The 5-star Mont Rochelle Hotel & Mountain Vineyards in Franschhoek has embarked on an innovative tree-planting venture that affords select repeat guests the opportunity to plant their very own olive tree on the Mont Rochelle property. This forms part of a dedicated drive to minimize the carbon footprint of this environmentally responsible establishment, while encouraging guests to leave their own ‘green’ footprint.
True to their reputation for ‘doing things differently,’ the Mont Rochelle team has created this original custom to pay tribute to the continued patronage and support of frequent guests. Guests are offered the opportunity of ‘owning’ a tree, which they plant themselves, in a designated olive grove on the property. Each tree is distinguished by a personalised name plaque.
Thus far, 35 delighted guests from all over the world have entered into the ‘green’ spirit by helping to offset their carbon footprint through their very own tree planting experience.
Say owner of Mont Rochelle Erwin Schnitzler:
‘We are committed to minimizing our carbon footprint at Mont Rochelle by as many means possible, and believe that planting trees is one of the most efficient ways of doing this. Our tree-planting project underscores Mont Rochelle’s commitment to upholding the principles of environmental awareness and responsibility, not only in spirit, but in deed. It also upholds the adage that one person can make a difference. With each olive tree planted, one of our guests is assured of his or her contribution to ‘greening’ our small corner of the globe,’ he concluded.
Eco-living strategies which have been employed at the luxurious boutique hotel include an energy saving schedule, which entails shutting down electrical appliances within one or more of the hotel wings, and the use of energy efficient lighting, whenever possible.
Other environmentally responsible endeavours on the farm include:
- converting the skins and stems of grapes used in the wine making process into compost;
- using organic fertilizers for the vineyards;
- recycling and re-using all cellar run-off water by means of a water treatment plant;
- sterilising tanks on the wine farm with the environmentally-friendly Potassium Hydroxide rather than with Sodium Hydroxide.