Al and Kat Judge, co-founders of AliKats Mountain Holidays, have launched a brand-new sustainability hub; skiers and snowboarders can learn how to make the most of the mountains with the least amount of environmental impact.
AliKats Mountain Holidays now offers 10 beautiful catered and self-catered chalets in Morzine, in the French Alps. Part of the expansive Portes du Soleil – comprising 12 resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland – Morzine is a year-round traditional market town. 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. Plus, with 600 km of slopes on offer and access to exciting off piste, the region is ideal for all levels of skier and snowboarder.
Since founding AliKats Mountain Holidays 10 years ago, Al and Kat have been determined to make sure this beautiful holiday destination remains untarnished for residents and visitors for as long as possible.
Over the years, they have been keen to do their bit (and much more), from buying an electric Renault Kangoo utility vehicle for staff to use, and staring a permaculture garden, to promoting travelling to/from Geneva or Cluses by train and creating meat-free menus. Since 2019, AliKats Mountain Holidays has been working with its chalet owners to switch electricity providers over to 100% renewable energy and is aiming to be carbon neutral by June 2022 – no mean feat for any company, let alone one in the French Alps.
Al Judge says: “Since we started AliKats Mountain Holidays 10 years ago, helping the planet has always been core to our operations. During Covid, everyone became a lot more environmentally aware; we are harnessing this budding interest and highlighting what AliKats is doing through our new Sustainability Hub. We want tourism to become an inspiring force for good and believe it is the responsibility (and obligation) of businesses, like AliKats, to do whatever they can to preserve this earth for future generations. The Amazon is up in flames, the polar ice caps are melting and the temperatures in the Alps are rising – we declare a climate emergency and we hope you will join us”.
Their latest pact with their environment involves a well-thought-out strategy and plenty of action points, which are all designed to help the planet. Please find some more information below.
If you would like any more details, or images, just let me know.
Declaring a climate emergency: Snow cover is predicted to shrink by 35% by 2035; it is clear businesses need to do whatever they can to preserve the earth. Working with a group of companies, organisations and the individuals in the tourism industry, Al and Kat are declaring a climate emergency as part of the Tourism Declares initiative; they are working towards becoming a net zero company, sharing best practices and solutions with the wider travel industry and striving to transition towards carbon-free tourism. https://alikats.eu/sustainability-the-climate-emergency/
On the road to net zero emissions: Al and Kat are striving to reach net zero by summer 2022, and then go beyond that to become a positive-impact business. To do this, they are tracking the amount of carbon they, and their company, use on an annual basis – across in-resort transport, accommodation, waste and food provisions – and then looking at ways to reduce their footprint. Their main goals include expanding their fleet of electric vehicles, ensuring all the chalets are powered by renewable energy (one more to go!), reducing waste, decreasing the quantity of animal products on the menu, and promoting train travel to the mountains (not only for guests, but staff too). In addition, AliKats Mountain Holidays is looking to work with credible climate companies and schemes to further off-set carbon emissions. https://alikats.eu/sustainability-getting-to-net-zero/
Permaculture: Permaculture uses the inherent qualities of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life-supporting system for city and country. Al and Kat have started to create their own permaculture garden and have already made good progress by raising chickens, setting up an annual vegetable garden and planting fruit and nut trees. The food waste from their chalets feeds the chickens, who in turn provide nutrients for the soil where the food is grown, which then feeds the guests – a wonderfully efficient cycle. Kat has also been working on her preserving and pickling this summer, meaning a wider range of food for the winter season. https://alikats.eu/sustainability-permaculture-and-food/
The chalets: Nearly all AliKats Mountain Holidays’ chalets are powered by 100% renewable energy. The energy is derived from river-fed dams as opposed to the more environmentally harmful reservoir-fed dams. In the chalets, guests will find LED lightbulbs and the central kitchen, where the bulk of meals are produced, runs off a wood pellet boiler. In addition, Al and Kat are working with the chalet owners to install heating systems based on renewable energy such as air source heat pumps. https://alikats.eu/sustainability-accommodation/
Working with the local community: Covid-19 threatened and damaged many community businesses. Earlier this year, the London School of Economics reported more than 900,000 UK small businesses were at great risk; Al and Kat are keen to do their bit in France. They are firm believers that a local, circular economy brings more income, wealth and jobs to an area and therefore have increased the money they spend in Morzine to purchase local food and in turn, invest more in the community. By buying more local food, Al and Kat are also reducing food miles, which means reducing greenhouse gas emissions. https://alikats.eu/sustainability-circular-local-economy/
Zero-waste crusade: AliKats Mountain Holidays is adopting a zero-waste approach; the company has taken time to build a network of local partners, specialist repair shops and craftsmen, as well as employing maintenance workers within its team to help repair and extend the life of items used. Al and Kat try and fix appliances instead of buying new, partnering with Crevasse Clothing for ski clothing rentals, donating worn towels and sheets to charity and low-income families, and much more. Within this zero-waste crusade, they limit or avoid plastics by replacing them with more sustainable materials such as bamboo toothbrushes, glass jars and tin containers. Plus, purchasing local food means there’s no need for plastic packaging. https://alikats.eu/sustainability-reducing-waste-plastics/
Reducing chemicals and toxins: More than 100,000 chemical substances are authorised for sale, but people only completely know the effects on human health of about 5,000 of them. Al and Kat have decided to help ‘clean up’ this act by switching to ecologically responsible and natural cleaning products such as Suma, Ecover and Ecoleaf. They provide REN clean skin-wear products in the chalet’s bathrooms. And with the textile industry estimated to contribute 3-10% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, AliKats Mountain Holidays’ staff can be seen wearing Cotton Roots ethical clothing. Finally, in the garden, Al and Kat have started their exciting permaculture techniques… https://alikats.eu/sustainability-reducing-chemicals-and-toxins/
Sharing with the community: Al and Kat know that to make a genuine difference it’s best to work with the local community sharing challenges, ideas, and solutions, and working together to create a positive impact. Together, they are founding members (and sit on the board of trustees) of Montagne Verte, a not-for-profit association working to provide solutions for mountain residents, visitors and businesses to minimise their environmental impact. Some of the initiatives include developing a database of eco-friendly products and services, launching a local pilot bio waste collection scheme, and participating in the Morzine/Avoriaz led initiative of achieving a Flocon Vert accreditation for the Portes du Soleil. https://alikats.eu/sustainability-community-and-local-impact/
Stay at one of AliKats Mountain Holidays’ incredible catered chalets, such as Chalet Debussy (sleeping 8-15) or Chalet Bizet (sleeping 6-9). Larger families or groups of friends can reside at Ferme A Jules (sleeping 20-26) or Chalet de l’Ange (sleeping 14). Aside from the delicious food and fine wine, a private chauffeur will whisk guests around the resort (to lifts / shops / bars etc.) between 8 am and 10 pm. For those who prefer self-catering, there are six stunning chalets to choose from. The newest ones, Chalet Harmonie (sleeping 12) and Chalet Melodie (sleeping 13), are based in the centre of Morzine; easy access to the Super Morzine lift, supermarket, coffee shop etc. Harmonie and Melodie can also be rented together for bigger gatherings.
For more detail about AliKats Mountain Holidays’ Sustainable Hub, please click here: https://alikats.eu/sustainability-hub/