๐Ÿƒโ€Œ[FESTIVAL] How We Made Our Airbnb Beach Cottage More Sustainable ๐Ÿƒโ€Œ

Laurelle3
Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

๐Ÿƒโ€Œ[FESTIVAL] How We Made Our Airbnb Beach Cottage More Sustainable ๐Ÿƒโ€Œ

Our journey towards the sustainability of our Airbnb Beach Cottage was from the start in 2019. Our goal has been to create an eco-friendly environment where our guests can enjoy a sustainable holiday.

A pivotal step we undertook was to involve a like-minded architect to implement our ideas and use recycled and eco-friendly materials and insulation. As we were owner builders, most of the construction was by us, However, we used a friend who was a licensed builder, electrician, and plumber for legality. 

 

Other key aspects that we considered making our Airbnb more sustainable were;

Energy 

  • Solar panels installed. 
  • Backup battery installed is mainly used at night and on overcast or wet days.
  • Energy-efficient appliances were installed with high star ratings, e.g. refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, air conditioners and microwave to reduce the consumption of electrical energy.
  • Led Light Bulbs installed for less energy usage and they emit less heat.
  • Sensor lights outside doors and pathways reduce energy costs. Solar lights provide extra lighting in the garden and are free.
  • Instantaneous hot water system electricity is used only when turned on.

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Water

  • Rainwater tanks installed. 
  • Dual flush toilet.
  • Low-flow showerhead.
  • Garden irrigation using rainwater from tanks.

Recycling 

  • Upcycled furniture for cottage. 
  • Recycling bins for plastic bottles, glass and paper.
  • Bottle return system is used and money is returned to our Airbnb expenses.
  • All recycling goes to the local council waste depot to reduce landfill.

Composting

  • Kitchen food waste bins are provided.
  • A worm farm is used for the compost and the castings and liquid is used to fertilize the garden. And explained to guests.
  • Leaves and lawn grass clippings are composted.

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Buying in bulk

  • Reduce household waste packaging, eg. Plastics 
  • Money is saved on bulk products.

 

Refillable

  • Cleaning and personal care products bought in or larger bottles.
  • Dispense personal care products into smaller sizes.
  • Snacks and cereals bought in large packets and dispensed into smaller serves for guest hampers.
     
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Linen

  • Cotton bedding and towels can be recycled and composted..
  • Durable warm cotton blankets. 
  • Easy maintenance through washing, drying and ironing.

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Furnishings

  • Upcycling cuts Airbnb costs.
  • Hand sewing soft furnishing adds colour to dรฉcor and reduces expenses, e.g. cushions and lampshades.
  • Insulated curtains with blackout material improve insulation.
  • Eco friendly furniture for minimal environmental impact.
  • Using natural fibre materials like cotton and linen for fewer chemicals and allergens in production.

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Garden

  • The garden was designed by using excess soil from the building site.
  • Garden beds material was recycled natural timber.
  • Shrubs and plants' initial stock were small stock and have increased in size. 
  • Plant cuttings were from friends, neighbours and from my own stock.
  • Chosen plants were to soften the fence line, reduce heat and noise.
  • Planting fruit trees' main aim was to attract birds and bees for the nectar, sweet fragrance and edible fruit.
  • Plants watered from collected rainwater.
  • Recycled window boxes made with self-watering inserts water efficiency and aesthetics viewed inside and out.
  • Indoor potted plants help purify the air, enhance dรฉcor and can improve oneโ€™s wellbeing.

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Transportation

  • Our Guests are given directions and encouraged that it is a short walk to the beach and restaurants and easy foreshore footpath access.
  • We provide information on local bike and kayak rental services.
  • As local transport is limited, taxi and free shuttle bus information is supplied.

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Local Supplies

  • We buy local Airbnb supplies: cleaning products, kitchen gear and more, including food for breakfast hampers.
  • Guests recycle shopping bags.
  • We cut emissions and cost by sourcing locally and minimising travel distances.

As Airbnb Hosts, we have tried to embody sustainability in both our personal lifestyle and offer to our guests. We try to provide a tranquil retreat that not only offers comfort and relaxation,  also minimise our environmental impact and contributes to a more sustainable future. By using eco-friendly practices, reducing waste, and supporting local suppliers, we try to create a space where our guests can enjoy while also fostering a sense of responsibility towards our planet Earth. 

 

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14 Replies 14
Linda-and-Peter0
Level 3
Magaliesburg, South Africa

@Laurelle3 Well done!

@Linda-and-Peter0 thank you for your words. "We try" when i looked you up on Airbnb profile i think your lifestyle with Sustainability might be similar to ours. 

@Laurelle3 

You two totally rock! Sharing these details the way you have definitely inspires all of us to improve how we do these things. 

@Kitty-and-Creek0 over the past 3 years we bothhave an interest with Sustainability. Ours are on a small scale compared to your property and what you offer to your guests. But I am sure we both are aiming to improve our patch and a little saved goes a long way towards our Sustainability.

@Laurelle3 

 

I applaud your efforts and successes. 

 

We actually have no choice but to do what we have done. We are off grid (not by choice) on top of a mountain, with no services. This is miles and miles of wilderness! We must haul all trash and recycling to town which is 15 miles away down a winding mountain road. Just lifting it all is a challenge for our aging bodies! We've been here 32 years, and were much younger when. we arrived!  Next week Creek will be 77 years old...So, we live with making as little trash as possible. If we could persuade guests to take theirs with them, it would lighten the load.

 

All our electric power is by necessity from solar and backup generator. Our water heater uses rooftop solar for heating, when available. Our well is solar powered, water is pumped up over 500'. Being very conservative with any power use is a necessity.

 

Guests get an efficient space heater, we bundle up in layers, and use passive solar heat in winter. When temperatures are near freezing we use our own space heating in our part of the house. 

 

LED lightbulbs are now finally available.  In the beginning, we had to order special low draw lightbulbs (take 11 watts and output 75 watts)  that cost us $35 each. 

 

This has been a long learning experience for us about how to live a modern lifestyle successfully in the wilderness. 

@Kitty-and-Creek0 

 

It takes a master, years of practice to adapt. adjust, modify, change and be willing to review and continue to change for our future of others.

 

We are baby boomers and have seen many changes during our lifetime. We started with nothing and our parents went through the depression. We have gone without and hard work to make what we have today.

 

We still practice what we were taught from our elders. 

But we can still make changes for the future generations.

Take care.

Laurelle 

Felicity11
Host Advisory Board Member
Manly, Australia

hi  @Kitty-and-Creek0 

 

it is great to hear more about your Airbnb set up and all you have done to reduce waste and emissions. It is incredible when you think about the impact this must have had in the emissions and waste you have saved.   Well done and thank you for the inspiration..  we can all be doing more. 

Patricia2526
Level 10
Manila, Philippines

Hi @Laurelle3

 

Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing ๐ŸŒฑ 

@Patricia2526 thank you for your support from your words. It is many years since visiting the Philippines I am wondering how your local government manages recycling today and do other apartment owners help with sustainability within your building complex. 

Rebecca
Community Manager
Community Manager
Suffolk Coastal District, United Kingdom

Hi @Laurelle3, I find this post so inspiring and it's made me realise that we make more environmentally conscious decisions that we might realise! 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photographs and sharing your story. ๐Ÿ˜Š 

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Please follow the Community Guidelines

@Rebecca, yes, when we try to instil sustainability in our lives, we don't realise how our list grows when we start to write them down. By taking small steps, all Airbnb Hosts can make a difference.

You have indeed gone several extra miles. I thought I was doing great with solar and rain water harvesting and bottled water elimination and LED lights and providing shopping bags... [and reminders to guests to turn off this and that]... but you really have it all covered. Sustainable furnishings, I love it!

-Akosua

Felicity11
Host Advisory Board Member
Manly, Australia

hi @Josephine-Akosua0 

 

it is great to hear about all you are doing to reduce waste and emissions in your listing. There is always more to do but what have done already is fantastic.   

Felicity11
Host Advisory Board Member
Manly, Australia

I love this - well done @Laurelle3 You are doing so much.. Lets keep trying to inspire other hosts to get on board and make the changes.

 

You must be one of the very few in your area with an EV charger. I bet it is popular!