Now more than ever, travellers are aware of the importance of reducing their carbon footprint and choosing more sustainable ways of travelling. Cave houses, earthships and tiny homes have become increasingly popular with environmentally conscious travellers who are opting for Airbnb accommodation over traditional hotels because they want to use less water, generate less waste, and consume less energy while they are away from home. These kinds of travellers also prefer to stay in holiday lets where eco cleaning products are used.
Sixty-six percent of Airbnb guests surveyed in 2017 said that the environmental benefits of home sharing were important in their choice to stay at an Airbnb and 88 percent of Airbnb hosts around the world now incorporate green practices, such as using green cleaning products, providing recycling or composting, and encouraging guests to use public transportation. Green cleaning practices not only contribute to addressing climate change, but also offer guests a healthier environment to spend their time in.
Top 5 eco cleaning tips:
1. Remove harmful products
Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to humans and the environment including chlorine (found in toilet cleaners), sodium hydroxide (found in drain cleaners), microplastics (found in shower gels) and triclosan (found in dishwashing detergent). Avoid using these products in your home if you want to create an eco-friendly space.
2. Choose ‘green’ packaging
Most supermarket products – from toilet roll to sugar – are packaged in plastic. When it comes to stocking up on supplies for your Airbnb, try to buy products that have environmentally friendly wrapping or can be easily recycled. Even better, choose a brand like Who Gives A Crap which makes toilet paper out of 100% recycled materials, wrapped in funky coloured paper, and gives 50% of their profits to charity. Avoid items that come in non-recyclable plastic bottles or packets. Also, consider leaving reusable shopping bags for your guests so that they don’t have to resort to plastic bags when they buy their groceries.
3. Opt for natural, non-toxic products
Check the information about ingredients on the back of bottles before buying products and avoid those that contain the ingredients mentioned above. Different countries have different ways of labelling products to indicate that they are kind to the planet, including words and symbols such as Green, Natural, Organic, Environmentally Friendly and Vegan. Educate yourself about the labelling in your country so you can make informed decisions about safe, eco-friendly brands.
4. Make your own cleaning products
There are cheap, everyday items in your pantry such as baking soda and vinegar that work as very effective cleaners. If you do some Googling you’ll find all sorts of tips online about creating safe cleaning products for your Airbnb – from essential oil air fresheners to alcohol-based window cleaning sprays.
5. Outsource cleaning services
In cities like London, Dubai and Hong Kong there are now many cleaning companies that specialise in using 100% environmentally friendly products. If you’re confused about what products are best and don’t have time to make your own green cleaning supplies, why not outsource your cleaning duties to a trustworthy company? Always check references and ask for a list of the cleaning products that the contractor plans to use in your home.
Cleaning tips for new hosts
If you do decide to swap your standard supermarket products for eco alternatives, you need to remember that guests will still expect the same level of cleanliness when they check-in. It might take some time to get used to your new products, and how best to clean surfaces, so be sure to test them out in your own space first. For more information about making your place spotless, check out our top cleaning tips. Also make sure you create a checklist of things that need to be cleaned and replaced before your next guest arrives.
What to charge: Airbnb cleaning fee
If you’re going to the effort of using 100% eco-friendly cleaning products or hiring a green cleaning contractor, make sure that you incorporate those costs into your cleaning fee. In general, environmentally conscious guests won’t mind paying more for cleaning if they are guaranteed a space that is chemical-free.
Don’t forget to mention it
Be sure to mention your green status in your property listing. Many hosts will change the title of their Airbnb to incorporate words such as ‘chemical-free’ or ‘eco-friendly’ to attract environmentally aware travellers but be careful not to call yourself something that you are not.
Are you ready to embrace the eco age?
If you’re a time-poor host who is keen to do more for the planet by creating an eco-friendly Airbnb, why not consider hiring an Airbnb management company to help? GuestReady has staff who can advise, help and promote your eco home to catch the attention of eco-conscious travellers.