Full Green Ahead by Patricia Parinejad | 16th September, 2022 | Travel
Majorca and mass tourism – that is now the past. The largest of the Balearic Islands is becoming increasingly conscious of preserving a sustainable future. There is a strong eco movement devoted to a green Majorca. Conserving both local traditions and the abundance of wild, untouched natural beauty.
Some places cannot help but enchant. They earn a special place in our memory. One such place awaits at the heart of Majorca: „Osa Major“, a haven of sustainability. The self-sufficient finca estate, run by Brenda Ooteman and Roland Verbeek, is a revered destination for eco-conscious travellers.
“All our produce comes from our own organic garden, and from our chickens and bees,” says Brenda, chuckling as she harvests her pumpkins. “We also generate power from solar panels and offer filtered water in glass bottles.” Brenda and her husband Roland are from the Netherlands. Back in 2006 they bought the property with its fabulous views, and now offer yoga retreats here, serving detox shakes and vegan food. These sailing enthusiasts are part of a larger movement on the island. Majorca – perhaps best known for its sun worshippers and booming tourism industry – has embarked on an intense dialogue about nature conservation and sustainability.
The climate crisis and pandemic have intensified these new attitudes. An exciting eco movement is now steering the island away from mass tourism in a bid to preserve it’s sensational beauty. One example here is the Cleanwave Foundation. Founded by the Dane Line Hadsbjerg and German Philipp Baier, it started out as a reaction to plastic litter on Majorca, one of the biggest environmental problems and a potentially lethal threat to the delicate wildlife here. Cleanwave has since grown into a network of considerable size. There are drinking water stations with osmosis-filtered water all over the island, as well as reforestation initiatives for underwater forests out at sea, and even an educational programme for children. The shift in thinking on Majorca can be seen in real, tangible results: The distribution of plastic bags in shops was restricted in 2019, while the sale and use of disposable plastic has been banned since March 2021. Then there’s the Mallorca Preservation Foundation – co-founded by the conservationist Ben Goldsmith and steered with passion and commitment by the real estate expert Hans Lenz – which also makes a significant contribution to supporting environmental projects on the island.
Hidden away between vineyards and forests, the hotel „Es Racó d’Artà“ is another sustainable oasis of beauty. Carefully restored by two Majorcans, the resort is situated on 220 hectares of land near the Llevant Mallorquín Nature Reserve. A traditional country estate with lush vegetation outside, while the interiors are impressive for their simplicity, spirituality and silence. “We aimed to create a paired-down retreat that is filled with peace and serenity,” says the architect Toni Esteva.
María Solivellas’ restaurant „Ca na Toneta“ is at the forefront of Majorca’s slow food movement. “Sourcing all our ingredients from our own garden, I follow the rhythms of the seasons, and we serve rare, rediscovered vegetables to our guests.” Inspired by the culinary habits of her ancestors, María’s delicacies are full of exciting flavours and colours, and the restaurant has become a mecca for organic food aficionados.
Dos Alquemistas‚ organic teas, made from olive leaves, are also a source of strength and goodness. They are stripped from the branches by hand, then dried and processed into teas and drinkable spice blends. The founders Katja Wöhr and Kate de Vere reveal: “Thanks to their high antioxidant content, they are not only delicious but healthy as well.” The leaves are sourced from the olive grove at Son Moragues, one of the largest organic estates in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains.
A blueprint for living agriculture free of any pesticides or artificial fertilisers. For Majorcans and those who have moved to the island, the focus is shifting more and more to environmental concerns. Sustainable building is becoming increasing important as a result. The architecture firm Duo Sóller follow such eco principles. The founders Anke Scheideler and Roland Weber have lived and worked on the island for almost 20 years now. Their philosophy: improving energy efficiency in their houses, reducing waste, and promoting recycling. An attitude that reflects a way of life helping to protect and preserve the magnificent beauty of Majorca.