El Geco Verde is not just another hotel.
Many businesses claim to be environmentally friendly but in reality use just a few solar panels to support their conventional electricity supply.
El Geco Verde is off-grid, which is to say fully independent in terms of electrical and other installations. The hotel also uses renewable fuels to maintain high levels of comfort with minimal environmental impact.
Solar panels harness the raw power of the Spanish sun to provide both electricity and domestic hot water. A 5,000w inverter processes the energy from a substantial battery bank where the power is stored. A generator is used to back up the system, run heavy loads and charge the batteries when required. We use ecological lightbulbs throughout the hotel to reduce consumption.
Additional hot water and central heating systems are powered by a large biomass boiler which burns almond shells or olive stones, both of which are in adundant supply locally (almond and olive oil production are the mainstays of the agricultual economy in this part of Spain).
We have a second biomass boiler/water heater in the dining room which runs on wooden pellets, a waste product of the carpentry industry. This heats water and the room at the same time. It also looks very jolly!
Keeping consumption low is one of the basic priciples of off-grid living. To that end, appliances which require a 24/7/365 electrical supply such as fridge/freezers have been avoided where possible in favour of models which run on gas, for example.
By replacing the thermostat in a conventional energy-efficient chest freezer we have created a super-insulated top-loading fridge which preserves its core temparature even when open and functions perfectly on a fraction of the electricty.
All bathrooms have water saving taps and dual flush toilets and we do not habitually wash bed linen or towels every day; we do so only when you you request it (by leaving towels in the bath for example).
Recycling bins are available in communal areas which are emptied every day and taken to the appropriate recycling sites locally.
El Geco Verde is a family-run business set amongst organic gardens, olive and almond groves. We produce as much food for the hotel as we can and we source much of the rest from local markets and organic farmers. (for more information on food).
The hotel is on the doorstep of two adjoining natural parks, Castril and Cazorla; the largest nature reserve in Spain. We believe that responsible tourism is a great way to boost the local economy while preserving this beautiful unspoiled region for future generations. We promote low-impact activities such as bird watching, mountain biking, walking, horse riding and kayaking, which enable guests to appreciate and feel at one with the natural environment.
In all of this, the comfort of our guests is of paramount importance to us, so please do let us know if anything is not to your liking.
We know you appreciate the lengths we go to on your behalf to maintain El Geco Verde´s small environmental footprint. Many of our guests ask if there is anything they can do to help out. Here´s a list of the best ideas; please don´t feel obliged to do any of the following; just what you are comfortable with!
Don´t bring a high wattage hairdryer on holiday with you. We can supply you with a low wattage drier and save you room in your suitcase!
Separate re-usable material from normal rubbish and leave it in the recycling bins provided. Old newspapers are particularly welcome.
If you can bear it, place your used toilet paper etc. in the bathroom bin rather than flushing it down the toilet. Our septic tank will be grateful.
If your hot water takes a while to arrive, fill up a bucket and flush the toilet with it later (we will be more than happy to provide the bucket!)
Let us know when you want a change of sheets or towels by leaving us a note or putting soiled laundry in the bathtub.
Turn off the lights when you leave your room!
Thanks for your help and co-operation. Any new suggestions welcome!