What can we all do to protect the environment? There is a lot we can do on a personal level, even more in groups like businesses and organizations, and certainly we can do the most as states and as a worldwide community. Environmental protection is about us, people, more than it is about “the planet”, because it is us who endanger our quality of life, the civilization we have created, and – ultimately – our existence as a species. Our planet has witnessed many environmental disasters in its 5-billion- year existence and it will certainly not be much affected if it simply loses humankind and is thus left in peace!

Environmental protection means a lot of thing simultaneously: the protection of our local “aesthetic” environment with proper waste management and respect for our cultural heritage, the protection of the regional “natural” environment that is about ecosystems and endangered species, while at a global level we must contain the spread of toxic chemicals and reverse the climate’s overheating caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

At our hotels you will encounter many actions that cover the whole spectrum of environmental protection: we give all our guests the option to ask us not to change their room’s linen so as to save natural resources from their washing, while the Blue Flags have been flying for many years at or beaches. Those flags don’t only mean that our swimming waters are as clean as it gets and that we’re regularly checking their quality, but also that we abide by strict rules for cleanliness and recycling, that we protect the swimming public, give access to people with special needs, and that we inform the local community and our staff about environmental protection. Of course, we recycle our paper, glass, plastic, and our batteries, while we stage regular seminars for our staff about the environment while also hosting visits from local elementary schools and scouts in order to raise our youth’s environmental awareness.

There are many more actions that are not immediately visible but are equally important, if not more important, for the protection of our whole natural environment: we have a wastewater treatment plant of the highest quality that recycles all the water used at our hotels and sends it back to the environment totally clean through our gardens’ irrigation networks. This very same water does not come from long distances not is it withheld from the local communities, as we cover 100% percent of our water consumption through high-tech seawater desalination unites that consume a mere 3 kilo-watt- hours per cubic meter of water. Thus, our water only costs us 0,40€ per m 3 while public utility water sells for almost 1,00€. Simultaneously, all our private swimming pools use seawater instead of potable water, vastly reducing the need to disinfect it, as we use the method of electro-chlorination of salt instead of the “usual” addition of chlorine.

Finally, we have installed at all our hotels some top-of- the-line systems for energy saving and recovery, as well as energy production through renewable sources: the heat that we remove from the rooms through our air-conditioning networks is recycled in our hot water for showers and faucets, while on our roof-tops one will find over 1500m 2 of solar panels for the collection of solar heat and use in heating and plumbing. As of 2008 we have even installed the latest technology of geothermal cooling and heating, through the sea, in order to minimize the use of fossil fuels and thus contribute as much as we can to the radical reduction of airborne pollution that intensifies the greenhouse effect. All these actions have made us an exceedingly environmentally friendly business and we are proud to be able to share our successes with you through this issue of our magazine.

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