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Hotel Gavarni: Green Panache in Paris

Hotel Gavarni joins a handful of  hotels that have embraced the Green movement in Paris. They are doing their part to clean up the urban jungle by providing more environmentally friendly places for visitors to rest their heads.

Paris is paradise for walking aficionados. The streets are full of cafes from which to people watch and, of course,  incredible architecture abounds. Many inviting little shops and galleries cover the tree lined streets and the hours can easily fly by when exploring the city on foot. Whenever you can, opt to stroll during your visit to Paris, you’ll see the city in a much more intimate way, Eiffel Towerstumbling by chance into nooks you would have otherwise missed. This is how I stumbled onto this eco hotel gem.

Hotel Gavarni is located just a few minutes from the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero area at the Passy metro stop. It’s very charming, quaint and although it’s listed as a 3 star hotel, it has 5 eco stars and rooms that are quite comfortable and luxurious. Some of the rooms have views of the Eiffel tower. The hotel is part of a city ecotourism project of sustainable development and environment protection. The hotel is 100% carbon balanced, and it features 100% renewable energy, 100% eco-friendly detergents, and an organic and fair trade breakfast. They hold a strong commitment to sustainability which has allowed them to become the first independent hotel in Paris to be awarded the European Eco lable. This label is awarded to businesses for their eco-friendly efforts, but it doesn’t come easy. In order to be eligible for the label, businesses must meet 84 strict ecological criteria.

Hotel_Gavarni_ParisHotel Gavarni manager, Xavier Moraga, a fervent ecologist, worked tirelessly to upgrade the 100-year hotel to meet the eco-label standards, adding pressure regulators for showers, double-glazed windows, and increased energy efficiency. The Gavarni’s electricity derives from 100% renewable energy, and the bath products are guaranteed 100% natural. As in all well run eco hotels, the staff is the biggest part of maintaining the eco vibe of the hotel. The hotel offers environmental training for employees, and when the hotel was being renovated, part of the old furniture, blankets and bedcovers were given to charity. Old appliances and supplies were replaced systematically with green-friendly equipment. The hotel offsets their carbon emissions 100% and they support environmental NGO “Action Carbone”. Moreover, the hotel’s stationery is printed on recycled and FSC paper with green ink. Even trash bags are made out of potato starch rather than plastic and there are eco-action signs in all rooms. All employees come to work on public transportation or their own bicycles. They encourage guests to use the metro, the Vélib (public bicycle rental program) or just walk to discover the city. Also, the hotel offers the services of  Taxis-Bleus, a green hybrid taxi service.

eco tourHotel Gavarni is very proud of their achievements to date and they have recently started offering tours by ParisChicShopping. The Paris eco chic shopping tour is conducted  by public transport or walking to reduce your carbon footprint on the environment. On this tour you will discover eco clothing stores, accessories and green cosmetics. A detour to the organic markets is also planned, where one can sample organic food and wines. This tour is a must for shoppers with a green soul.

balloonIt seems that Paris is going greener every day. There is even a tethered hot-air balloon that indicates real-time air pollution levels using a color-coding system that can be seen from up to 20km (12.4 miles). It’s located in the 15th arrondissement.  Visitors can travel 150m into the air to take in 360° panoramic views of Paris. Powered by an eco-friendly hydroelectric winch and 6,000 m3 of helium, the balloon can transport up to 30 people at a time.  Recently, the French have become famous for their crusade against genetically modified food, and it seems that the French have decided to pursue an organic lifestyle with panache and style. There are plenty of ways to make your next April in Paris a green one !

Written by Carla Scott, for EuropeUpClose

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