Eco-Friendly Tips to “Green Up” Your Vacation Rental Property
Environmental sustainability has become an attractive practice in businesses across the country. In fact, more people are interested in spending their money on products manufactured by businesses with sound environmental ethics.
Even in the hospitality industry, travelers and guests are showing much greater preference in frequenting establishments that adhere to environmental standards, and this is especially true for businesses that go well beyond these standards.
The same is true for those in the vacation rental space. While Airbnb regulations vary by state, they don’t require much in the way of standard environmental practices, these are attractive options to list on your Airbnb page as a host.
If you’re interested in seeing a boom in your guest inquiries, consider implementing green solutions for your vacation rental. Here, we’ll outline a few elements that you can consider for making your property more environmentally friendly.
Why Going Green Matters
Did you know that just one meter (3.2 feet) of sea-level rise is enough to displace approximately 130 million people around the globe? That might not seem like much, considering the world population is approaching 8 billion. But, that’s nearly the entire coastal population of the United States.
Just imagine if all of those people had to move inland. Things would get a bit crowded, to say the least.
As the current trend has been closely monitored, several things have happened to our planet since human beings began our industrialized lifestyle around the early to mid-1800s. Since that time, we’ve had a 13 percent loss of sea ice per decade, which is a key driver of sea-level rise and population displacement.
In fact, the level of our oceans worldwide has risen one foot in the past 40 years, with another 4 feet projected by the end of this century.
And, this is all due to human-driven climate change, a fact that 97 percent of all scientists agree with.
Unless efforts are made to clean up the mess we’ve created, our future generations will be inhabiting a planet that is much more volatile both in atmospheric composition and conditions suitable for life to sustain itself.
It’s a true problem, and unfortunately, it’s become a partisan issue, wreaking dirty political rhetoric and stagnant policies which are largely ineffective at combating climate change in the short and long term.
Why You Should Play a Role
As a business and property owner, you’re in the perfect position to adopt a lifestyle that will lessen the impacts of global climate change. Indeed, even the smallest efforts become larger over time, and by setting an example in your community, others are likely to find it attractive and follow suit.
Today, there are so many simple options that you can employ while still living a lifestyle that doesn’t sacrifice any comfort or convenience. Everything from hardware and appliance choices to the type of fertilizer you use on your lawn and household cleaners you use can make a difference.
As a business owner in your community, you have the obligation to set an example and ensure that this planet is being taken care of
Travelers want to stay where they have all the conveniences of home, and this includes the appliances that most people use on a daily basis. Appliances such as washers, driers, dishwashers, ovens, and water heaters all are part of a typical home, and these can be made energy efficient.
Not only will you save on the cost of energy and water if you replace standard models with Energy Star certified appliances, but you’ll also get tax breaks at the end of the year for purchasing these appliances.
In addition, simply noting on your Airbnb page that you have these appliances will attract environmentally conscientious guests to your vacation rental.
It’s estimated that for a 10-minute shower, the average person uses around 25-30 gallons of water with a standard showerhead. This can be cut down by a third if you install low-flow showerheads.
Additionally, if you use dual-flush toilets, this can cut down on your wastewater by up to 40 percent. Installing bidets also reduces the need for toilet paper, and this only assists water treatment facilities as they don’t have to process as much waste.
In addition, you’ll save a few trees while you’re at it.
Using natural light is one of the best ways to save on power usage during daylight hours. While you won’t have sunny days all of the time, you can modify your home to have windows that allow for maximum natural light during the day.
You can also install blackout curtains to keep the sun at bay during hot months, which will reduce the energy cost you’ll incur during hotter months of the year.
Natural light also brings in a home’s exterior landscape features and allows for you to make the natural scenery a part of the home.
Recycled materials such as reclaimed wood and products made from plant material instead of paper or volatile organic compounds are great to use when you’re trying to go green. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are also known to cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, and are known to cause serious medical problems including the development of cancer.
Using natural elements, recycled products and the like are not only attractive qualities that many young, environmentally engaged guests are looking for, they make your home a healthier place, and give it added character.
Even using eco-friendly stone pavers, and natural landscaping elements such as native grasses the like will give your vacation rental environmental appeal, and attract those guests who are more inclined to rent from you than from your competition up the street.
While you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a passive solar system for your home or install a rain cistern or French irrigation systems, these items are also things to consider if you have the money to do so.
All in all, adopting an environmentally friendly attitude toward your vacation rental will not only reduce your carbon footprint but will also attract better reviews and get you the attention that you previously did not have before.
Going green only takes a few steps, and these are the steps that lead us all toward keeping our planet (our home) healthy for generations to enjoy.