Mis à jour : 10 mai 2020
The project holder
Joaquin is the happy founder of Valverde Eco Hotel, founded in 2003. Spanish, he never left South Africa after falling in love with the country from the very first moment he arrived.
Very close to his employees, smiling and optimistic, he has always been passionate about ecology and especially about aquaponic farms. He firmly believes in his responsibility as founder and owner of a tourist site to educate his team, reduce his carbon footprint and minimize the energy consumption of his clients in a fun and intelligent way.
The Genesis of the project
Convinced by his desire to stay in South Africa and establish his business there, Joaquin founded Valverde 17 years ago. Valverde means "green valley". Initially, this green hotel in the suburbs of Johannesburg, had no other ambition than to host conferences, weddings and tourists in transit.
But over the years, conscious of the ecological stakes of its accommodation, the Spaniard wanted to take action to preserve its environment. For several months, he thought about different ways to save energy, raise awareness among hotel staff and guests and reduce its carbon impact. That's how the eco-friendly aspect was born, a little over 8 years ago.
For him, this project is a personal, well thought-out goal that represents a concrete step forward in his state of mind. It is a reflection of his values.
Valverde Eco Hotel is an exceptional place, tastefully decorated and very green. This 3-star hotel, located close to the big city of Johannesburg, offers many services such as the organization of conferences, weddings, a restaurant and a spa. 25 rooms are scattered around the site.
Many processes have been put in place to reduce the carbon footprint of guests without requiring additional costs. All around the hotel there are numerous, very detailed signs explaining the various measures taken by the establishment and informing guests of the impact they have on their consumption.
«I want to give my clients the desire to get involved, but in any way I want to force them to do so.» Joaquin
Valverde Eco Hotel's various ecological investments are as follows:
Solar panels and solar bowls: South Africa is one of the most sun-exposed countries in the world. In fact, on average, 300 days a year are sunny in this region. This is why many solar panels and solar bowls are installed on and around the site to heat water in an environmentally friendly way.
Aquaponic farm: Indicated by panels and arrows, this atypical farm, all in length, is one of the key points of the hotel's ecological transition. It allows the restaurant to offer fresh, local, clean and high quality products. This system, which combines the cultivation of plants with that of fish, creates a closed circuit that irrigates the plants with nutrient-rich water from aquariums.
Recycling: Paper, plastic and glass waste is sorted and reused. All kitchen waste is kept to feed Valverde's compost.
Ecological lighting: The establishment mainly uses LED lighting. Very ecological, these light bulbs work at low consumption and their life span is much longer than normal bulbs (5 times longer). In addition, this system produces very little heat. Thus, the air conditioning or ventilation of the room is less important.
Water savers: Shower heads are made so that the water flow is less than that of a traditional shower head. In addition, a system installed in the toilets allows to reduce by two the consumption of water of the flush. Indeed, the quality released depends on the duration of pressure exerted on the button or the pull-tab for flushing the toilet.
Waste water recycling stations: All the water consumed is recovered to irrigate the plants and fields of the establishment.
Worm farms: Valverde Eco Hotel uses a worm farm to optimise their compost system. Indeed, the waste, ingested and rejected by these small animals, is much more efficient.
The impact of Valverde Eco Hotel is twofold.
Not only has the hotel developed numerous measures to reduce its energy consumption and waste rates, but it also makes a point of educating its guests and staff about the importance of global environmental awareness.
In concrete terms, the installation of solar panels has reduced by 55% the non-ecological energy consumption necessary for the proper functioning of the establishment and the numerous water saving systems have reduced by 35% the clients' consumption.
For more information, please do not hesitate to consult Valverde Eco Hotel's website!