Flatheim Norwegian Ecotourism

Our Sustainability Work

At Flatheim, we always strive to minimize our impact on the environment. We are committed to preserving nature and implementing measures that reduce consumption and wear. In 2019, we began the process of systematizing these efforts. Our goal was to make our actions and potential improvements more visible to ourselves and others, all in the pursuit of environmental stewardship. We were certified as a Norwegian Ecotourism company in January 2020. Despite achieving this certification, we did not rest on our laurels. Instead, we continually seek opportunities for improvement.

Some of our contributions are;

Reuse buildings and materials
We have relocated three buildings to our farmyard. The “Storehuset” was moved in 2013/2014 from a farm 6 km away from Flatheim. The house was completely dismantled, then rebuilt and restored at Flatheim. We reused as much as possible from the original structure. Additionally, we used high-quality materials from local suppliers to ensure longevity. We shoveled turf to the roof from nearby locations to avoid transportation. We relocated the “Neshuset” from the neighboring village, restored it, and adapted it into a guest house. The reception is a storehouse that we acquired from a man in Sunnmøre. The garden gazebo, or “Hagestova,” is made from the reused windows of the main house and floors from a house that was slated for demolition. The garage building has a reused roof and doors. The house in the garden has a reused roof. The fence around our garden is made from the reused floors and ceilings of demolished buildings. All slate roofs are made from reused slate from roofs that have been replaced in the villages around us. Most of our buildings use water-to-air heating from geothermal energy.


Reuse of furniture
Whenever possible, we also reuse furniture. We appreciate that these pieces carry history and authenticity. We aim to continue using fixtures that are still functional. Sometimes we combine them with new elements, but we strive to maintain a harmonious blend. We also value traditional crafts and items made by our family or others in our villages, either as decorations or for practical use.

Energy production
We have installed solar cells on the barn roof. These serve as a valuable supplement to our energy consumption during the sunniest seasons. Additionally, we have two wells that harness geothermal energy for heating water and buildings.

Own production of food and crops and local trade
We source fish, meat, vegetables, cider, honey, and other products from local suppliers. We also prioritize the use of organic products. During the winter, we maintain a flock of about 30 sheep. We use a portion of the sheep meat in our cooking. The remainder is delivered to Nortura, a cooperative owned by 17,000 farmers in Norway and the farmers’ own company.

Emissions and waste management
We use environmentally certified cleaning products and amenities throughout our entire facility. Of course, we sort our rubbish. We deliver glass and metal to recycling stations at Sunnfjord Miljøverk. Cardboard and plastic are also sorted separately. Our hens are extremely happy with the food waste. Residual waste is collected every week. We have also installed a new and upgraded sewage treatment plant on our property. As we have a private facility, this has been a significant financial investment for us.

Since we don’t have a bus service here, we are compelled to use our own car for essential errands. We have an electric car that we utilize as much as possible to reduce emissions.

Care of natural landscapes
As we have our own flock of sheep, they are, of course, also important for maintaining the cultural landscape. This landscape has been shaped through centuries of farming and co-existence with the nature around us. The sheep graze on the infield in the spring and autumn. In the summer, they are on mountain pastures. While they are on the mountain pasture, we let the infield grow and harvest the grass for winter fodder for the animals. In winter, the sheep are in the barn. We spread the fertilizer on the infield, which helps the grass grow better.

Other Resources
We send the skins from our sheep to be tanned and receive beautiful, warm skins in return. We deliver wool to Nortura, which then goes on to yarn and textile production. We aspire to deliver our wool to a spinning mill and get our own yarn from our own sheep on the farm.

Dissemination of local history and local values
Through our philosophy of reuse, we visually convey a lot of history, as we bring the old into the new era and strive to create an atmosphere where this interacts. We also enjoy telling stories about people, surroundings, and ways of life. This is often communicated orally, but we also have a number of small “stories” placed around Flatheim, as well as many books with historical content available in our peaceful house. We also convey a lot through our homepage. We are the 12th and 13th generations in a direct family line living on the farm. We are the 3rd and 4th generations to welcome guests. From 2024, we are proud members of “De Historiske hotell og spiesesteder” and hope this will help us achieve even stronger and clearer communication. The dissemination of history enhances the experience and strengthens the memory of Flatheim.