Ödevata Gårdshotell

meaning travel sustainable property

BY MALIN A. | 15/12/23

What is the meaning of a travel sustainable property?

A sustainable travel property refers to accommodations and destinations that are designed and operated in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. The concept centers around minimizing negative impacts on the environment, and local communities, while promoting positive experiences for both visitors and hosts. Here’s a closer look at its characteristics.

We will be referencing our Biochar Project, as it was the starting point for our journey for a better tomorrow. It led to our country hotel and lodges becoming sustainable travel properties. A bit of background, it has been two years since we started our Biochar Project in the heart of Sweden’s breathtaking landscapes at Ödevata. It has since become a beacon of sustainability and innovation.

Of course, there are many people who helped and took this initiative even further, spreading far beyond just Ödevata. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Biochar Project has achieved remarkable success, making it a must know project for those passionate about sustainability.

Innovative Practices Sustainability property

1. Innovative Practices and Sustainability

Sustainable properties implement measures that reduce their impact on the environment. For example, our Ödevata Biochar Project is setting a new standard in our sustainable practices. We always followed our philosophy of “Reuse, recycle, and reduce”. When we learned about biochar and its vast usage, we knew we had to somehow incorporate it into our operations. Our first milestone was when we successfully diverted the excess energy from the biochar production to provide heating for our country hotel. 

Since then, we have been using biochar as a filter in our aquaponic system, a soil improvement for cultivation, an additive in our chicken feed, and much more. Our guests especially chose to travel to Ödevata because of our efforts to become a sustainable destination. We also host events and study visits to introduce the process of biochar production, and how to use biochar in innovative ways. This has made us into a model for sustainable development.

A key achievement of the project is its significant contribution to carbon dioxide sequestration. By producing biochar, instead of burning it into charcoal or ash, the project aims to sequester around 120 tons of carbon dioxide annually, mitigating the impacts on the environment. This not only enhances Ödevata’s sustainability, but also serves as educational material for visitors, demonstrating the practical applications of biochar in environmental conservation.

learning education study visit travel greenhouse sustainable

2. Education and Awareness

Many sustainable properties also aim to educate guests about environmental conservation and sustainable living. This could be through informational programs, guided tours focusing on locality, or even hands-on experiences in sustainability practices.

For example, we want homemade biochar production to replace traditional burning methods, spreading awareness of biochar’s value for the average household and foster a culture of environmental responsibility. Together with our network, GoNatureTrip, we came up with the idea of Biokol Valborg (Biochar Walpurgis Night), because of how unsustainable the bonfire is. Instead of burning for the sake of making a fire, why not make biochar at the same time?

Biokol Valborg offers more than just an insight into a possible sustainable practice, it serves as an inspiration for others. We live stream the process of making biochar to demonstrate how simple it is and talk about how anyone could benefit from using biochar in their garden and such. Biokol Valborg started in 2020, and the live streams has since attracted a broad audience, from curious minds to businesses and organizations, interested in learning about sustainable practices. Each year, we invite more businesses and organizations, and even individuals, to join our live stream to show off how they are making biochar and what they are using it for.

As more guests book their holiday at Ödevata, our commitment to spreading knowledge about biochar and sustainability remains strong. The creation of digital audio tours for visitors, and the hosting of events like Biokol Valborg demonstrate our creative approach to education and sustainability. Of course, at the same time we are also developing Ödevata to offer more activities, such as cooking in our new outdoor kitchen, and more sustainable accommodations, such as the Axelssons Green Lodges.

local food source vegetables fresh cooking outdoors

3. Everything is Local

Nearly everything we have is sourced locally, such as food, building materials, labour, and more. This not only ensures fresh and high-quality ingredients, but also reduces our environmental footprint through limited transportation. By choosing local markets, and working with nearby businesses, we can contribute to the local economy.

For example, when we were building Axelssons Green Lodges, we needed materials. We first gathered leftover materials from the farm first to see what we had and what we needed. After tearing down the old building and reusing its concrete foundation, we still needed materials for the interior. So, we started asking people who lived close by for any leftover materials they had. Soon, we had enough for the lodges.

It didn’t stop there. The lodges were still empty, so we had to furnish them. We each, Magnus and I (Malin), designed a lodge and together we designed the last lodge in the middle. We then started to look for furniture and other items that suited our theme. Everything inside those lodges is either second-hand or refurbished. Even the paint is eco-friendly.

Nevertheless, we also thought about the future, especially the energy and water consumption. Luckily, we found a company in the nearby city that could install smart showers for us. This dramatically reduced the energy and water consumption of the lodges, without any compromises.

visitors guests support development destination accommodation

4. Support from Guests and Visitors

To become a sustainable property depends also on the engagement of guests and visitors. They should know that going on a holiday isn’t just about exploring new destinations and relaxing; it is also an opportunity to positively impact the places they visit. Choosing local and sustainable holiday destinations can make a significant difference. It ensures that future generations can also enjoy the same experiences.

When guests stay at Ödevata, they are helping not only the development of more projects at Ödevata, but also starting the trend of preferring sustainable accommodations, participating in responsible local activities, and respecting local traditions. They are setting a standard that can inspire change.

The choice to support sustainable holiday destinations can have far reaching positive effects. It is not just about the immediate local economic impact, it is about contributing to green actions, and fostering a global community conscious of its environmental footprint.

In fact, we have been nominated for the LEADER European Awards 2023 because of the encouragement from our guests and friends. It is an award given to the most impactful and innovative European projects between 2014-2020, and our biochar project was fortunate enough to be included. Follow us for further updates!

transportation green bike cycling foot walk hike

5. Respect, Preservation, and Upcycling

Encourage guests to explore the surrounding area, discover local artisans, and experience the region’s unique culture and heritage. For example, people in our region care about the local traditions and culture. Just by talking to a local, you would learn a lot about Sweden and the Swedish way of life. Locals love to share their stories, so we also make sure our guests discover the area on a bike or by foot.

Guest should get the most authentic cultural experiences that promote understanding and appreciation of the local heritage and customs. For example, visitors to Ödevata can witness firsthand how traditions can be transformed, or upcycled, into sustainable practices. If they are passionate about the sustainable future and want to be part of a movement that is making a real impact, then Ödevata is here to show the way. We remind our visitors that while they are experiencing the great outdoors, they are also making a difference with their stay.

Projects at Ödevata are more than just environmental initiatives, it is a living example of how innovation, dedication, and engagement can lead to a sustainable future. Whether you are a conscious traveler, a holiday goer, or a business professional, a visit to Ödevata offers invaluable insights and inspiration in the journey towards a greener world.