We make every effort at Constanza to reduce our carbon footprint and save energy and fossil fuel.
We utilise the energy from the sun and have installed equipment to produce both our own electricity and our hot water supply. A newly drilled water well brings clear refreshing water up from the natural springs that run under the mountain. We overlook the largest lake in Andalucia and the thermals from the lake create cooling breezes which ensure a very pleasant temperature, both inside of the house and around our hilltop location (no need for air conditioning units) The 3 foot thick stone walls keep the house warm in winter and also cool in the hot Spanish summers. We have wooden shutters at all windows for the same reason. Inside of the house we have installed special taps (faucets ) which reduce the flow of water by introducing air to the flow. The showers are thermostatically controlled to reduce overuse of hot (solar) water. The toilets have a smaller than normal cisterns to reduce water flush and also have a short and a long flush button to be used accordingly. Most of the doors and some windows are old or antique and recycled. A lot of our furniture is antique, much of it inherited.
- The floors are made from local terracotta tiles – handmade and baked in wooden kilns.
- The garden is designed with water conservation in mind too. We have only planted drought resistant or drought tolerant trees and plants (known as Xeriscaping) Most of them are indigenous to the area therefore reducing the impact of importing ’exotic species’!
- We have used locally quarried rocks and boulders for landscaping.
- Our parasols in the pool area are made of locally sourced and sustainable grasses and willow.
- The pool is free of artificial surrounds – again local stone was used to clad the area.
- Most of the outdoor furniture is wooden and from sustainable sources.
- All of our electric lighting is low wattage and energy efficient and the garden is lit by solar lamps.
- We have wood burning stoves for heating. The wood we use is local olive wood which is plentiful ( we live in the largest olive producing area in the world ) and sustainable. The olive needs to be trimmed every year as an olive tree needs lots of light flowing through it to be fruitful. This ensures a constant supply of wood.
We recycle all glass, plastic, tin and paper containers, and have sorting bins which go to the recycling plant. Any food scraps from the kitchen go to our chickens (who in turn supply us with fresh eggs). We buy or are given local vegetables which are all grow within 3km of our village. We grow our own figs, lemons, meddlers, pomegranates, cherries, peaches & apricots and also a wide selection of herbs.
Our dogs and cats are all rescue animals and could be viewed as being ‘recycled’ too!