With World Earth Day being just two weeks away on 22 April, and this year’s aim of the project is focused on reducing plastic pollution across the globe, we look at several ways that property owners can make some switches around their holidays homes to make them more eco friendly, energy efficient, and how property owners can save the planet, all the while actually saving the money in their pockets too.
The Earth Day Network published a toolkit last month to make people more aware of the statistics surrounding plastic pollution, taking statistics from an article by the BBC, showing that of all the 8.3 billion (metric) tonnes of plastic produced to date, only 9% of that has been recycled. In respect of the upcoming Earth Day, here are some great ways to help save the planet and make your holiday let more eco friendly for your guests.
- Energy Efficient Lighting and Appliances
Energy efficient lighting and other home appliances use less energy around the home, meaning that you are saving money on your electricity bills. Energy efficient light bulbs also last longer than standard ones, meaning you will not have to replace them as much - great for hosts who cannot visit their properties a lot.
A study conducted by CleanTech Group for Airbnb properties in 2014, found that 79% of Airbnb hosts owned at least one energy efficient appliance in their property. This means guests are more likely to stay at Airbnb and holiday homes as they are more energy efficient than staying in hotels. These kinds of products are becoming more and more popular, so are more accessible across the market.
- Faucet Aerators in Bathrooms and Kitchens
Faucet aerators mix the water from the tap with air, meaning that you end up using less water. These are fairly cheap and prevent splashing too, helping to control water usage in your property when you are not there. There are also some similar products that fit in toilet cisterns which can reduce the quantity of water they flush.
- Provide Public Transportation Information
At Pass the Keys, we make sure that our property listings display public transportation information when travellers book, and is displayed in our Guest Manuals we send to them when they stay. A lot of holiday makers use public transport when staying at an Airbnb or holiday let property as opposed to if staying in a hotel, in fact CleanTech Group found it was 10-15% of guests were more likely to use it.Pass the Keys, we make sure that our property listings display public transportation information when travellers book, and is displayed in our Guest Manuals we send to them when they stay. A lot of holiday makers use public transport when staying at an Airbnb or holiday let property as opposed to if staying in a hotel, in fact CleanTech Group found it was 10-15% of guests were more likely to use it.
An additional amenity that guests appreciate is providing bicycles for their stay, making them feel more like a local in the city, and adding that eco-friendly touch. If you are based in London, make sure guests are aware that Santander bikes can be used for free for the first 30 minutes of cycling.
- Provide Reusable Shopping Bags
The great thing about holiday lets and Airbnb properties is that guests can feel at home by cooking meals in their own space rather than spending money each night on restaurant dining. You can help them out by providing grocery or shopping bags, plastic or cotton, to prevent them from buying their own when they arrive at your property.
Make your guests aware of where to find them and that they are available by listing them in your documentation when they arrive, or tell your property management company when you onboard.
- Use Cellular or Honeycomb Blinds
Window furnishing options such as cellular and honeycomb blinds help to filter or block light, and insulate windows to save energy on heating. The unique shape of the cellular shade hold trapped air, creating a barrier between the window pane and the room.
Besides this, these blinds also provide more privacy by helping to block light, so guests can control the amount of light they want entering the room.
- Provide Recycling Options
Most city councils provide recycling, food waste, and landfill bins, in order to reduce the amount of waste to landfill. At Pass the Keys, we ask our hosts to provide the information of the bins at the property, but you can always make sure you have the correct recycling bins and information of bin collection so your guests can recycle their waste if they are not familiar. The majority of guests will recycle when they can, up to 94% of guests report that they recycle when possible.
If you have a garden at your property, you can always use a compost bin for food waste if your council does not provide food waste facilities.
- Add Solar Panels or other Renewable Technology
Solar Panels are not cheap but they can pay off in the long-run. The disadvantage of short-term letting is that you cannot limit the energy usage of your guests. With solar panelling, you are able to be fully energy sufficient and independent to the point where you may even be able to reduce your net electricity bill to a value of zero, therefore they can end up paying for themselves.
The even better news is that if you end up producing more energy than your guests actually use (possible as the chances are, your guests are exploring the local area most of the day), you can actually sell the energy you aren’t using back to the National Grid through a scheme known as Feed in Tariff. This scheme is also applicable with other renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines. To find out more about this scheme and how to apply, you can check out the government website here for more information.
These steps to making your holiday rental more eco friendly can help to not only save the planet, and save you money, but also help to boost your bookings buy making your property listing unique. More and more guests are likely to choose environmentally friendly properties to stay in, over ones that aren’t, and with Earth Day just around the corner it is time to go green.
Pass the Keys is a short term lettings management company that focuses on letting you relax as we manage the work that is required to run your holiday let, including optimising your occupancy rate and rental income. Pass the Keys helps to give property owners a piece of mind, knowing their homes are performing successfully and are well looked after while they are in our hands. Find out how much you could make here with the UK’s leading short term lettings management company. Learn more about how our hosts boost their income via short letting and other tips about Airbnb and short letting.