As a Property Manager, it’s only natural that your main goal is to maximize profitability. But did you know that it’s entirely possible to achieve this while contributing to eco-tourism and sustainability?
With more and more people having access to social media, there is a growing increase and enthusiasm towards responsible consumerism and eco-friendly businesses. There is specific interest in the way people travel and take holidays; which is probably why the leisure sector keeps adopting environmentally friendly practices. Infact, according to airbnb, 88 percent of hosts have “incorporated green practices into hosting”.
Hence, let’s first explore the major perks of listing your property as a Eco-Friendly Vacation Rental, as this article serves as a guide to the transformation of your property.
Recent reports emphasize that more and more travellers prefer to choose sustainable accommodation when travelling.
For the homeowner, the benefits of an eco-friendly home go beyond saving the planet’s future. According to the EPA, the use of sustainable materials and appliances can reduce energy costs by as much as 22 percent. Properties with sustainability upgrades also benefit from a bump in property values. Research has shown that sustainable homes price 3.46 percent higher than non-environmentally friendly homes. In the long run, they are cheaper to maintain and operate as well. This benefit extends to both residential and commercial properties – particularly since operational and maintenance costs can account for up to 80 percent of a building’s lifetime costs.
Those renting out their properties are seeing the benefits of going green when the monthly energy bill comes. Indeed, making your vacation rental greener can help you keep more of the profits that come from putting your property online. Let’s see how you can start making the shift today with these 10 ideas.
There is an endless list of things that you can do to transform your vacation rental home to a more eco-friendly holiday home. In fact, the possibilities only keep growing. Let’s take a look at things you will be able to immediately implement.
Since most of your guests will likely cook their own meals or order-in, you’ll have to provide household items and supplies at their disposal. Be sure to forego single-use plastic utensils, cups, plates, and try to provide reusable ones instead.
The same goes for personal items such as shampoo bottles, soaps, and other toiletry items. Instead of buying minis that guests will toss at the end of their trip, opt for reusable bottles or packaging that you can refill.
Help your guests reduce their plastic use by providing them with reusable options like cloth shopping bags so that they don’t need to bring plastic bags back from the store.
Another environmentally friendly option is to leave reusable (glass or otherwise) water bottles that guests can refill so they avoid buying plastic bottled water.
You could also introduce them to biodegradable soaps, shampoos, and detergents.
One way to reduce a vacation rental home’s carbon footprint is to furnish its hardware and appliances with energy-saving instruments. An easy way to start is changing to LED light bulbs. Another option is to add an automated thermostat to your heating and cooling system to adjust the temperature when the guests are not occupying the rental. They can easily meet 94% of your energy needs.
Installing solar panels is another way to reduce costs. In warmer climates, it’s more common to use solar to heat pools. But as the solar installation costs become more affordable, more residential properties are installing solar panels for energy generation. Solar panels help reduce energy bills at all times of the year. Some local energy providers will buy back any excess generated solar power.
A wallet-friendly investment, faucet aerators are a cheap and effortless way to add a green touch to your kitchens and bathrooms. This small metal filter tremendously reduces water usage, prevents splashing, and shapes the water stream by inserting air. Fit one on all of your faucets and shower heads to save water and money.
Heating and cooling are one of the biggest contributors to your monthly energy bills, with some estimates suggesting your heating and/or cooling system accounts for up to 40% of your total energy use. Options like honeycomb blinds act as effective insulation, so summers are cool and winters are warm.
One of the greatest ways to go green is to grow an organic garden with local fruit, vegetables and native plants in your vacation rental. This gives your guests a chance to learn about the local flora of the region and you can encourage them to enjoy the outdoors and even partake in some gardening if they like.
Once you have your organic garden in place, you could use a rain barrel to collect rainwater that can later be used to water the garden. This is an extremely useful way to conserve water in vacation rentals situated in areas that receive heavy rainfall.
Although it’s almost impossible to monitor water usage whenever a guest occupies your property, you can still do quite a bit to conserve water.
Since an old toilet can greatly contribute to water waste, start with upgrading your fixtures. You can also install low-flow showerheads in all your bathrooms. This type of showerhead doesn’t affect the water pressure but can still reduce water consumption compared to standard types.
Fresh, fluffy towels and linen are synonymous with hotels and inns, but washing them uses up a lot of water. Depending on the length of the stay, you could encourage guests to reuse towels and bed linen for the duration of their stay. Use your listing or even small boards and signs to encourage guests to reuse their towels and to conserve water during their stay.
All these will not only drastically bring down your water bills, they will also contribute to a greener planet.
Eco-friendly vacation rentals almost always provide clear, easy-to-use recycling options. You can easily set up your own recycling protocol by demarcating separate bins for wet and dry waste. Additionally, you can go a step further and separate garbage into plastics, paper and glass.
Food waste represents a large amount of trash. Perhaps you could use the food trash as composting (home-grown fertilizer) for your organic garden? It will surely impress your environmentally-conscious guests.
To ensure guests uphold your eco etiquette, place a note about your commitment to sustainability and recycling on your website and on your listing.
PRO TIP: Give the guests the choice to donate their unused food to a food bank. You could also provide a shopping bag where guests can deposit unopened items for donations.
It is no secret that Carbon footprint will significantly reduce if you buy locally since you no longer have to travel outside the area just to buy your supplies.
To the best of your ability, purchase locally-made goods such as coffee beans, detergents, and soaps that are surely more affordable compared to imported brands. Whenever you can, buy local and support small businesses. Doing so, decreases the carbon footprint of what you buy, eat, and wear—and financially supports those who believe in doing the same.
This way, you don’t only save money on maintenance and operating costs, but you’re also supporting the local economy while keeping it green.
Did you know that real plants always make for an aesthetically pleasing décor, whether interior or exterior? So why not use real plants instead of artificial to decorate your vacation rental home?
Hence, instead of using plastic flowers or plants, why not place live plants instead?
Snake plants, philodendrons, aglaonemas, and calatheas are few examples of indoor plants that you can consider. They’re very easy to care for and can add a more natural and greener effect to the place. Plants also help clean indoor air by producing more oxygen, absorbing toxins, and increasing humidity.
Aside from green plants, you can also add vibrant lushes and flowers to your rental property. Flowers, such as sunflowers, begonias, peace lilies, and jasmines, will surely be a more charming backdrop to any photos, and your guests will be delighted to take several snaps with these colorful decorations.
A great way to reduce your and your guests’ carbon footprint is to offer information about public transportation and shuttles to beaches or other popular places in town. Add an eco-friendly touch by providing bicycles as an extra amenity for your guests.
Take advantage of this opportunity to offer your vacation rental property to tourists who are environmentally friendly. Highlight the different features of your sustainable unit to attract more like minded guests. This way, you’re not only aiming for a higher profit but also contributing to a more sustainable planet for the future.