Our History

Living green!

A budding association

Elafonisos Eco started with a group of 21 friends from Elafonisos & different parts of the world aligned with Enrico who is the main founder of Elafonisos Eco. He is a native Italian who fell in love with Elafonisos Island at first sight some years ago. He didn’t only have the goal of building his dream house there, he was also compromised on preserving the only habitable Island of Peloponnesos and make it an eco-friendly paradise. This non-profit association of social utility was founded in 2013.

“We have worked hard and gone through many processes to achieve what Elafonisos Eco is today. But we still have a lot of work to do in order to achieve our goals. We do believe in team work and we need people’s help specially by the locals”

Enrico Toja

President

Why Elafonisos?

To deal with climate change, different sustainability projects are being carried out on islands around the world but not all the islands have already an eco-background.

Over the years, the association has set up an strategic plan focused on sustainable growth and there is a previous effort to deal with the climate change and promoting many sustainable initiatives in just 19 square kilometers that condenses a unique biodiversity an ideal number of dream beaches bathed by an amazing sea.

It is imperative to protect what mother Nature has given to Elafonisos!

Missions

Protect the unique nature, environment and arqueological sites of Elafonisos while satisfying the need of visitors, touristic infrastructure and hosting community.

Fulfill the needs of the Elafonisos people and visitors without compromising the future generations. Ensure a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being.

Connect the municipality with the sponsors, the locals but also with the tourists and make Elafonisos a point of interest as a landmark of sustainability.

Goals

Sustainable development balances economic, environmental and social concerns. Our main objective is to develop sustainable tourism on the island.

Protect the island’s flora and fauna on land and at sea, to preserve this corner of paradise.

Seasonalize visits.

Extend the average length of stay for visitors.

To become the most sustainable tourist destination in the Mediterranean.

Values

Transformation:

Elafonisos Eco aims to raise awareness and educate local people about social and environmental issues, with a view to encouraging them to adopt sustainable behaviors. It encourages individuals to participate actively and promotes sustainable economic models. It supports initiatives that strengthen the local economy while respecting ecological principles. Elafonisos Eco implements actions in favor of environmental protection and collective well-being.

Carefulness:

The association is involved in prevention. It’s essential to be vigilant about environmental changes. To this end, it takes responsibility for its actions and promotes this mindset to local people. Elafonisos Eco educates and raises awareness of practices that help preserve the island’s resources and biodiversity. It communicates transparently and acts thoughtfully and responsibly to protect the environment.

kindness & Consciousness:

The “kindness & consciousness” values guide the organization in its actions and interactions. It’s about showing respect and compassion for people and nature. In this way, collaboration and support enable positive innovation. Being conscious means raising awareness and educating, being responsible and making well-considered decisions to minimize our ecological footprint. It means being committed and proactive over the long term.

Members

In October 2023, there are 164 lovers of Elafonisos from many European countries like Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, Monaco, Germany, Spain, but also from Colombia, United Kingdom & United States.

We are all actors with a main role : Municipality, the Org, the locals and the tourists but also a team building staff by the sponsors. We are all going to be active and we will do a follow up of our processes and actions.

Enrico Toja

President

Zana Kontomanoli

Waste and plastics Project Manager

Lucia Teppati

Travel advisor

Kostas Miras

Treasurer

Katerina Kokkinaki

Green marketing & Project Manager

Matteo Accattino

IT Specialist

Chantal Benvenisty

Executive assistant

Volunteers

Elafonisos Eco is an association with a European reach. It attracts volunteers from all over Europe and offers a wide range of opportunities.

Every year, the association welcomes a large number of interns who come to work on their year-end dissertations. These interns are involved in environmental preservation and can contribute to the association’s various projects. They help the association to develop its projects while improving their skills.

The scoots come in groups to Elafonisos to preserve the island and take action on environmental issues. Their commitment is remarkable and commendable, and their help is invaluable. They are behind numerous actions such as beach clean-ups, composting, etc.

Projects

The association’s strategic plan is based on the 4 elements of life. They are the foundations of life as we know it. In order to survive, we rely on the earth and the soil, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the heat of the sun that keeps us warm.

Earth

  • Planting trees: we bring trees for the eco system of the environment there
  • Reduce plastic and waste: we create bins that make people aware about waste and we give tips to the camping site but also the hotels around to manage the waste in a better way.
  • Bags: We want to use old fabrics to create reusable bags and reduce the island’s plastic bag consumption.

Water

  • Water availability and quality: we brought drinking water to citizens and visitors by providing a water kiosk.
  • Lion fish: we want to regulate the population of this invasive species by improving its image among locals.
  • Posidonia: we want to protect biodiversity.

Air

  • Wooden Electric Bikes going around the island for advertising and transportation, traditional bikes, but also cargo bikes.

Fire

  • Solar panels for local businesses to produce energy for the municipality.
  • 1000 small solar panels for the beach umbrellas and camping tents so the people can charge their phones or small devices.