The eco-friendly craze has been growing quickly in the past few years, especially in the travel industry. Hotels crank out more energy than you can imagine on a daily basis, from electricity to wash to water and more. But sustainable travel is more than just reducing the number of bath towels you wash per day. Although hotels are moving in the right direction by encouraging guests to reuse towels (and save water, electricity, and detergent in the process), introducing sustainability into your vacation rental will set you apart. Read on to attract guests seeking an eco-friendly travel experience and impress the rest of your visitors, too.
Provide recycling options
One easy way to show you’re pro-sustainability is to have recycling available for your guests. Whether that means separate bins, a labeled “single stream” disposal, or something else entirely, it’s important to make recycling a clear and easy option. Different countries, states, and cities recycle differently, so make sure to offer a clear explanation on how your town does it. If you have a guest guidebook, include a section on sustainability and feature recycling!
Reduce water use
Get a major leg up on hotels with this one. There are a number of innovative ways to reduce water usage, but our favorite is simple and inexpensive: aerators. Aerators are small metal filters that attach to your faucet or shower-head and add air to the stream of water, drastically reducing the amount of water used over time. You can buy aerators for under $5 at stores like Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Amazon.com and install them on faucets yourself. At such a low cost, adding an aerator is a no-brainer to help you conserve water and energy.
Share information on your region
While this might not seem outwardly eco-friendly, it can definitely make a difference. Make sure you have a “Guest Information” folder or binder to share with visitors. Inside, include a sustainability section but also a local section where you can offer details and facts about your region’s culture and traditions. Sharing local knowledge demonstrates your commitment to your town/city/state and encourages your guests to be responsible during their stay. It also offers visitors an authentic experience, which is more likely to lead to a great stay for them and repeat bookings for you.
Encourage shopping local
On a similar note, make sure to educate your guests on the best places to shop, eat, and buy locally. Maybe you have an awesome farmer’s market downtown, or restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients. Buying locally is sustainable because it discourages the high energy cost of transporting food and other products across the country. It also adds to the guest experience; sampling local food, wine, and more makes a visitor feel more connected to the place they’re visiting. Don’t forget to include a section in your guest guidebook on the best sustainable places to eat and shop nearby.
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This article was originally posted on RentalSpot.