How we can encourage the collection of food waste in our listing

Host Advisory Board Member
Manly, Australia

How we can encourage the collection of food waste in our listing

#WorldCleanupDay: Many guests enjoy cooking their own food, and enjoy even more following local rules and traditions about collecting food waste.


Felicity: Emissions from food waste are estimated to be around 8-10% of global greenhouse emissions. The best way to avoid food going to waste is to either eat it, share leftovers or compost any scraps of waste.

We can help our guests minimize food waste in several ways by setting up a few things in the listing such as : 


  • Provide reusable containers so leftovers can be taken on day trips for lunch or kept to eat later.
  • Remind guests at check-out time that if they have any leftover food they may like to consider using a food-sharing app, for example, Olio, which connects people with neighbours and locals who will be happy to take any leftover food off your hands and keep it out of the compost bin or landfill. 
  • Provide a compost bin for your guests to use with instructions on what can be composted in your area and where to empty it. 

How do I make my guests aware of the food waste : 

  • Let our guests know what we offer to help them reduce food waste.
  • Take photos and write about this in our description and add it to our welcome letter.  
  • Example of description:  We recognize that food waste is part of being on holiday. To help you save money and reduce waste when you stay we have provided you with reusable containers to keep any leftover food in, suggest you pass on any uneaten food to those in the community by using an app such as Olio, and for any food scraps please use of our compost bin!

For me, having a Food Waste Container in our kitchen starts the process of collecting Food Waste. I would like to ask you all, do you have a plan for what you do with the food waste? Here are a few options : 

  1. Compost
  2. Participate in a Green Bin Program 
  3. Feed livestock

When travelling in Indonesia, Jennifer found these containers under the sink. This was a great way to participate in the local community




Jennifer: Food waste is anything that could be edible but is not used in cooking or eating. For example coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable peelings, bones, etc. When we eat, we also tend to eventually create some sort of food waste. Here’s how we can make a commitment to reduce food waste in our listing. 


As we read further, I would like to share a few facts: It is estimated that every pound of food thrown away results in 3.8 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. The average household wastes approximately 240 pounds of food per year. By reducing your food waste to zero, you can avoid almost 1,000 pounds of CO₂ /year. To mitigate this, you would have to plant at least one large tree in your yard a year. Like over a 6-foot tree, and the carbon offset is not cumulative. Each year, you will have to plant a tree to offset your carbons.


A few options available for food waste collection are : 

  1. Organic food waste collection to participate in 
    1. Green bin collection
    2. Create compost

  2. Using food cyclers that are countertops, and can turn food waste into biomass. Perfect for homes that may be in an area with wild animals.
    1. Food cyclers
    2. Lomi

  3. Vermicomposting (red wiggler worms) can create biomass from food waste

  4. Garburators Sanitary: Putting food scraps into the garburator is one of the cleanest ways to dispose of food waste. It also is a solution for people who often quickly run out of room in their trash can or composting bin.



We would like to engage with our Host Community and invite all of you to share your thoughts on these sustainability practices.

  • What do you currently do in your listing to reduce food waste? What works well for you and your guests?
  •  If guests do not take care of leftover food do you leave unopened items for the next guest to enjoy, offer it to your housekeeper, keep it yourself or offer the food up to a local community group? 
  • Do you have a compost bin on site or do you get food scraps picked up by a local council?

This post is co-authored by Host Advisory Board members Felicity from Australia and Jennifer from Canada. The article is written based on our own personal experiences and opinions as a sustainable Host.

8 Replies 8
Host Advisory Board Member
Adelaide, Australia

@Felicity11 I love the idea of offering a reusable container for the guest, I also share these tips with my co-hosts. 

Host Advisory Board Member
Port Severn, Canada

Has anyone put a food cycler in their listing? 





  The food cycler takes food waste and turns it into Biomass that you can use on your plants and in your gardens. 

Jennifer Schnier
Host Advisory Board Member
Manly, Australia

That is pretty fancy @Jennifer3225 but I love it! 


We just use a simple compost bin with a biodegradable liner and guests love this! 

Host Advisory Board Member
Manly, Australia

HI @Sarah5000 


Great to hear from you!  Yes such a simple idea but it can make such a difference to keeping food going and save it from going to the rubbish bin! 

Host Advisory Board Member
Stellenbosch, South Africa

I don't have a homes listing, I'm an experience host - but in my own home, I'm excited to have just started my first worm farm where all my vegetable and fruit scraps are going now!

Worm Farm.jpg

Host Advisory Board Member
Manly, Australia

Hi @Deirdre122 


great to hear from you and it is wonderful to hear that you have started a worm farm.. This is such a wonderful step to help reduce emissions from food waste and any plant that is lucky enough to get the castings from your worm farm will be so grateful - watch your plants thrive!    Well done and thank you for sharing this with us. 

Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

@Felicity11 We try to be sustainable with our Airbnb in that;


When showing guests through our cottage, I ask our guestst to use the compost bin for greenwaste as I have a worm farm. Most guests do and some ask questions about the food waste or the worm farm system. We even have had a look and see of the worm farm and how do I use it on the garden.


We supply containers for leftover food which can be used in the fridge, freezer or microwave.


Food not eaten or left behind we recycle it into our household because I have given guests a breakfast hamper and consider it a fair exchange.


Host Advisory Board Member
Manly, Australia

HI @Laurelle3 


Wonderful to hear from you and that  you have a compost bin for guests to use and also provide containers for left overs.    Such small things to add but the impact can be great! 

 Well done I hope we can inspire others to add this to their listings.