Sustainable infrastructure & Consumer Practices

Islands face many challenges in terms of their sustainability. By nature, they are closed systems with limited resources, a fact which all of us, either residents or visitors, should always keep in mind. Particularly during pick tourist seasons, the islands operate way beyond their natural capacities: water, energy and waste management put a lot of pressure to the natural environment and, at times, even to the local communities that strive to achieve a balance that will work for permanent populations and visitors alike.

The Cyclades, as most of the Mediterranean arid islands, are characterized by limited surface water resources (a reality that is often combined with excess groundwater use that has led to depleted aquifers with increased salinity and to the use of energy- intensive desalination plants that produce water of high quality by filtering seawater through membrane systems). In parallel, energy production (often achieved through diesel generators where connections to mainland Greece are still pending) and solid waste management (with waste being collected and usually packed in order to be shipped elsewhere for processing), particularly during peak seasons, pose significant challenges to the infrastructure systems of the islands and to the fragile natural ecosystems.

Designing at overcapacity in order to respond to a touristic peak flow that is multiple times larger than the local population, is inefficient; even though such a choice may ensure that the visitor is happy, at the same the ‘seeming’ abundance gives the same visitor the wrong impression about the place that they visit. They will never learn, realize or appreciate the effort, smartness and wisdom of the past that made these communities self-sufficient and respectful of their surroundings.

We support initiatives that wish to demonstrate a model for local development that will be more in balance with the limited resources and managing capacities of the islands, proposing and implementing circular approaches. Efforts that seek to mainstream sustainable consumer practices and mild tourism, reducing our footprint, travelling off season, making smarter (and easy) choices, that will reduce pressures to the places that we love. Local groups that are trying to bridge the knowledge between islands – to inspire, to pilot, to improve – and between the user (visitor or
resident) and the public infrastructure that is available at each location: be it drinking water vs water for secondary uses, recycling vs general waste, or otherwise.

Sustainbility grants

  • Clean Green Andros

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  • EU financing Cyclades towards a sustainable future

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  • A greener race in Sifnos

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  • Initiating the CPF Islanders Forum

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  • Me and my plastic

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  • Clean Blue Paros

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  • Greening schools

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  • Fish Smarter: promoting fishing tourism

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  • A small scale, mobile recycling center for plastic

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  • Greening the Syros Aquathlon event!

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  • Recycle the Seas – Cyclades

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  • Cycladoupolis: environmental Education within a Museum-kit

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