Our mountains, glaciers with fresh, clean water. Old, natural protection forests, lush green meadows as well as a great biodiversity are the main reason why so many people visit the Alps, besides the different cultural landscapes.
At Relais d 'Arpette, we are aware that large-scale mountain tourism is not sustainable, although only sustainable management can safeguard our livelihoods.
Our valued guests from all over the world use a lot of resources, create waste and as a result leave a large Co2 footprint through their travel, consumption on site and the associated logistics chain. Our valued guests from all over the world use a lot of resources, create waste and as a result leave a large Co2 footprint through their travel, consumption on site and the associated logistics chain.
We therefore try to deal with these challenges as best we can to secure our livelihood in the long term.
At Relais d'Arpette, we use as much local and seasonal food as possible. All other products are sourced locally to minimize transport and packaging. We have our bread baked by the baker in the next village. The cheese comes from the cheese dairy in the valley and cheese fondue from the region. We produce all our own jams according to seasonal fruit availability. No portioned butter in plastic packaging at the breakfast buffet. Yoghurt no longer in plastic portion cups. We bake our own biscuits for tea and coffee so that packaging does not get into nature through the wind.
Another important measure to further reduce our ecological footprint is not offering meat to our half-board guests. They represent a large proportion of our guests. From this summer onwards, we will only offer a meat-free menu. Our "Arpette Coconut Dal" is a dish that has its origins in Asia.
The main ingredients are lentils, chickpeas, soy, potatoes, and a delicious coconut sauce. Yes, not all the ingredients come from our region, that's the truth, but still a smaller loss than using meat. This menu is the answer to one of our most important challenges. On the one hand, we are meeting the ever-increasing demand for vegetarian and vegan dishes from our customers and responding to the need to reduce meat consumption overall.
We achieve a shortened cooking time and thus save time and energy. The menu is very high in protein, has lots of fiber, and most importantly, it tastes super delicious. The perfect dinner for athletes and nutrition-conscious guests after a long day's walk.
However, the biggest challenge remains the energy consumption in the building. Costs for hot water and electricity have at least doubled since 2022. After a scientific study by the University of Sion on the Arpette, it became clear that at 1630 meters and with seasonally weak solar radiation and hardly any wind, environmentally sustainable energy production is severely limited. Today's heat pump technology is not effective enough. Geothermal energy is not possible because we are in a drinking water protection area.
What remains for the time being is energy saving in all areas. Improving the building envelope, insulation, better windows, new low-consumption electrical appliances and optimizing their times of use to avoid peak loads. This is a huge investment challenge for a small company.
Warm water production was identified as the main savings potential and in winter 2022 we invested in shower heads from Gjosa, which save 60% water without control of comfort.
We are also internalizing the Japanese philosophy of "Spogomie". Spogomi is rubbish collection done in a sporting way. Every time I go hiking or trail running, I pick up small items of rubbish that we all accidentally leave lying around in nature. Sport litter picking is a small contribution to keeping my immediate nature clean.