12 ways to live a sustainable lifestyle in France

12 ways to live a sustainable lifestyle in France

Laura Havard and her family run an eco-friendly B&B in Tarn-et-Garonne. She shares 12 tips for those who want to live a sustainable life in France, from recycling to drinking organic wine

• Reuse everything you can at home. It’s the most effective way to recycle.

• Have a vegetable patch and keep a few chickens to recycle any meat-free food waste; you’ll get eggs in return.

• If you don’t grow it yourself, shop at markets to support local producers and cut down on air miles.

• Bottle surplus fruit and vegetables for the winter months; done correctly it will last for years.

• Home-made jams and chutneys are a splendid addition to any table. They’re a great way to use surplus produce, or you can buy local produce cheaply when there’s a glut and transform it.

• France is blessed with recycling bins; use them properly.

• Homeless charity Emmaüs will collect unwanted furniture or white goods and recycle them. They are also a great place to buy second-hand; they sell everything from clothes to furniture.

• Save water and build a compost loo. We have one for family use, and flush toilets for guests.

• Read the power ratings on everything you buy and search for energy-efficient items. Our fridge is 19 watts and our guest hairdryers only 535 watts. Use low-energy or LED light bulbs.

• Buy organic wine with corks made of real cork not plastic.

• Never buy plastic garden furniture; it’s an eco disaster. Buy wooden with an FSC label so it’s from sustainably managed forests.

• Recycle, reclaim, reuse, and think green. It doesn’t take long before it becomes a sustainable way of thinking.

Laura runs an eco-friendly B&B in Tarn-et-Garonne with her family. Read about how they transformed a hunter’s cabin in the woods into their chambres d’hôtes

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