Ecology in Crete

Anoula’s travel notebook.

For a green and clean tourism
It’s not very nice to find plastic bottles or other non-biodegradable waste while you’re walking, or around a dreaming beach.

When you go for a walk, do it environmentally friendly with a bag which you can fill with some waste found on your way, they will be willing to join other waste in a bin. Cleanliness is not just a State business, but it is all of us business…

About Alternative Energy such as wind or solar energies, the Island of Crete is quite in advance comparing to many European countries.

Indeed, the majority of Greek household is equiped with solar panels.
Concerning wind energy, it exists large windfarms near Sitia, at the East and South of the Island.
Of course, it is always possible to critizice the aesthetic aspect of these mastodons, but it is nothing comparing to a nuclear power plant… As to their sound level, the wind turbines are situated so far from houses that, only if they decide to build houses near them (it would be a shame!), they don’t disturb anybody.

Panneaux solaires à Sitia en Crète
Solar Panels in Sitia, Crete.

Crete is one step ahead when it’s a question of alternative energies, due to its isolation and because of the economic advantages of such renewable energies.
I just regret that the population doesn’t react more against everyday pollution: they don’t recycle, and they empty their family bin in bigger green waste containers which remain open all day long which pleases the cats and also the wind.
In many places on the island, it is hard to see the charming landscape just because it is covered with waste! Not to mention the numerous waste fields…but Crete is not the only one to have such a problem…

Crete is also the victim of its success: modern buildings are its sad reality. Houses are built all-out just for the comfort of the tourists to the detriment of the environment, there are buildings almost on the beaches and on the coasts which should be classified “Natural Heritage”.

To tell you a story, a 30-year-old Cretan friend told me that when he was a child, Hersonissos, a small town near Heraklion, was a village, just a trail crossed it, it was rich of its heritage and its traditions.
Today, Hersonissos looks like what I think a part of Ibiza is: full of night clubs, luxurious hotels which almost forbide you the access to the beach, fast-food restaurants, tar and a long endless alley of buildings (be careful, when I’m talking about buildings, they are Cretan buildings with 5-6 floors maximum).
I’m not refusing modernity when this one is reasonable and it doesn’t deteriorate the Heritage of Mankind.
If you go to Hersonissos, you will probably pass by an elderly woman or man, wearing black clothes from top to bottom, sitting on their frontdoor and watching, without any surprise in their eyes, some bimbos tourists wearing pink shorties and colourful glasses, who are walking by them without seeing them.
Just the Cretan bimbo will have a look at my two elderlies, because Cretan people take care of their elderly people, even if their universe is completely different!

Keep your waste with you when you go walking, rambling, hiking, don’t be part of these people who don’t respect the environment on this planet.
Prefer small family hotels where it is quieter and you will be more welcomed than anywhere else.