Villa Manuela is our home and a place for friends, volunteers and visitors, whoever wants to stop here.
We have been doing voluntary work in several places during our travels (have a look at the “Volunteering” blog posts) and we would like to give back what we have received.
Also we want to try out and learn new things related to eco-living, so we are open for any ideas or suggestions!
We try not to cause negative environmental impacts, so we Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as well as Rethink, Refuse and Reinvent.
Water: Drinking water is ground water coming from our well, we also harvest rain water.
Globally farming has a significant impact on ground waters, in Finland the situation is not so acute. Our farm is located on a ground water area which is used as the village’s water reserve. For us, protecting these water reserves is of the utmost importance, so we filter all the washing waters (“grey waters”) using peat.
After having a nice wash in the sauna the water ends up in a tank where it will be reused from. So, we only use biodegradable washing products. It is difficult to realize how much water one uses before following the whole process from beginning to the end.
We’re not connected to a sewer system – we use composting toilets. The compost from the toilets is never used with edible plants. we take care of our waste responsibly, and this is why we don’t offer the possibility to empty the tanks for the campervans.
Energy: We have an electrical connection (zero carbon electricity) but we try to minimize the use of electricity. We use candles and a few lights. We want to install solar panels for creating electricity. For heating we use salvage wood. We are continuously working on improving the insulation of the house, among other things to reduce the use of wood.
We hope to drill for geothermal heating some day, but as we don’t have a water circulation system, the dream is still distant.
The most significant environmental impacts of farming are pesticides, effects on biodiversity, and effects on the soil. We aim to use companion planting and crop rotation in a way that we keep the land fertile and are able to grow our crop without the use of pesticides.
We try to build everything with recycled material. Buying new is our last resort and if possible we buy locally. We’re happy to be a part of our village community.
The most significant environmental impacts from Villa Manuela & our existence are use of vehicles and heating of the house. With the vehicles we combine journeys to minimize the kilometers.