It is becoming increasingly important to travelers that they travel "green." So much so that even Google has begun filtering flights based on how environmentally friendly they are. Short-term rentals are no exception to this trend. As a result, a growing number of guests are searching for accommodations that practice sustainability. We've put together a list of easy changes hosts can implement in their listing to ensure that they have created an eco-friendly Airbnb.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today!

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Airbnb

1. Non-disposable utensils, plates & cups, etc. 

A cost-effective and straightforward way to cut down on your property's eco-footprint is to provide guests with nondisposable kitchen items such as utensils, cups, and plates. This simple replacement will help keep guests from overusing plastic that would otherwise end up in a landfill. 

2. Towels instead of paper napkins

Replace napkins and paper towels with actual towels. This switch will prevent the overuse of disposable towels and ultimately save you money. Cutting out paper napkins is expected to save hosts approximately $765 per year. 

3. Garbage disposal

Install a garbage disposal in your sink. This swap will lighten your trash load and is better for the environment than tossing leftover food into the garbage.

Garbage disposal will allow the food to drain into the water plant, convert it into natural fertilizer, and turn the methane into energy. This removal process is a natural way to dispose of food and aids in reducing pollution.  

4. Water filter

Providing a water filter for guests will discourage them from buying and throwing out many plastic water bottles. If you currently offer water bottles to guests in your welcome basket, making the switch to a water filter is estimated to save you about $865 in plastic water bottles per year.

Consider offering branded reusable water bottles in the welcome basket with a note about the filtered water in the fridge and your commitment to sustainability. These bottles can be available for guests to use during their day and then washed and re-used just like the other dishes. 

Upcycle furniture

Purchasing quality but recycled furniture is an excellent solution for furnishing your short-term rental. You can even consider refurbishing a piece of furniture to give it a facelift. Upcycling is not only a great return on investment for you but reduces that piece's carbon footprint. 

Believe it or not, furniture needs time to "off-gas." Off-gassing happens when a piece of furniture has recently been built. Then, over the next few weeks, the item releases toxic chemicals used during its creation. When you purchase a previously owned piece of furniture, that item has done most of if not all of its off-gassing. 

Investing in recycled furniture is better for the planet, your wallet, and your lungs. 

Smart tech

Purchasing smart lights and thermostats is an excellent way to reduce energy costs. With both options, you can control them remotely. For example, if a guest leaves a light on after check-out, you can remotely turn it off.

Likewise, a host can set heating and cooling minimums and maximums with a smart thermostat to ensure that the heating and cooling systems aren't overused. Plus,  smart tech items like locks are easily integrated with Host Tools! 

Provide disposal options

Guests are much more likely to recycle if the option is presented simply to them. Install separate disposal containers that are clearly marked as "landfill," "glass," "paper," and "plastic." This way, the guests can simply toss their trash in the appropriate bin, and your cleaning crew can take care of the rest. 

Replace lights with LED Bulbs

LED light bulbs are extremely energy-efficient, and can save hosts up to $150 a month on electricity bills. Compared to conventional light bulbs, they use up to 85% less energy without sacrificing the quality of their light. 

Cork floors

It might sound a little crazy, but the same materials as the cork in your wine bottle can be used as your home's floor. Corks is an incredibly sustainable and functional flooring option. Cork floors are hypo-allergenic and water-resistant. Plus, they are easy on your joints when walking around! 

Solar panels

One of the best ways to make your short-term rental eco-friendly is by installing solar panels. Energy generation is the leading cause of the planet's pollution, and solar panels can help combat your home's eco-footprint. Most solar panels are located on the ground outside your home, but Tesla is currently developing a solar tile that may soon make solar panels on roofs more accessible to all home sizes. 

Reusable containers

Rather than purchasing travel-sized plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner for each new guest (that will ultimately end up in the trash), use refillable dispensers. We like these wall-mounted ones. Buy these products in bulk, and have your cleaning crew refill these items when completing their cleaning checklist.

Pour-over coffee

Espresso machines and electric coffee makers use a lot of energy. Single-use coffee pods will end up in the trash. Swap these options out for an eco-friendly pour-over coffee maker or french press. Not only does it use less energy, but it will taste great!

Final Thoughts on an Eco-Friendly Airbnb

Be sure to include in your short-term rental listing how keeping an eco-friendly home is important to you. This will both attract guests who are looking to travel sustainably, and lead to more 5-star reviews. 

As you can see, creating a sustainable short-term rental does not have to be complicated. Plus, these small changes will financially benefit hosts in the long run. At the end of the day, the travel community needs to work together to promote and provide sustainable travel. By implementing these 12 steps, you will create an eco-friendly Airbnb that both guests and the planet will appreciate:

  • Use non-disposable utensils, plates, and cups
  • Choose towels instead of paper napkins
  • Install a garbage disposal
  • Buy a water filter
  • Choose upcycled furniture
  • Use Smart Tech
  • Provide disposal options
  • Use LED light bulbs
  • Consider cork floors
  • Invest in solar panels
  • Find reusable containers for toiletries
  • Swap the espresso machine for a pour-over

These simple switches will have your home set up to be an incredible eco-friendly short-term rental!

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today!

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