered patio, in local wood (Douglas pine and an oak from the campsite!). The patio tarp was sewn by a friend from the Ras la Koupole association.
- The bike shelter, entirely made with local wood (Douglas pine), including the roof.
The biodiversity of the site is guaranteed by the large variety of his natural areas: a pond, meadows, wood, hedges (including honey-producing hedges), a vegetable garden and a botanical conservatory orchard. And above all we don’t use any pesticide!
The “no-kill” pond is home to fishes (carps, a few pikes, roaches…), frogs, dragonflies, etc. A pair of ducks (mallards) also nest here in spring. A few herons come to drink and for the luckiest a kingfisher comes from time to time!
The campsite’s undergrowth is home to a large diversity of birds: tits (of course!), swallows, blackbirds, robins, nuthatches, woodpeckers, wagtails, wrens, jays… but also bats (protected species and mosquito predator) and squirrels (mainly in winter). Some can use the facilities we built for them!
Large areas are neither occupied by camping pitches nor playgrounds, so that we offer shelter to many different insects. We planted fruit trees adapted to the local climate and we look after a small vegetable garden.