Elevate Your Rental Property

How to Run a Successful Eco-Friendly Airbnb Business

Learn more about what it means to run a sustainable Airbnb business and the five best ways to ensure your property is environmentally friendly.

By Angela Rush

Last updated: July 28, 2023

What Does it Mean to Practice Airbnb Sustainability as a Host?

Airbnb sustainability is taking the vacation rental industry to the next level. With over 360k environmentally friendly properties listed on Airbnb’s platform alone, sustainable stays are increasing in popularity. Travelers are replacing traditional hotel stays with vacation rentals in the hopes that their accommodations will better the planet. As an entrepreneur within the vacation rental industry, practicing Airbnb sustainability will elevate your listing. 

However, making your Airbnb experience more sustainable doesn’t just equate to changing your lightbulbs or asking guests to decrease their water usage. Becoming an environmentally conscious vacation rental business takes a bit more finesse. 

Airbnb sustainability starts at your business’s core. Your mission statement – the value your vacation rental experience gives to guests – needs to be centered around key elements of sustainability. This includes but is not limited to property waste management, installing energy-saving devices and appliances, providing guests with eco-friendly products, and more. 

Moreover, consider how the property itself can be sustainable. Invest in a property that has formaldehyde-free plywood, cork insulation and siding, and plenty of natural lighting and air conditioning. These alone can entice eco-conscious consumers to your property for their travels. 

Sustainable Airbnb property

Benefits of Having a Sustainable Airbnb 

Managing a sustainable Airbnb is much more than just a business that offers eco-friendly solutions for traveling. To guests, seeing you care and take extra measures to protect the planet will hook them in. As a vacation rental business, there are other benefits to offering a sustainable stay. 

Airbnb sustainability allows your business to cut through the noise of the vacation rental industry. With your business operating within a saturated market, it can be difficult to know where and how to differentiate yourself. This is where sustainability helps. 

Gain a competitive advantage over other hosts who may implement smaller ways of being environmentally conscious by providing a completely sustainable Airbnb. Traditional Airbnb’s are a dime a dozen, but having a property and business model that combats environmental issues will set you apart.  

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Airbnb Sustainable

Whether you’re just starting an Airbnb business or already have your foot in the door, practicing Airbnb sustainability is simple. The following are five ways you can elevate your property in a sustainable way. 

Invest in a Property Within Walkable Distance From Events 

An easy and effective way to decrease guests’ carbon footprint is through your location. Invest in a property that is near tourist destinations, restaurants, and other entertainment. 

If you already own an Airbnb property but are looking for a way to make your guests’ experience more sustainable, consider offering bikes or electric scooters. Guests will appreciate the sustainable accommodation and alternative to decreasing carbon emissions.  

Provide Guests With Reusable Items 

Humans produce plastic waste every day. Help reduce plastic consumption by opting for products that are washable and reusable. For example, instead of plastic forks/spoons providing silverware provides a big change. Another example can be switching from single-use paper towels to microfiber cloths.

Try to avoid coffee makers that use plastic coffee pods like Keurig coffee pods since those also contribute to single-use plastics. If you already have a coffee maker that uses these pods, it would be beneficial to purchase a reusable coffee pod, that guests can fill up with their own coffee.

Offering reusable tote bags, food storage containers, and refillable containers is also a great way to cut out single-use plastics and encourage guests to reduce their carbon footprint.

Airbnb home care products that are sustainable

Inform Guests Why and Where Your Recycle Bins Are

When many people think of sustainability, they think of recycling. Providing a place for recycling is an important way to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle for the guests staying at your Airbnb.

Provide a proper place to throw away recyclables. If guests see it, it will be easier to motivate them to recycle. Furthermore, it is important to do research to see which types of plastic are recyclable in your area.

If there are different types of recycling such as glass or paper, make sure to include different labeled bins (and/or different colored bins) for each one.

Including recycling instructions in your welcome packet will clear up any questions by guests. While writing these instructions, make sure to include where the recyclable bins are located, as well as what types of items are allowed. Include pictures and labels in the welcome packet, or clearly labeled directly on the recycling bins to avoid any confusion.

Stock Up On Sustainable Products 

Swap out single-use plastics and other harmful products for a more “green” alternative. Using products that are plant-based or chemical-free helps to reduce the guests’ carbon footprint.

In this day and age, there are many Airbnb eco-friendly alternative products for soap, detergents, and basically any cleaning product out there. Buying cleaning products that are non-toxic is not only good for the environment but also good for the guests’ health!

Sustainable wooden Airbnb home with outdoor seating near a window

Choose Sustainable Energy Suppliers 

Conserving energy is part of the larger ways that an Airbnb property can help reduce guests’ carbon footprint. Making your Airbnb more energy-efficient will not only reduce your overall costs but also help reduce the amount of resources guests use.

Energy-saving lamps, lights, or even sealed windows are small ways you can practice Airbnb sustainability. In addition to these, look for appliances that are A++ or higher to save energy and water. Sustainable energy suppliers will be able to ensure that your property is installed with appliances that utilize renewable sources of energy. 

Scale Your Vacation Rental Business 

it is important to encourage and motivate the guests staying at your Airbnb property to be more sustainable. Promoting sustainable tourism such as encouraging public transit, ride-share, or bike rental options will help motivate guests to be environmentally friendly. 

Hire a professional Airbnb cleaner to ensure your property is well-maintained and is cleaned with high-quality sustainable cleaning products. Download Turno, the app, today to connect with cleaners that are affordable and reliable.

Angela Rush Avatar
Angela Rush , Angela Rush is a Content Marketing Associate at Turno. Her expert knowledge in content research and writing has allowed her to create articles geared toward the vacation rental industry. Her skill set has helped property managers and owners and Airbnb cleaning professionals scale their businesses.