At MoaAlm we strive to make as little impact on the environment as possible. Read on for a few of the measures we take to minimise our footprint on this beautiful planet:
Our boiler system for the central heating is extremely efficient, using only sustainable wooden pellets as fuel and producing very little waste. The thickly insulated walls, newly installed loft insulation and triple-glazed windows in most of the house ensure that we don’t even need the radiators on all the time during the winter months to stay warm and cosy! We encourage guests to be conscious about how they use the lighting and heating in their rooms, and to turn off lights and heating when they head out for their daily adventures.
Our hot water is heated primarily by our solar panels. Only when there are a lot of consecutive grey or rainy days do we need to rely on the boiler system as a back-up.
There is nothing better than having a relaxing soak in our hot tub... especially as we avoid the use of chlorine and other chemicals, and keep it clean through a natural salt cleaning system. We use Epsom Salts and Dead Sea salt, full of magnesium and especially beneficial for tired legs at the end of a long day of hiking in the Austrian Alps. The hot tub is log-fired, so is only heated by burning sustainable firewood that we source from one of the farmers in the local village. It takes us a few hours to light and heat the hot tub, but it’s always worth the wait, and somehow much more satisfying than just switching on a button!
The growing season is very short up here at MoaAlm as we are at 1800 metre altitude, but our hiking guide Martin is also very handy in the garden, and has managed to grow a bountiful garden of fresh herbs, chard and lettuce to supplement our tea obsession and provide some of our daily greens. We cook with organic and locally-sourced food where possible. Likewise, we try to get all our other supplies from nearby, independent businesses. You can read more about our food sources on our recent blog, Good Food.
We have our own water supply that comes to us directly from a natural spring the mountain side. This means that we don’t have to worry about transporting water up to MoaAlm through a pump system or by vehicle... it also tastes incredible, as it comes directly from Grossglockner Glacier and is filtered by nature! Our guests often say it’s the purest water they ever tasted.
We are lucky that there is a fantastic recycling service provided by our local community. We make the most of this service to reduce the amount of landfill that we produce and also try to limit our use of single-use plastics on a day-to-day basis, using glass jars and buying ingredients in bulk. Upstairs in the guest living area we provide a mini recycling station, and we have this in every main area of the house to streamline the recycling and reusing process. We have a large composting system outside for food waste, but in general not much food goes to waste around here… it’s too tasty!
Cleaning Products, Bed Linen & Towels
We do all of our own cleaning and washing of bed linen and towels. We try to minimise our use of harsh detergents and chemicals in the cleaning process and where we do have to use them, we choose washing detergents that are ecologically friendly. We dry most of our laundry on the washing line outside in the sunshine during the summer season, and our yoga room doubles as a drying room in the winter months. Guests are encouraged to use the same towel for the duration of their stay to help us reduce the number of washing loads that we put on!
We believe that if we can all take baby steps to a more sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle within the realms of daily life - such as reusing our towels and napkins, air drying linen, reusing and recycling, we can reduce our impact on the natural environment we love so much, and in doing so, improve our quality of life and health here at MoaAlm. We’re always looking for ways to make our lifestyle and business more eco-conscious, so if you have any tips for us, get in touch.
At MoaAlm we strive to make as little impact on the environment as possible. We’ve taken the time to write about where our food comes from... we hope you’re not hungry!
Food is a huge part of the MoaAlm experience and something we pride ourselves on - our ability to create wholesome (and delicious) vegetarian meals unlike anything else in this region... and to do it by sourcing ingredients from local or Austrian, organic suppliers.
One of our favourite entrees this summer by chef Kirsty has been organic beetroot with goats cheese, roasted hazelnuts and rocket from the garden. The goat’s cheese we use is sourced from our local mountain goat farm, Figerhof, just a five minute drive from MoaAlm. We order from them based on demand, and love that we know exactly where it’s coming from!
In the theme of dairy products (a staple in Austrian cuisine), most of our milk and cheese comes from Tirol Milch, an Austrian owned company who take a lot of pride in sourcing the best dairy products in Tirol from a variety of farmers. The milk collection service in Tirol is unique and incomparable with any other Austrian province in the complexity of its structure. There are almost 2000 places throughout the province where Tirolean farmers gather fresh milk and provide it for daily collection. Alpine pastures, farms and local collection points are where Tirol Milch milk tanker drivers pick up the best raw material for delivery to the dairy. We feel good about serving dairy products to our guests that come from Austrian farms and family-owned businesses.
The majority of our fruit and vegetables comes from a company called BioGast, Austria’s largest specialist wholesaler of controlled organic food. We receive a delivery every week with certified organic fresh fruit and vegetables - some from Austria, some from further afield in Europe and some from overseas... but where possible, we choose fruits and vegetables that are in season and that don’t need to travel too far to our plates (and our bellies!). Eating with the seasons helps us to stay connected to our environment, eat the freshest foods, and know that we are receiving the nutrients we need based on the weather and time of year. We see and feel the change of seasons so vividly here at MoaAlm, surrounded by the mountains, the national park and farming community; so to eat in alignment with mother nature is important to us, and therefore also our guests!
This summer our hiking guide, Martin, has revealed a passion for gardening and a “green thumb”, managing to grow some incredible greenery at the challenging altitude of 1800 metres above sea level. With a lot of love and patience, Martin has created a small bed of greens which supply us with salad greens for evening meals, including chard, rocket, lettuce leaves and several varieties of mint for desserts and fresh mint tea.
In winter time these plants will most likely go into hibernation under a metre of snow, hopefully to re-emerge next spring when the weather starts to warm up. There’s something very satisfying about making tea with herbs from your own garden!
The majority of our spices and all of our tea comes from an inspiring organic Austrian company called Sonnentor. We love their philosophy;
“we firmly believe that the best recipes for a beautiful and long life are in nature. We work for that. We live on it. And we believe that organic agriculture is the only alternative to the consequences of monoculture and overproduction. The cycle, the always recurring, the constantly renewing life is our basic principle. Just as life and life, mutual recognition and appreciation for a long-term togetherness are essential. Everything has to be in balance for the joy to grow.”
A philosophy we agree with wholeheartedly... and an independent company we are happy to support! Enjoy the Sonnentor spices in our evening meals, and their tea range all day long - we have a tea station upstairs on the guest accommodation floor, and tea is always available to our guests at the bar in the living room for some post-yoga or post-hike refreshment!
Watch the sun rise from behind the mountains, either during an early morning yoga session, or getting ready for a hike.
There are so many activities to do that aren’t just skiing when surrounded by snow, sun and a unique range of peaks and slopes.
These are the winter activities you must try that are not skiing…
Tour in Snowshoes
Regardless of experience, strap on some snowshoes and take a walk around the beautiful Austrian Alps that surround us.
With views that’ll take your breath away whilst walking through the vast mountain range, no ski lifts, just admiring the natural unspoilt beauty.
It doesn’t matter how young or experienced you are, every walk will reveal something unique and memorable. We have people of all ages eager to put on snowshoes, eager to see what else new they can see and explore.
Get Your Hiking Boots On!
If snowshoes aren’t your thing, you can always go hiking; heading along the multitude of footpaths available in the Hohe Tauern National Park, going solo or with a group.
It all depends on what you want to do and when… if there is a day when you feel like chilling out, there is always the option of just taking in the local sights and sounds whilst relaxing in one of the village bars with a nice, warming cup of Gluhwein!
Cross Country Skiing
If a hike isn’t the path you want to choose, there’s always cross-country skiing.
Spoilt for choice with kilometres worth of trails, both for beginners and for advanced visitors, you can see the peaks and ranges while gliding across the snow... There are no lines, no lifts, and no stress!
Whilst travelling around you’ll come across a plethora of local sights and interests around every corner, all unique and memorable… and when it comes to the local food, totally delicious!
We love to share these experiences with you and is what makes our job so rewarding - and with us to take care of you, what makes your holiday with us so ‘relaxingly active’ for you.
Beat Your Friends on the Toboggan!
If you want to pick up the pace and feel the wind in your face, take a Rodel (the local term for a toboggan) and speed down the Rodel Track from MoaAlm.
Don’t worry about getting back to the top of the hill again if you don’t feel like hiking up… we will bring you back up to MoaAlm in our Land Rover, and provide you with a nice slice of cake and a hot drink to welcome you back!
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are with skis, or how old you feel, you can still toboggan your way down, laughing all the way.
Something that the whole family can always get behind.
The following blog post was written for us by one of the lovely guests who attended a special 'Yoga & Ayurveda Detox' retreat that we held last January... she had so many lovely things to say about her time at MoaAlm that we just couldn't resist sharing her thoughts with you. Read on to get a first hand account of time spent at MoaAlm during this special week!
I visited MoaAlm in January 2017 for the Yoga & Ayurveda detox week, and it was not only an amazingly relaxing week, but it changed the course of 2017 for me and started me on a life-altering journey. Here’s my story…
At the end of 2016, I found myself in a pretty stressful state. Both my work and personal life were so stressful it was beginning to impact my health and well-being. I felt tired all the time, my skin was looking dull, I wasn’t sleeping properly, and I wasn’t exercising enough or eating healthily.
In an effort to reduce my stress I had recently taken an interest in yoga and what started out as just a gentle form of exercise turned into something I was beginning to take very seriously. I had started to understand how yoga can make you feel and the impact it can have on your life. I had heard of yoga retreats but never been on one, and I wondered: could a yoga retreat be a solution to my problems? I found a site dedicated to yoga retreats (BookYogaRetreats.com) and came across MoaAlm and found that they were having a yoga and Ayurveda retreat in just a few months’ time. Yoga coupled with healthy eating seemed ideal. I booked it almost immediately.
This winter at MoaAlm has been one of the best for years, in terms of snowfall and conditions for skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing... so after six months of snow we are now very excited about the prospect of springtime!
Here in the mountains we feel the transition of seasons more intensely. The way we spend our time is determined by the weather and the generosity of Mother Nature. The days are slowly becoming warm enough to sit outside in a t-shirt, guests return home from their day of activities with rosy cheeks and a sun-kissed glow, the sound of birds in the trees is ever-present and the slow reveal of solid ground as the snow melts shows signs of the summer to come. The trickling sound of snow melting back into water in the heat of the day is a little like our own personal water feature, and with the transition into daylight savings time here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are longer meaning we spend more time outside, whether being active or relaxing! It's a time of rebirth and renewal for nature and for ourselves.