eco-friendly at le moulin


Driving to le Moulin?

(while we - most of us - are still in the era of the internal combustion engine)

Leisurely driving burns less fuel - both of the hydro-carbon and adrenaline varieties.

The former creates pollution outside the car whereas the latter creates pollution inside the car.

Unhurried driving is very much possible in France, where the traffic on the roads between cities is generally not fraught.

A gentle promenade en voiture can still be a great pleasure. ... and remember, there's no hurry, you're on holiday.

Some ecologically friendly things about le Moulin du Chemin

With minimum detrimental effect vis-à-vis the environment and while contributing to the enrichment of the local social framework, guests at le Moulin du Chemin can enjoy the delightful countryside, visit local places of historical, cultural and natural interest and indulge in an abundance of wholesome local food and wine. All these ecological plus's at le Moulin du Chemin - as well as a marvellous ambiance!

Carbon Holiday The carbon footprint of city dwellers could well be greater at home than when away on holiday at le Moulin. This is because le Moulin is a rural idyll that has no need for a significant carbon emitting infrastructure. The premise obviously depends on what kind of city-life is under consideration, and where. However, bearing in mind that on holiday individuals are pottering about on foot, on a bike or just pottering about, it’s difficult to see why the premise should not be true.

It is also significant to note that the CO2 emitted in France (in 2006) was 6.2 tonnes per person, whereas in USA the figure was 19.0, in Germany 9.7 and UK 9.4 tonnes per person (source: CDIAC July 2009).

Food Miles We pay attention to the provenance of the food we provide for ourselves and our guests, with reference to quality, including production methods, and food miles.  As far as possible ingredients are local. Non-local produce comes from other parts of France and unavoidably imported food is generally from not too distant Spain and Morocco.

Wine Miles The copious quantities of wines served at le Moulin (and included in the price) are local, from Loire Valley, Anjou, Fiefs Vendéen and other wine producing areas within France. Thus the wine-miles may also be considered to be quite favourable.

Portable Water Small bottles of mineral water are provided for guest's convenience, to carry on walks and cycle rides, although we don't entirely condone drinking water in plastic bottles, for reasons of pollution and excessive use of energy. As a compromise, we propose guests should refill the bottles with our very drinkable piped water supplied from the barrage at Mervent. This water has been recycled by Nature, not by Lyonnais des Eaux (if you didn't already know, it Lyonnais des Eaux is a French multi-national water treatment and distribution company). Refilling the bottles saves energy and pollution in plastic manufacture, disposal and transportation. 

Sustainability The maximum number of Moulin guests is limited to ten and few other tourists make use of the hundreds of miles of delightful paths, tracks and country lanes in the region. The impact of Moulin guests on the countryside is therefore negligible and consequently, natural habitats are not under pressure from tourism. The balance of good soil fertility, plenty of sunshine and enough rainfall ensures that any minor upsets to local nature are rapidly reconciled.

Other Little Things Little green things will make a difference if enough people make an effort. Here are some more small environmentally friendly things at le Moulin.

-  Food waste arising from the holiday operation is fed to the free range chickens on site, or if they won’t eat it, it is composted or recycled in conformity with the stringent requirements of the European Authorities.

-  Winter heating is mainly by logs (ie renewable energy) cut from woods on the site, thereby eliminating the environmental impact of transporting the energy source.

-  The post-lady collects as well as delivers mail, thus eliminating the need for numerous individual journeys to the village post office.

-  Packed lunches are provided in bio-degradable bags.

-  The pool is heated - when heating is necessary - to 29°C, by an energy efficient heat pump.

ancient sweetchestnut tree

humming-bird hawk-moth photo Maxwell Roche

flowers of the quince fruit

hedgerow berries

Some ecologically friendly transportation considerations

Arriving by car

In preparation for your holiday try to drive to your destination in a relaxed manner. Internal combustion vehicles burn less fuel and create less pollution and you shed stress. If you can manage to drive in a relaxed manner your holiday will have started sooner than you might have expected. With a little forethought vis-à-vis your schedule, it's quite possible.

To avoid tension arrange your travel so there is time to spare, be sure of your route before setting out and drive unhurriedly.

You become relaxed and less carbon will go into the atmosphere - two feel-good factors.


If it’s convenient for you, the quickest ferry route to le Moulin is from St Malo - only 3½ hours. You can find your greenest route from the chart below, relative to where you live, bearing in mind that ferry miles may be less polluting than car miles.

St Malo from Portsmouth & Cork

3½ hrs

Cherbourg from Poole

5 hrs

Caen from Portsmouth

4½ hrs

Le Havre from Newhaven

5 hrs

Roscoff from Plymouth & Cork

5 hrs

Calais from Dover

6½ hrs

Dieppe from Newhaven

5 hrs

Zeebrugge from Rosythe & Hull

7¼ hrs

Arriving by plane

You can fly from a regional airport near you to either la Rochelle, Poitiers or Nantes. In this case you can (try to) pre-order a highly fuel efficient rental car with good emissions control.

Otherwise we can transfer you from and to the airport. However, a transfer involves four vehicle journeys whereas your probable total mileage on holiday would be less, since all the places of interest that we propose are within a short drive. The following driving times between the airports and le Moulin will give you an idea.

Poitiers: 1hr 10mins

La Rochelle: 1hr 25mins

Nantes: 1hr 40mins

Arriving by train

In recent years, quite a few guests have been travelling by EuroStar and TGV, for ecological reasons.To encourage guests who travel by train, a free transfer from and to Niort is offered for guests scheduled to arrive by train prior to 17:00hrs on Sunday.

Arriving by bike

For cyclists, European Bike Express will bring cyclists and their bikes from UK to near le Moulin by luxury bus. We will transfer you between the bus to le Moulin. This has to be one of the lowest carbon ways to travel.

one thing is certain  - shorter journeys consume less fuel and cause less pollution

This is strong reason not to venture too far abroad – the panel below gives another compelling reason.

Long haul tropical air travel has a considerable negative environmental impact relative to short flights that do not enter the tropics.

New Scientist tells us that as well as carbon dioxide and contrails, aircraft produce nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide triggers both creation of the greenhouse gas ozone and destruction of methane, another greenhouse gas. In mid-latitudes the ozone and methane reactions cancel each other out so that there is zero net warming from the nitrogen oxide emissions. However, brighter sunlight in the tropics is more efficient at converting nitrogen oxide to ozone. In the tropics ozone is created five times faster than at mid-latitudes, whereas methane destruction only increases marginally. Moreover, the warming effects of ozone are particularly strong at an aircraft's typical cruising altitude of 35,000 feet.

Tropical tourism, merely as a personal indulgence must be considered relative to the environmental damage caused by tropical air travel. The choice is yours, according to your conscience.

Moulin Holidays - Most Definitely Out of the Ordinary


Maison d'Hôte: Carolynn Grimaldi, 2 lieu-dit le Moulin du Chemin, 79240 Scillé, France

+33 (0)5 4995 9487

environmentally and socially responsible

website by Peter Roche with support from Studio360

travel green


we hope you will choose an environmentally friendly holiday at le Moulin du Chemin