Tips For a Greener Vacation Rental

MyVR —  December 20, 2012

Going green is becoming more and more popular in the hospitality industry, and it may be easier than you think to make your vacation rental more environmentally friendly. Here are some helpful tips:

recycling bin1. Provide recycling bins

Your travelers may be more inclined to recycle if you make it easy for them. By labeling bins near your trash can, your guests can easily recycle soda cans, glass, newspapers and magazines, paper towels, and more.

2. Stock environmentally friendly cleaning supplies

You can purchase environmentally friendly alternatives to Windex and 409 at most grocery stores. You can also invest in environmentally friendly cleaning companies that use less harmful products.

3. Replace paper towels with cotton dish towels

Reduce your cleaning supply bill by ditching paper towels and stocking up on cotton dish towels. They’re often more absorbent, durable, and can be reused time and time again after a quick trip to the laundry.

4. Provide bikes

Reduce your guests’ carbon footprint by keeping bicycles at your rental, along with a handy guide of restaurants and attractions within riding distance.

5. Install ceiling fans

You can lower your electric bill by upping the air flow in your rental. Keep your rooms cool with efficient ceiling fans and guests won’t feel as inclined to crank up the air conditioning. During the winter, you can reverse the direction of your fans to push warm air down into rooms, which will help you save on your heating costs.

6. Change regular light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL).

CFL bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb, so you’re not only saving energy but money, too.

7. Install low flow shower heads and toilets

According to the EPA, replacing pre-1994 toilets with new high efficiency toilets will shave more than $90 off your annual utility bills. Plus, you’ll be sending thousands fewer gallons a year down the drain.

xeriscape yard8. Xeriscape your yard.

When choosing plants for your yard, pick varietals that are native to your area — they will require less water than their more exotic relatives.

This guest post was written by Beth Stockwell, Community Specialist for HomeAway.

Can you think of other ways to make your rental business more green? Share your thoughts with other owners and property managers by starting a new discussion on the HomeAway Community.

It was created to cater to vacation rental owners and managers from around the globe who are interested in sharing valuable information, exchanging experiences, and bonding with others who share the same questions about the vacation rental industry. We encourage you to explore the vacation rental community, complete with forums and discussion groups enabling you to seek advice, get answers, and optimize your vacation rental business.

photo credit: Jeri Dansky and Lee Ann Reiners

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One response to Tips For a Greener Vacation Rental

  1. We provide a compost pail and almost all of our guests are happy to use it, then bring it to us (our house is next door) for emptying into our bin. Some do it themselves. If you don’t live next door, you could provide a bin for your guests on the rental property.
    We supply recycled toilet paper.
    We not only provide bikes at no charge to our guests; we give them panniers, pumps, helmets & lots of safe routes for shopping and for pleasure cycling.
    We provide cloth serviettes instead of paper.
    We ask guests to be careful with water & electricity and not to run either the dishwasher or the washing machine unless they have a full load.
    There is a motion sensor light over the parking area.
    We ask our guests not to throw away unused food.
    We provide a market basket & reusable bags, including cooler bags for other shopping.
    We provide a plastic container for recyclables, labelled with instructions.
    We provide a container for used plastic and paper bags.