SLOW LIFE with Alice at Mas de l’Amarine

“Respect the history that you have inherited and create a way to sustainably pass it on to future generations.

In France, food waste is quite a big issue and even though the government is taking steps to curb it, there is quite a long way to go. Every year 10 million tons of food is either lost or wasted in the country, costing the French 16 billion euros per year. The negative impact on the environment is also shocking. This food waste emits 15.3 million tonnes of CO2, which represents 3% of the country’s total CO2 emission. (source: French Environment & Energy Management Agency)

Then there are people like Alice, who have taken it upon themselves to ACT now and do what is best for the community.

Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Alice, in her kitchen, at Mas de l’Amarine

Alice Monnier, an entrepreneur, chef, sustainable innovator, runs a creative and refined hideaway, Mas de l’Amarine. It is an artistic property, right in the heart of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, for refined travelers seeking atypical experiences. Alice runs it as a perfect representation of a circular economy and encouraging local upliftment in one’s capacity. Her philosophy of SLOW LIFE is a business model for all of us to replicate.

Saurabh Gupta, Founder at Earth5R, had the pleasure of talking to Alice about her philosophy and Mas de l’Amarine, while she went about her busy day.

Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

View of the property- Mas de l’Amarine

Tell us something about yourself and this beautiful resort situated in the heart of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence?

Hello, I am Alice. I have a chance to live here and run this place called Mas de l’Amarine. My husband, Bernard, and I took over this place in 2010. It is a beautiful property. It used to be a farm. In the 1950s, there was a famous artist who did the floor and it has been a piece of art ever since. 

How was the transformation process?

After taking charge, we wanted to respect this property. We decided to preserve its artistic history for the guests visiting us. We wanted to welcome them to a completely different experience.

Bernard Coloma Alice Monnier Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

  Co-founders of Mas de l’Amarine -Alice and her husband, Bernard Coloma

What was your philosophy behind Mas de l’Amarine’s establishment?

We have a special philosophy- SLOW LIFE. It stands for Sustainability- Local- Organic- Wellness  Luxe- Inspiring- Fun- Experiences. It supports the global vision of sustainability, endurement, people and economy surrounding us. We share this philosophy with the local community and the guests who visit us. It works quite well.

According to you what is sustainability and how are you incorporating it for local upliftment?

For me, sustainability is the inheritance and collaboration of artistic energy. I believe that I am here, only to sustain and deliver this energy to future generations.

At Mas de l’Amarine, we act as curators for local artists who work with ceramics, iron, painting, etc. Some of them are quite famous and as for the rest, we encourage their passion to realize their dream someday. We have an art gallery for them to present their work and collaborate with people globally.

Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

A healthy lifestyle is the essence of Mas de l’Amarine

Food is a major component of any resort. Tell us about organic farming, your cooking skills and how do you deal with food waste?

We collaborate with different farmers and producers in our region. Food is best when it is fresh and local. We have the luxury to live here because the climate and the soil give us fantastic organic produce and products. We visit the farmers and interact with them to know more about organically produced products. Community building is very important to us.

We are a team of enthusiastic and innovative girls. Together we ideate, pitch-in new ideas and transform food into art. Personally, I use a lot of spices and try creating new dishes with traditional recipes.

All the food waste goes to the compost pit, which in turn goes back to the soil. We need to create a cycle.

Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

 Mas de l’Amarine is very close to nature and art in everything it does

Can you explain the idea of making Christmas trees and decorations with organic materials?

Again, it is a question of zero waste. It is that time of the year when we clean the olive trees. I reuse the branches and leaves to do my Christmas decorations. Where we are, we don’t have conifers growing in nature. It is all about respecting nature and not killing trees for tradition. We decorate the Christmas tree with dry oranges which serve as organic Christmas decorations. I put more emotions and intention into creating it, and it’s unique. We should all stop using plastic trees and decorations. We should respect traditions and nature at the same time.

Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Alice, making Christmas tree out of dried olive branches and leaves

Any message for the readers who aspire to be sustainable entrepreneurs just like you?

To anyone reading this, I would tell them to be creative and find new ways to redo the same task keeping nature, people and sustainability in mind. We need to give back to the community and build it together. Respect the history that you have inherited and created a way to sustainably pass it on to future generations.

Globally, about 25% of all food that passes through hotel kitchens is thrown out as waste. It is a shocking figure. This makes it really important that we have more people like Alice, who inspires all of us to live in harmony with our community and nature. Truly, Real Heroes are people who ACT. Earth5R’s Global Sustainability Hub greatly appreciates her passion and work. We believe that such sustainability-based business models drive economic changes and create social and environmental impact.

Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Mas de l’Amarine- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Locally sourced, delicious food at Mas de l’Amarine

Earth5R’s Global Sustainability Hub is a cross-sector and cross-country collaboration in pursuit of UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is an excellent opportunity for governments and the private sector to engage with communities, use Sustainability-based models to drive economic changes and create social and environmental impact. The project brings experts and experiences of multiple sectors together which drives collective learning. Under this project, we work with policymakers, scientists, entrepreneurs and various other types of leaders and take them to grass root levels to understand ground realities for better decisions, policy-making, and innovations. 

-Reported and edited by Nisha Nair, Shriyam Jalan 

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