Not content with providing 10 luxury chalets and incredible customer service in Morzine, France, AliKats Mountain Holidays is striving to become even more environmentally friendly too.
Recent reports launched by the UN and high-profile documentaries such as Blue Planet II have brought environmental sustainability to the forefront of many people’s minds.
Since the company was established in 2011, co-founders, Al and Kat Judge, have been doing their bit to help the environment in the mountains they call home; they use LED lightbulbs whenever possible, run the central kitchen off a wood-pellet boiler and try to keep packaging down to a minimum.
Every year, they continue to come up with new ways to minimise carbon emissions, reduce plastic use and work with even more local suppliers.
Ready for the up-coming 2018/19 ski season, the company now offers free-private transfers to guests who travelled to Geneva by train, bamboo toothbrushes (instead of the usual plastic ones) for holidaymakers who forget to bring their own and reusable water pouches so skiers and snowboarders can stay hydrated on the mountain.
Hundreds of thousands of people travel to Morzine, in the Portes du Soleil, each year. The characterful village, which sits in the heart of a preserved natural area, still retains much of its charm; the wooden chalets and slate roofs have remained virtually untouched. Skiers and snowboarders can explore the 600 km of slopes spanning 12 traditional resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
Moving forward, Al and Kat are determined to make sure this beautiful holiday destination remains untarnished for residents and visitors for as long as possible. Read on to find out more information on AliKats Mountain Holidays’ procedures and pledges for the 2018/19 ski season and beyond.
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NEW: Take the train
According to the popular website, ‘The Man in Seat 61’, travellers can cut their carbon dioxide emissions by up to 90% when taking the train instead of the plane. Plus, a popular wintersports website stated 73% of an average ski resort’s carbon footprint is created by a visitor’s mode of transport, while two-per-cent of emissions come from lift services and pistes**; how skiers and snowboarders travel to the Alps is critical. It takes approximately six-and-a-half hours to reach Geneva from London St Pancras, with train tickets (for the beginning of the 2018/19 winter season) going on sale on Thursday 11 October 2018. This year, AliKats Mountain Holidays has partnered with Skiidy Gonzales, to offer free-private transfers from Geneva train station to one of its chalets for six or more guests travelling by train*. A private transfer, from Geneva Airport, to Morzine, usually costs from £175 (per eight-seater minibus) with AliKats Mountain Holidays. *Transfers must be booked between 1 October 2018 and 31 January 2019, for a journey taking place before 28 April 2019. Guests must be travelling on the same train to Geneva Airport, Switzerland. Single train tickets (from London St Pancras to Geneva Airport) cost from €87 / £78 pp.
NEW: Use reusable water pouches
Every minute, circa one million plastic bottles are bought around the world; creating an environmental crises. David Attenborough highlighted the devastating threat posed to nature by plastic in his recent documentary, Blue Planet II, and since then, companies and consumers have been keen to address the problem even more. Keeping hydrated when skiing or snowboarding in the mountains is very important, but limiting the use of plastic bottles is key. Therefore, AliKats Mountain Holidays has launched its own reusable water pouches, which are free to all guests who stay at the chalets. The reusable water pouches spare damage to the environment whilst making sure guests drink enough water on the slopes. The pouches are made from high grade PVC, hold 400 ml of water, fold away when empty and come with a carabiner, allowing guests to clip it on to their backpack or belt loop when not in use. They are also highly functional in everyday life and can be used back home.
Have a break from meat
A recent report from the United Nations cited the livestock industry as the greatest threat to forests, wildlife and a stable climate. Globally, livestock releases as much greenhouse gases as all cars, trucks, planes and ships put together***. Cows, especially, emit methane, which is around 30 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. To help combat this, Kat, AliKats’ executive chef, plans one meat-free meal each week at all the catered chalets. Guests are able to opt-in, or out, of this meal or even go completely meat free for the whole week with Kat’s delicious vegetarian menu. In addition to this, Al and Kat make sure all the food purchased has travelled minimal food miles, which is helped by buying local produce and shopping for food that is in season.
Say goodbye to plastic
There is now 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic in the world and according to The Economist, only nine per-cent of this figure is recycled (unfortunately, much of the world’s plastic has ended up in the ocean). Since AliKats Mountain Holidays was established in 2011, Al and Kat have been conscious of keeping plastic usage to a minimum. Over the years, they have refined their techniques and now follow these simple, but effective, procedures: buying organic cleaning products in bulk and refilling existing containers, and purchasing food with minimal packaging or having it delivered in reusable crates. New for the up-coming ski season, Al and Kat will also be replacing plastic toothbrushes with bamboo versions (for guests that have forgotten to bring their own) and substituting all plastic washing-up brushes with ones made of natural materials.
Waste not, want not
At the end of each winter season, when the snow melts, hikers and bikers are more likely to see cigarette butts, discarded drink cans and dirty tissues instead of marmots, ibex and mouflon (wild sheep). To combat this problem and raise awareness, an increasing number of resorts, including the Portes du Soleil, are appealing to skiers and winter hikers to return in summer to help pick up litter on a mountain clean-up day. Aware of this problem, AliKats Mountain Holidays recycles all glass, plastic, cardboard and tin when possible, provides pocket ashtrays for smokers to dispose of cigarettes properly and composts all fruit and vegetables from its central kitchen. The company is also hoping to compost all fruit and vegetables from every one of its kitchens and provide eco-friendly uniforms for its staff by 2019.
Sleep in style…
AliKats Mountain Holidays offers 10 beautiful, catered and self-catered, chalets in Morzine, the French Alps. New for the 2018/19 ski season, the company has added Chalet Debussy (sleeping eight to fifteen) and Chalet Bizet (sleeping six to nine) to its catered chalet group, and Chalet Vogue to its self-catered collection. Last season, Al and Kat added The View, a bespoke chalet built exclusively for AliKats Mountain Holidays, to their portfolio. Sleeping 10-14 people, in five opulent en-suite rooms, The View was built from scratch using an assortment of local materials and craftspeople based nearby. Louise Leighton, an up-and-coming interior designer based in the Portes du Soleil, designed the finishing touches that can be found at The View, including the spectacular mountain scenes in the bathrooms. A week’s stay at The View, from 15 December 2018, costs from £556 pp (£7,785 total) including the Indulgence Package****, plus private chauffeur service in-and-around Morzine (08.00-22.00) and committed service from the AliKats team throughout the stay. Return flights, transfers and lift passes extra.
****AliKats Mountain Holidays will be including its Indulgence Package for guests staying at The View, Chalet Debussy and Chalet Bizet. This package, which was launched for the 2017-18 ski season, comprises a menu planned by Kat Judge (co-founder of AliKats Mountain Holidays), Vintage Bollinger Champagne on arrival, high-quality wines matched with dinner by AliKats’ wine consultant, Rob Wade, a-la-carte breakfast in bed and pre-dinner cocktails and digestifs every day.
A six-day lift pass, for Morzine-Les Gets, costs from €216 per adult
A six-day lift pass, for the Portes du Soleil, costs from €265 per adult
AliKats Mountain Holidays (0203 514 6012, https://alikats.eu)
For more information and to book, visit www.alikats.eu or call +44 (0)203 514 6012 / +33 (0)689 388 149.