Juliette De Soto
The last decades have brought much more attention to the widespread existence of allergies and other environmental sensitivities as well as the need for conservation of our earthly resources. The hospitality industry has caught on, with many hotels accommodating food allergies in their menus, decreasing the use of single-use plastics, and employing several initiatives to reduce water and energy use. Airbnbs should be no exception, and if you own an Airbnb and have never considered how to make your Airbnb greener and more accommodating to a wider range of people, you should start. If you’ve been hosting for a while, you have probably received some inquiries from potential guests asking if there are any strong smells or fragrances in the unit, if you have pillow covers that protect from allergies, or what laundry detergent you use and shampoo you offer. Just know that if you’ve received one of these inquiries, there are probably many more unspoken inquiries behind it. In an effort to be welcoming to as many guests as possible, it’s a great idea to do an audit of your practices and your space to ensure that your Airbnb is a pleasant experience for all.
Ask yourself, are my cleaning products and toiletries harsh or mild? Strong-smelling products are a major turn-off for a lot of people, allergies or not. Unfortunately, many of the mainstream brands of detergents, shampoos, and cleaning products fall into this category. Do a sniff test and try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is sensitive to harsh chemicals and smells. Are your products toxic or are they gentle on the body? Do your sheets reek of perfumey detergents? Are your shampoos and soaps chemical-free and/or plant-based? Do you have smelly air fresheners that assault guests when they first walk through the door? Eco-conscious and chemical-free brands and products should not cost too much more than the others. And to actually save money, you can make your own cleaning products with simple household ingredients such as baking soda, white vinegar, and essential oils. Google the many recipes for all kinds of homemade cleaning products that are both gentle on the skin and gentle on the wallet.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
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