In this post, we give you some practical and very easy to apply recommendations for sustainable and environmentally friendly behaviors that also contribute to energy savings. These recommendations can be put into practice at home and, also, if you stay in one of our rural houses.

Since our beginnings, at Naturaki, we have been committed to sustainability and energy efficiency. Our main objective is to contribute to giving life to villages, preserving rural environments and to ensure that rural heritage can always be maintained while respecting the surroundings and the environment. In fact, we believe that by allocating an accommodation to rural tourism it is possible to give it a greater use than by allocating it to a second residence and, at the same time, it avoids building multiple second residences that are only occupied for a few days a year. And the fact is, the energy expenditure and resources required to build a house are huge! So, we invite you to join our philosophy.

The basic aspects to take into account in order to adapt our habits and routines that will allow us to reduce energy costs and, at the same time, help us reduce our impact on the environment are: the control of temperatures inside the house, water and electricity consumption, and recycling.

1. Temperature control

Tips and good practices to save energy and improve sustainability

Keeping the house well insulated is key. In rural houses we have the advantage that the walls are usually made of stone and very thick and this already helps us maintain the temperature inside the house: cooler in summer and warmer in winter. In addition, recently built houses already have much better insulation than a few years ago with A and B energy ratings.

It is very important, and when we are on holiday we often do not take this into account, to leave the doors and windows closed and only open them when necessary. If you want to ventilate, do it during the cooler summer hours, and at the peak of the sun during the cooler months.

Most of our homes are equipped with thermostats that help us regulate and control the temperature. Following the European guidelines, the ideal temperatures are:
  • Between 26 and 27 ºC for air conditioners during the summer.
  • Between 19 and 20 ºC for heaters and heat pumps during the winter.
Use firewood to heat the rooms where there is a fireplace and leave the doors of the nearby rooms open so that heat can also reach them.

As far as we are concerned, regular maintenance of radiators, boilers and air conditioners is very important, as it contributes to reducing future breakdowns.

2. Water consumption

Tips and good practices to save energy and improve sustainability

Make sure that the taps are tightly closed when not in use and especially when leaving and entering the house.

If you are a group, it is better to use the dishwasher than to wash the dishes by hand. Using the dishwasher after meals, always trying to make the most of the dishwasher’s capacity and not washing too few dishes, will help you save time that you can spend enjoying your stay and will also optimize the water consumed in each wash.

Many of our houses have an automatic watering system that allows us to control water consumption and also adapt the amount, time and frequency of watering according to needs and the weather. Watering during the hours of less heat also helps to avoid wasting water. In fact, in most recently built gardens, we design them taking into account that water consumption is as low as possible. Using native plants and artificial grass which, in addition to saving a lot of water, prevents us from having to come and mow the lawn and maintain the garden during the stays.

Frequent and periodic maintenance of swimming pools also contributes to the reduction of water consumption.

3. Electricity consumption

Tips and good practices to save energy and improve sustainability

A very simple and clear recommendation: turn on the lights only when necessary. Make the most of the daylight hours, especially in summer, and only light the rooms you are using at any given time.

Other basic recommendations such as opening the fridge only for as long as necessary, turning off the hobs a few moments before the end of cooking, as the hob maintains the temperature for a long time, filling the dishwasher completely and avoiding leaving electric radiators or air conditioners on when there is no one in the room; this will help to reduce the consumption significantly.

Automatically programming the switching on and off of outdoor and garden lights helps us control and reduce energy waste.

More and more houses are installing solar panels, a clear commitment to renewable energies and reducing the electricity bills, but remember that the best energy is that which is not consumed!

4. Recycling

Tips and good practices to save energy and improve sustainability

Recycling is essential to reduce our impact on the environment, especially in rural areas. Find out about the location of the nearest containers to the house and try to make a good triage and separate waste correctly. During your stay in a rural house, especially if you are a large group, the amount of waste we generate is very large, so it is the best time to pay attention to this point and recycle properly.

Selective door-to-door collection is being implemented in more and more municipalities. We will explain how it works if this system affects the house where you will be staying. If you need more information, do not hesitate to ask us or the owners of the house.

If during your stay you detect that a tap is leaking, or that the lights or automatic irrigation may have been deprogrammed, notify the owner of the house or ourselves as soon as possible so that we can fix it as quickly as possible. The detection, communication and resolution of faults is essential for the correct functioning of our houses and, most importantly for us, the improvement of the satisfaction of our guests.

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