To Pool or not to Pool

A lot of people have asked us why when we have gone to the trouble of buying an Italian holiday home we didn’t go the whole hog and do the land & pool thing.    It’s very simple. Primarily we wanted to a holiday home where we would feel that we were immersed in a culture rather than sitting on the side of it, to do that it meant living within a village rather than outside it.
Our other big issue was that Italy is the world’s largest net importer of electricity, in 2005 just 5.2% was from renewable energy sources, 10% of it was nuclear, that other 85% comes from coal fired power stations so the installation & maintenance of your pool does nothing to help cut down on emissions on this front!  With the sea just a short drive away and with 12 Blue Flag beaches at our fingertips why not exploit this fantastic solar heated venue that  has its own naturally occurring pump – the tides and which doesn’t require electricity or chemicals to keep its water fresh.

Pools do eat water mainly by evaporation – an uncovered pool with dimensions of 18 feet x 36 feet can lose around 7,000 gallons of water a year just through evaporation depending on where you live. To put that into perspective, that’s enough drinking water to sustain a human for 29 years in the glorious Gran Sasso Mountains of Abruzzo and imagine what a drain that is on the local nature reserve life together with the farmers.

Chlorine as everyone knows turns your hair green but do you also know that a recent study drew a link between chlorinated pools and asthma in children!  Draining pools and discharging backwash can cause problems to natural waterways if it isn’t done correctly and evaporative pool chemicals contribute to the production of greenhouse gases!

A little ‘Italian holiday home’ of your own or for rent automatically entails a greater carbon footprint by getting there in the first place, for most people by air, so perhaps a little prudence could be given by holiday home owners regarding this fact and show how they can actually help sustain local resources rather than pillage them to ‘live the dream’.

NB:  If the idea of not having a pool is completely abhorrent at least read the Practical Environmentalist’s Tips on how to have an eco-friendly pool!

Roddy Newlands
Author: Roddy Newlands

Roddy Newlands is an Associate Member of Life In Abruzzo, as well as antique book dealer and web and graphic designer. Abruzzo allows him to get his mountain-air fix, & satisfy his passion for pasta & panettone.

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