In all areas of Casa Cerro da Correia's activity (accommodation, experiences and meals) we allways have sustainability in mind. All of our actions not only regarding the environment, but also the community that we integrate, and the growth of the company, are focused on that issue. We are a certified company by Biosphere in sustainable tourism since June of 2019.
We integrate a territory with a lot to offer and we wish that those who visit us discover their flavors and stories and that it is part of a unique way of life of the Serra da Estrela. Giving visibility and thus valuing the knowledge and experience of the inhabitants of the region is only possible if our activities are true. Our clients participate in the day to day activities of a shepherd, a beekeeper or a cheese maker. In this meetings there is an exchange, a sharing that enriches not only the tourist but also the community. The products used for breakfasts, meals or picnics we provide are either locally sourced or purchased from establishments in the region.
We believe that sustainable tourism is possible, which is why we work in a personalized way, for small groups. We have a responsibility to the region in which we are inserted and we are aware of the negative impact of mass tourism in a natural park like Serra da Estrela, with a rich and very pure ecosystem. Ethical and transparent management (from the accounts to the relationship with workers and partners) enables healthy business links to be established in which everyone wins, namely our partners, shops, restaurants, shepherds and local producers. It also allows us to give back to the community at least a little of the much that it gives us.
Casa Cerro da Correia maintains a close relationship with nature. It was built in the middle of a forest of pines, oaks and chestnut trees, has a garden with native plants and a garden for growing fruit and vegetables typical of mountain farming, where no chemical synthesis products are used. We decided from the beginning to implement various measures in this spirit, such as the use of solar energy whenever possible, reduction of consumption and waste,. Below we reveal many of our choices, made to protect the environment and reduce our footprint.
Our goal is to create a balanced ecosystem, to refuse the use of invasive species, to reduce water consumption and to enhance food for insects and birds in the region. To do this, when we started to draw the garden, we kept the varieties that were already there like carqueja (Pterospartum tridentatum), rosmaninho (Lavandula stoechas), giesta amarela (Spartium junceum), sargaços (Sargassum) and other wild plants. All the plants or trees that have been put there are species that exist in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, such as medronheiro (arbutus unedo), rosemary, juniper, holly, lavender, alecrim (rosmarinus officinalis) or cardo leiteiro (milk thistle).
Reduction of consumption
Instead of buying new furniture to decorate the accommodationwe decided to look for furniture that belonged to our family (that already had been part of the decoration of the house or of the same era). Alsowe try not to waste food and we encourage our guests to do the same. The remains of fruits and vegetables are placed in a special container, a composter, for the worms to turn them into compost that will be used as fertilizer in the garden. Amenities (shampoo, shower gel ...) offered to guests are now available in dispensers. We stop buying the miniature jars to reduce product waste and the amount of packages.
The decision to cut the pine forest of Casa Cerro da Correia, to reduce the risk of forest fire, paved the way for the creation of a new forest with only native species. This project, started in 2018, is slow (it advances to the rhythm of the trees and not of the man), but rewarding. We planted negral oak, holm oaks, arbutus, yew trees, azereiros (prunus lusitanica), weavers and laurels. In this way, we exchanged resinous for hardwood. In parallel, we protect the shoots that are born spontaneously in our lands.
of forest fire
One of the interventions to achieve this was the installation of solar energy at Casa Cerro da Correia. We also use economic light bulbs andrechargeable batteries in every electrical device. We buy as many low power consumption appliances as possiblewe placed outdoor solar charging lighting.