AITO Sustainable Tourism Award
Pure Crete has been awarded the outstanding 4 Star Status for Sustainable Tourism. This reflects our commitment to sustainability, responsible tourism and
ecotourism. Pure Crete has restored stone-built Cretan houses and villas and has helped to protect endangered species in Crete. This means that our clients can enjoy the rural tranquillity of traditional houses safe in the knowledge that their holidays help to conserve Crete’s natural and physical environment.
Houses are owned by local families so that the economic benefits go to local communities who engage in restoration and environmental work. We encourage our clients in Crete to recycle and we use local producers and traders to supply our welcome packs which we give to our holiday makers.
Pure Crete assist in subsidising the installation of solar energy in the houses we rent.
In the UK we use recycled paper and encourage staff to bring forward initiatives to promote sustainability. In Crete we help to finance the installation of solar panels in the houses we rent. We have run wildflower and walking holidays in Crete for 20 years. Our customer loyalty is linked to our environmental approach as well as the enjoyment of a holiday in Crete.
Pure Crete offers properties in Aptera, Stilos, Provarma, along the North coast at Kalami, further inland including Armeni, Maza and Vrisses. On the south coast we have houses at Frangokastello Beach. We provide these in combination with flights from the UK and Car Hire.
In all these locations we encourage the restoration of disused Cretan houses and the use of traditional building methods. We are not involved in modern building or ownership but instead work in friendship with local communities to protect and enhance the environment. We promote local recycling and make are customers aware whilst in holiday on what they can do to help locally.
All our team in Crete live there permanently so enabling us to sponsor the use of solar energy. As conservation of the local culture and environment is central to Pure Crete we are pleased to have been a founder member of Green Flag International – now Green Globe – an organisation set up to promote environmentally responsible tourism within the travel industry.
AITO PROTECT As a member of AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) Pure Crete, alongside all fellow members,has recently provided its annual Pledge, for an activity that we will carry out this year to protect the tourist destination our clients visit. You can read all about our pledge, and other AITO members on the AITO website here
The pledges were part of the AITO project PROTECT launched in Spring 2017 in recognition of the important role that destinations play in the future of the travel industry. “PROTECT” being an acronym. “People – Resources – Outreach -Tourism – Environment- Conservation- Tomorrow”
Pure Crete’s Aim: – to reduce landfill on Crete by installing recycling bins in 50% of Pure Crete properties:-
Over the past few years our representatives have noticed an increasing amount of our customers ask where they should take their refuse to be recycled. Our houses and villas have not had recycling bins and our customers are used to recycling back home. We therefore aim to increase recycling by 80% in 50% of our properties by providing one bin for plastics cards and tin and one bin for glass. There are recycling points in local villages and towns.
We hope we can achieve this aim by our customers following the recycling instructions in their property. By helping us to recycle more waste they will be directly involved in reducing landfill on Crete. We hope this will contribute to the enjoyment of their holiday by giving them a sense of giving back to the environment of the destination they have visited and enjoyed.
October 2018 Update and Testimonial:-
In 2018 Pure Crete improved recycling facilities in its properties on Crete. We chose this Pledge because many of our customers are keen to recycle on holiday and ask where they should recycle their waste on Crete. Promoting recycling is significant to us because we want to leave the environment in Crete as pristine as possible and hate to see it covered in rubbish. We want to reduce landfill on the Island.
In total Pure Crete installed one glass bin and one non glass bin in 10 properties in 2018. Data was collected to provide a rough calculation of the amount of waste guests recycled. With an average fill of 20 weeks in each of the 10 properties we collected around 5000 litres of non-glass recycling and around 1998 litres of glass recycling in one season.
It has been very encouraging to see the recycling bins in place and the information provided in the houses for guests to read about the scheme. We feel that our customers have benefited the most from this pledge. One customer, who has holidayed with us for over 10 years, told us “Lovely to see that you’ve finally made it easier for us to recycle whilst on holiday. It was always a bit of a chore to drive to the municipal recycling bins. Well done! “
One of the main challenges was getting all house owners to dispose of the recycling in the main bins. Two Greek house owners felt it was extra work for them so Pure Crete staff helped with the correct disposal of recyclables by collecting it at their properties throughout the season. Next time we will encourage more property house owners to take part by offering this help from the beginning.
We hope that carrying out our pledge may have raised awareness amongst property owners about how important it is to recycle waste in Crete and how important it is to our guests, that holiday in their houses. We have made a small but localised effort on Crete to improve the situation and which our customers have enjoyed being involved in.
Pure Crete Aptera Cat Scheme Our colleagues in Crete and local volunteers have established the Pure Crete Aptera Cat Scheme whereby donations from clients in Crete have helped to fund the welfare of local cats in Aptera village, North West Crete, one of the villages where we have provided holidays for may years. Holiday makers can offer dried food or biscuits instead of a cash donation if they wish. Thanks to their generosity and the combined efforts in Aptera of volunteers, Aptera cats are now happy cats!
Carbon Offset your holiday
In 2007 we introduced a carbon offset scheme. We added a £3.50 carbon offsetcharge per passenger, per return flight on each invoice that clients can pay or opt out of. Since then, Pure Crete clients have raised over £5000. In the past this has been donated to the Tourism Industry Carbon Offset Service (TICOS), which was then managed by Beyond Carbon.
Beyond Carbon used offset funds to develop projects that make both carbon savings and have wider sustainable development benefits. The offset income is generated by voluntary contributions from customers of its service users. These are travel and tourism companies committed to offsetting and improving both the quality of the environment and the quality of life for local communities at tourism destinations.
Pure Crete’s contributions have gone towards the “Sun Fire Solar Solutions Solar Stoves Project” in South Africa. The main objective of the project is to help reduce poverty and alleviate the difficult energy situation that South Africa is currently experiencing. The project provides subsidised solar and fuel-efficient stoves to poor communities, allowing families to move away from open-fire cooking which requires enormous amounts of wood fuel and often leads to smoke-related illnesses. The project provides immediate environmental, economic, health and social benefits and is based on a business model that engages local communities and encourages grass-roots entrepreneurship.
The project focuses on communities that are currently struggling to meet their energy needs and have limited economic opportunities. Additional sustainable developments include, reduced smoke-related health problems, reduced incident of cooking related burn injuries and reduced deforestation and habitat degradation in the surrounding area. This will help safeguard regional biodiversity and reduce soil erosion and associated silting of rivers and water courses.
“This project continues to grow from strength to strength, a further 40 clean energy cooking units have been placed into households over the past few months, and Sun Fire Solutions is currently on another drive to create energy entrepreneurs near the Kruger, a highly sensitive and biologically rich part of the world. Our aim is to intensify our efforts to get as many solar cookers and complimentary clean technologies into these homes where they are most needed”
**October 2016 update…..Thank you to Pure Crete customers who raised £196 towards the Sun Fire Project in South Africa.. a fantastic achievement and greatly appreciated by ourselves and all involved. Unfortunately Beyond Carbon have now decided to close their doors :- **
“I am sorry to say that we have decided to close Beyond Carbon having paid up all project work to date. Beyond Carbon will cease to trade at the end of October and therefore any project donations will be gratefully received to this date” Karen Black TICOS
Thank you once again for your support over the years.