We love almost everything about traveling… except for how unsustainable it can be if you’re not paying attention. With a little effort, though, it is very possible to travel in eco-conscience style. Folks like us are often looking for short term rentals that go the extra mile to make traveling sustainably easy – and honestly, it doesn’t take that much effort. Here are a few of the things we look for and suggestions for attracting awesome guests like us!
Keep it Green. We highlighted a lot of great green cleaning products in our cleaning/turnover article, so that’s a great place to start. In general avoid harsh chemical cleaners (bleach, ammonia, etc) and choose products that are reputable for using earth-friendly ingredients instead.
Take green cleaning one step further by supporting a company like Fillaree. They make awesome cleaners and soaps that are shipped to you in reusable containers that you just send back for them to refill! We highly recommend that you avoid putting out single-serving toiletries – opt for refillable hand soap dispensers and a multi-dispenser in your shower filled with bulk shampoos, conditioners, and body wash. Bar soaps wrapped in paper are a better choice than single use plastics if you prefer. Those tiny little bottles create a lot of waste, and even though they’re recyclable, only 9% of recyclable materials actually get recycled – so we like to avoid that pitfall altogether by going bulk!
Offer a filtered water option rather than providing bottled water. If a home water-filtration system isn’t in the budget, you can offer a refrigerator that dispenses filtered water, install an under the sink filter for one faucet (and make sure it’s labeled as such!), add a filter externally on a faucet, or even just buy an inexpensive filtering pitcher that can be kept in the Fridge. Just make sure that you add a couple things to your cleaning list: wash pitcher if using that option and always replace filters regularly!
Reduce energy/resource consumption
Smart lights use 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Plus, you get the added bonus of being able to turn them on remotely to welcome your guests arriving after dark – which is just one of those little details that will always be appreciated by your guests. We love these Eufy Tunable Smart Bulbs because you can adjust the light quality from bright white, soft/warm light, to daylight – that’s a little special sauce right there!
Also, spring for EnergyStar rated appliances to reduce energy even further and install low-flow shower heads and toilets to drastically reduce water use in the household.
Upcycle your Decor
Get creative at consignment and thrift stores. Not only can you save money, but reusing treasures found at a yard sale or your local junk shop diverts items from the landfill and lowers demand for new items. Be creative, and think about different purposes for things.
We love to use an old set of suitcases, stacked on top of each other to create a chic boho side table. It’s also fun to find matching (or purposefully mismatched!) coffee cups from a thrift store that bring fun character in your kitchen. Just don’t go too crazy – soft goods that could contain mold or dust mites (or worse…yikes!) should not be thrifted for your short term rental – no pillows, mattresses, etc.
So, there you have it! Take a few easy steps toward greening your short term rental, and then don’t forget to advertise your unit as such. Your listing should mention your commitment to the environment to attract travelers like us to be your guest!