With the rise of collective efforts to save our deteriorating planet, sustainable living has been at the forefront of these campaigns. Metal straws, eco-bags, and shampoo bars are just some of the things we have embraced to promote sustainability.
Personally, when traveling, it is always a plus point if the hotel or the hostel I will be staying at practices sustainable efforts. In all honesty, most of the time, homestays like Airbnb are the ones that have adopted this lifestyle fully.
So if you were to ask me between a hotel and Airbnb, I would pick Airbnb for all the right and earth-friendly reasons. Here are some of them:
Less Energy Use
When we stay in an Airbnb, rooms are often shared by big groups of family and friends. That means the consumption of energy is cut.
There is a study conducted by Airbnb and Cleantech Group in which they have learned that Airbnb properties tend to eat up less energy than traditional hotel rooms.
Joe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer of Airbnb, said that in North America alone, Airbnb guests use 63 percent less energy than hotel guests, which is enough energy to power 19,000 homes for one year.
Because Airbnb guests and hosts are said to live a greener life, it is likely that they will use public transportation more, thus contributing less to carbon emission than you use a private car to bring you around the city.
About 10-15 percent of guests use public transport. Some even use bicycles to get around while some opt to walk to discover the neighborhood.
Less Chemical Use
We are not new to the fact that cleaning agents often contain harmful chemicals. For most hotels, they use these chemical cleaners to clean their facilities thoroughly since several different guests check-in and out of their rooms every day.
Cleaners and workers are exposed to these nasty chemicals since they have no choice but to use them.
Airbnb cleaning is a different story, and it is a lot safer. Most Airbnb hosts have shifted from the normal chemical cleaners to the more natural ones also to protect them from the risks of excessive chemical exposure since some of them also live in their listing.
While some of them still use these normal cleaning formulas, the amount used will probably be lesser than the consumption in a hotel since space is smaller.
Just imagine the number of towels and bed linens hotels have to wash day in and day out, not to mention the dishes they have to clean in their in-house restaurant.
And the fact that all of their guests need to take a bath and use the shower for how many times a day? They probably can consume several tanks of water in a day, and that is not very sustainable.
In Airbnb, 12-48% less water is consumed compared to that of the hotels. Since most homestays are meant to be stayed at for a couple of days, you will not need to wash the linen every day.
It will be done after your stay or several times in the middle of your stay (if you have rented the place out for months), which only means you saved water consumption.
Single-use plastics, shampoos, and soaps are very common in hotels. It only adds up to the pile of other wastes found in a hotel dumpster. And where will they end up? Atop a mountain of the waste consumed by the entire city.
Since an Airbnb is technically a home that is just rented out, they contribute less waste to the community since they have home features, including coffee makers and bars of soap.
According to studies and reports, nearly 83 percent of Airbnb hosts in North America own at least one energy-saving appliance. It can be either an eco-friendly air conditioning unit or an inverter refrigerator. Some even have solar panels on their roof to save energy.
Apart from that, I have also noticed that some Airbnb hosts would use natural, homemade, and organic products in their homes like jams and fruits.
Back in school, they would always encourage us to practice the three Rs, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Airbnb hosts lived up to that lesson since, according to a study, 89% of Airbnb hosts recycle at least one item inside their house.
If you would notice, some of their decorations in their homes are recycled items. Try to observe if you book any Airbnb homes on your upcoming trips. You will be surprised by how creative some of the hosts are.
If you really want to live a sustainable lifestyle, it should not end at your home. If you are serious about it, you need to understand that our carbon footprint is extended when we step out of our homes and when we travel.
In that case, choose the greener option. Airbnb promotes that lifestyle, so you will not have a hard time picking a home to stay at when you go on a trip anywhere else in the world.
What’s good about Airbnb is that they set a sustainable mood for their guests that would eventually influence them to live the life they are promoting. It is highly encouraging to step out of your Airbnb home, wanting to promote a greener lifestyle when you go back to your usual life.
Let us all be mindful travelers and help save what is left of our thriving planet.