To calculate the environmental footprint of Granara, we made a survey in October 2014. Here are the results of our research:
Granara produces about 20 MWh of solar electricity each year, which reduces CO2 emissions by about 10 tones.
In the measured period (October 2014) the village of Granara had 2 kWh of electricity consumption per person (inhabitants and visitors) per day, which is higher than average for households but only about 40 % of electricity consumption in average Italian hotel (based on ENEA 2009 report). The consumption in the measured period was quite high, as we were preparing the wood for winter and used electricity powered tools to avoid gas consumption, so normally, the usage of electricity would be even lower.
Even though the consumption in the measured period was high, the production still exceeded it by 230 %.
As we live in an area that is rich with forests, wood is the most sustainable heating option for us. For heating we use local wood we cut in our forest. We cut only the wood that overgrew the old paths we now try to bring back to life.
We use about 25 tones of wood each year. Because we do not use unsustainable heating sources such as heating oil, we avoid releasing 28 tones of CO2 from fossil fuels each year.
Because we have many houses to heat, we burn quite a lot of wood. To reduce heating fuel consumption per person is a challenge we would like to face in the future.
Due to daily or weekly migrations to work and school, the transport impact of people living in Granara is the biggest impact Granara has on the environment. We are trying to tackle this challenge with creating more jobs inside Granara and using low impact means of transportation such are car sharing and train.
On the other hand, the transport impact of our guests is normally very low. We encourage people to come to us using public transport or shared cars. Our guests would normally stay in Granara and occasionally do some trips to neighbor attractions which are easily accessible by train.
The last 20 km from train station to Granara is not covered by public transport. To solve this issue, we are working on an e-bikes project.
We try to produce our food and buy the rest locally - to preserve the environment and to support local economy. Currently we estimate that our food production accounts for 30 % of food we use, 30 % of food is produced locally and 40 % of our food comes from outside our region. 60 % food self-sufficiency is much higher than Italian average, but there is still space for improvements.
We eat and serve mostly vegetarian food, which substantially lowers Granara's impact on the environment.
Gas for cooking
We cook on gas stoves. The whole village of Granara uses about 100 cubic meters per year, which accounts for about 200 kg of CO2. Having a full-equipped kitchen to prepare meals together is one of the ways to reduce our gas consumption.
Inhabitants of Granara use about 20 % less water than average Italian, but the savings of our guests are even bigger. Guest in average conventional hotel uses about 750 liters of water per day. Our guests' water consumption is at least ten times lower.
We separate most of our waste. Currently we produce 28 kg of non-separated waste per person per year, which is much better than Italian average - 328 kg of mixed waste yearly.