Juliette De Soto
My next tip is to invest in green products right from the start. If you are beginning or even just replenishing your Airbnb, spend a little money that will save you some in the long run: low-flow showerheads and toilets, energy-efficient lights, and smart thermostats help to achieve this end. Opt for a French press coffee maker rather than a Keurig machine that operates on wasteful plastic pods. Buying products that you and your guests can reuse are also great for conservation: sponges and paper towels that you can wash with each laundry load will save you money in the long run, and reusable to-go cups, grocery totes, and storage containers for food will be much appreciated by your guests. Install a water filter on your faucet so that guests don’t have to buy a huge pack of bottled water during their trip. Are there products or home accessories that you can incorporate in your Airbnb that benefit human workers around the world or help fund a great cause? Google gifts and products that “give back” and you will find many excellent lists with many excellent products. Finally, choose 100% cotton bedding and towels over polyester or cotton-poly blends. Allergies to synthetic fabrics abound, and who wants to sleep in plastic sheets? Ick.
Finally, though there is plenty you can do on your own, you might also consider involving your guests to go green. Have guests partner with you on limiting their use of water and energy. This may be a harder sell for some people since when we’re on vacation, we typically like to luxuriate, taking longer showers and making full use of the free air conditioning. But many people also have an environmental motivation, and especially if you offer them an incentive (such as a small reduction in their nightly rate, for instance), you can empower them to be more conscious of their energy use while reducing your utility bills at the same time. Also, don’t just stick a trash bin in the unit—provide opportunities for recycling and even composting. Label your bins and create an easy-to-read chart that tells guests how to wisely dispose of all of their trash.
Finally, advertise these features in your listing. You’ll not only attract eco-conscious people, but all potential guests will know that your Airbnb has not just been thrown together, but they’ll see how much care and consideration have gone into every detail. Your thoughtful listing will stand out above the rest while caring for the earth and for people at the same time.
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