Spring has finally sprung, which means now is the perfect time for a deep clean and a fresh start...
In today’s world of climate change news & environmental issues, we’re often left wondering what we can do to help. If you’re thinking of starting a holiday let, or maybe already own one, there are some changes you can make towards offering eco-friendly holiday letting. Take a look at our guide below for some top tips on running a greener holiday home.
If you’re starting from scratch and are looking for tips on eco-friendly holiday letting, a good place to start is with the building materials you choose. Recycled wood and steel would be a good option, or you could consider sustainable sources such as bamboo. Bamboo is a fast growing material that doesn’t need to be replanted – it self-regenerates from it’s own roots. It also requires no fertiliser to grow well, making it a good eco-friendly option.
If you’re building your holiday home from scratch, don’t forget to check what planning permission you might need before starting on your project.
There’s a number of renewable energy sources you could choose for eco-friendly holiday letting.
Possibly one of the most common renewable energy sources, rooftop solar panels can provide sufficient electricity in the right conditions. However, when the sun isn’t shining you may need to rely on grid electricity to provide enough power for your holiday let. This means that in areas that don’t experience much sunshine (like the Lake District!) solar panels may not be the most cost effective option.
If you have a source of water such as a river or stream running through your land, you could utilise this for power. Diverting the water through a turbine can create a great renewable source of electricity, although not everyone will have access to a water source.
If you have the space, a small-scale wind turbine could provide an excellent source of renewable energy for your holiday let. You may have to check if there are any local laws that may prohibit the construction of a wind turbine before going ahead.
To achieve successful eco-friendly holiday letting, you’ll need to think about how to conserve and save energy, so nothing is going to waste unnecessarily. A few ideas include energy-saving light bulbs in each room, motion-sensor lighting outside the property, double or even triple glazing in the windows, and sufficient roof & wall insulation. You can also search for energy-efficient appliances. Check the EU Energy Labels on each appliance where they’re graded from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient.
You can make your own natural cleaning solution using white vinegar and baking soda, or search for more home recipes online. You can also find natural shop-bought versions if you’d rather not make it yourself. These make a great alternative to ordinary cleaning products which often contain chemicals that are harmful both to the environment and wildlife.
You could consider offering eco-friendly toiletries for your guests to use. Take a look at Crystal Cole and their great range of bathroom toiletries with plastic-free packaging to help cut down on plastic waste. Their products include shampoo bars, body wash, hand soap as well as extras like stainless steel reusable straws that you could put in the kitchen.
Up-cycling is the latest fast-growing craze and sometimes old products can look brand new again with a bit of TLC. You could take on an up-cycling project yourself or see if there’s any local people nearby who may be able to help with things like re-upholstering. Second hand furniture can also be a great option for eco-friendly holiday letting, helping to minimise the energy and resources used to manufacture new furniture. Have a browse around your local charity shops or car boot sales for bargain items, or search places like Ebay or Gumtree – quite often people are selling nearly new furniture for a fraction of the retail price.
There’s a few easy ways you can encourage guests to be more eco-friendly on their holidays. Make sure recycling bins are clearly marked and instructions are given on what materials go in which bin. You could also provide reusable ‘Bags for Life’ for guests to borrow for going shopping, and include information in your welcome folder about nearby public transport links so they can leave their cars behind for the day.