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You don’t need to own an eco-lodge in a forest to be considered ‘green’ on Airbnb. More and more guests are selecting accommodation that will help them care for the planet and reduce their carbon footprint. This can mean anything from an inner city apartment that’s close to public transport, or a home that uses chemical-free cleaning products.

Why choose Airbnb in the first place?

For many travellers, choosing to support a company that’s about the sharing economy and collaborative consumption is the first step in green travel. Earlier this year Airbnb launched an initiative to promote local, authentic and sustainable tourism in countries and cities across the globe. They also released the results of a survey which found that 88 percent of hosts around the world now incorporate eco practices into their vacation rentals such as using green cleaning products, providing recycling, encouraging guests to use public transportation, providing bicycles, and installing solar panels.

For many travellers, choosing to support a company that’s about the sharing economy and collaborative consumption is the first step in green travel Click To Tweet

Eco-travellers want to:

  • Reduce their carbon footprint
  • Lower their energy and water consumption
  • Use greener transport
  • Keep up their environmental practices while they are on holidays

Airbnb: going green

You don’t have to spend a fortune on organic cotton sheets and energy saving appliances in order to attract eco-tourists. Here are some relatively cheap ideas that can help you create a greener space for guests:

A recycling or compost bin
Depending on where you are in the world, you are likely to have a recycling service offered by your local government. Make this practice easy for guests by having different coloured bins in the kitchen (i.e. a brown bin for paper/cardboard and a blue bin for plastic and glass bottles). Some hosts will also set up a small composting bin in the kitchen that guests can put their food waste in. If you are going to do this, make sure guests know where to empty this or if you are sharing a home with them be sure to empty it regularly so it doesn’t smell or attract insects.

Environmentally friendly lights
LED light globes are relatively inexpensive to buy. They are not only better for the environment (and cheaper for you to run in relation to your electricity bill) but also have a longer lifespan which means you won’t be having guests calling you to replace light globes during their stay.

Eco-friendly products
Eco-tourists appreciate products that are chemical-free/plant-based because they are better for the planet and also can be better for people who suffer from skin conditions and allergies. The good news is that most major supermarkets now stock a range of eco-friendly products including everything from surface sprays to toilet cleaners. Soaps made from natural ingredients are also easy to find in most supermarkets.

Storage containers for food
It might seem like a simple thing but providing plastic or glass sealable containers to store food in for guests is another easy way to get the tick of approval from travellers who are conscious about sustainability. They don’t necessarily want to use plastic wrap or tin foil to keep leftovers and they’ll be very happy to be able to use a couple of your little containers during their stay.

Provide canvas shopping bags
Help promote the reduction of plastic bags by providing guests with canvas shopping bags during their stay. Some hosts will actually purchase locally-branded bags (with their town’s name or some kind of iconic local image) and offer them as a welcome gift. Once again, for people who care about the planet, this gesture goes a long way.

Sell yourself
If you go to the effort of doing some or all of the above, make sure you tell potential guests! Creating an eco-friendly space for travellers is something you should be mentioning in the title of your listing and in the opening paragraphs of your description. We also recommend listing the specific measures you’ve put in place to ‘be green’ in a separate heading/paragraph in your listing.

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