The tone is set as soon as you step in. Visitors can sleep on the site in the 46 natural accommodations at Sainte-Croix's animal park in Rhodes-in-Moelle. A booklet on good environmental behavior is available. It is reminded about the positive gestures that can be observed for a respectful stay in nature. This includes using tap water and proper sorting of bins. This list is just as long as it's virtuous.
It is important that day visitors are given the same attention as the Sainte-Croix animals park. Teaching about the importance of respecting the environment is part and parcel of the park's DNA. Gerald Singer, the park's creator, wanted to create a special place for the public to learn about the rich biodiversity around it and how to conserve it.
Laurent and Pierre, his sons, took over the family business. Before ecotourism was a common practice, they were pioneers in ecotourism. They began by setting an example. The latest eco-construction techniques were used from 2005 to the construction of a new reception and dining room.
The opening of an unusual accommodation near the animals in 2010 was a step in a new direction. Constructions using local wood were made, calling on businesses in the area, choosing a short supply chain to provide restaurants with food, and the use of eco-friendly cleaning products. Clement Leroux is the communication director at the animal park. Sainte-Croix is the first European zoo/park to receive the European Ecolabel 2020 for its nature-friendly stay offer.
He says, "For the feed of our animals also, we favor short supply chain." All of our hay comes from the parks, and is grown without any chemicals.
The animal park has taken a number of actions to achieve its "zero waste" objective. Clement Leroux continues, "We have, for instance, eliminated all plastic bottles from the park." In our restaurants and accommodations, we now use reusable glass bottles and carafes that are filled with filtered waters. Special efforts were made to inform visitors and staff of Lorraine park about the sorting of waste. The result: In one year, half of the waste was taken out of the bins. The sorting volume has increased by two-thirds. The household waste bill was also reduced by half, because ecology and economics go hand-in-hand.
Restaurants often collect food scraps to make compost. This is used to create green spaces in the park.
The principle of the short circuit will be further developed by a new project. At the Parc de Sainte-Croix, a new educational garden will be built. A traditional restaurant will be opened next door. You can eat the vegetables from the garden right there, just a few metres away. It's hard to find a shorter length!
The public is able to easily absorb all these actions for nature. That is the goal. Clement Leroux insists, "Our environmental policy is part what our visitors most appreciate when they come here," he says.
The art of creating an unforgettable nature experience for the 350,000 visitors annually to Sainte-Croix Park, while also making them aware about everyday eco-gestures. It's a win-win situation for the planet.
Local wood that doesn't require treatment, appeals to companies in the area, choice of the shorter chain to supply restaurants. Use of ecological cleaning products. Multiplication of photovoltaic cells. "We therefore wish to participate in sustainable and friendly tourism," Clement Leroux (communication director at the animal park). Sainte-Croix is the first European zoo/park to receive the European Ecolabel 2020 label for its nature-stay offer.
The contents of the file
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