Recently we discussed how to travel responsibly, but what about responsible hosting? One easy way could be to choose reusable items for your listing, like straws made out of bamboo, metal, or even pasta! Or maybe provide tote bags for your guests to reduce the use of plastic ones. There is a plethora of options.
However, it can be tricky to make the transition from single-use items to more permanent options, especially in the age of COVID-19.How do you keep your listing eco-friendly during COVID? Which reusable items do you use, and do you leave some available in your accommodation for travellers?
Thanks for your suggestions 🙂
This is not specifically covid related, but I have for a long time encouraged guests to help themselves to shopping bags. I keep them in a box in the kitchen. As I am sure you know, the UK Government introduced a compulsory charge of ten pence (but can be more depending on the type of bag) in shops a few years ago and recently upped this to 20 pence.
What I have found though (on the whole) is that long term guests tend to be very diligent in regards to anything related to environmental issues, whereas many short term guests are quite the opposite. Even if they are at home, when on ‘holiday’ or staying in someone else’s home, they really can’t be bothered.
i have only hosted long term guests since the pandemic started so I have no idea if that has changed...
@Huma0 I only host short stays and no, I'm afraid it has not changed. I despair greatly.
@Nick 'tote bugs'. I'm imagining small many-tentacled critters that perhaps carry in guests groceries for them? 🤔 I need to know more. 😉
And yes, it is very hard, in this Covid age, to marry being environmentally responsible and hosting safely, especially when you factor in Airbnb's cleaning protocol/standards.
I agree @Huma0
As I usually have more long term guests myself, I have also seen this in practice. They ask where to recycle, and there is hardly any plastic in the house. In contrast in the few times where short-term guests were staying, I will find plastic bags afterwards, straws etc.
This is the plastic packaging from one breakfast (short term guests). I do think the supermarkets are largely to blame as they can be a bit over the top with food packaging, but maybe that is what most consumers expect? At my local supermarkets most of the fruit and veg is packaged with a limited choice of loose ones. I wish I had one of the refill shops near me like @Lizzie 😞
PS that is just the hard plastic which can be recycled in my borough. All the plastic film those (seven!) containers came in has to go in the main bin and then on to landfill.
Supermarkets certainly play a significant role in this, and keep on failing. What really pushes my buttons is when I see fruit inside plastic packaging. Like, here is a banana or an orange in a plastic case. Oh, if only nature had predicted that and had enclosed the fruit in its own protective layer @Huma0
Same as @Huma0 we always have a variety of shopping bags near our entrance that we encouraged guests to use. In addition, we provide different types and sizes of food containers to minimize use of plastic bags/food wrap when storing leftovers, as well as everything a guest would need pack lunches.
Also, I've been using silicon straws for a while now and have several at home and in the office. They are easy to clean, and I sterilize them in boiling water regularly.
We also have a collection of brand new travel mugs/thermos bottles (mostly promotional stuff I got from work over the years) available for guest use and suggest they choose one to use for water or coffee as needed, and also make the suggestion that if they don't see one they like from what we have, they could always buy one they like at the local Starbucks (city tumblers are nice souvenirs) or a souvenir shop to use then take back home.
While in some cases using paper cups and plastic water bottles is inevitable, we like to make the effort to minimize trash as much as we can, and ask guests to do the same, then leave it at that.
Tote bags (non one-way plastic bags) is a good idea.
Here, some supermarkets are charging disposable plastic bags to encourage the use of non-disposable bags.
Love this topic @Nick.
Not really related to hosting specifically, but during COVID, I have found my local refill shop as a saving grace. I've mentioned this else in the CC before, but I get my shampoo, body wash, hand soap, washing up liquid and washing machine liquid all from there and then I just reuse the bottles each time (so plastic free - unless I took the plastic container with me!). Plus, as I buy in slightly larger quantities cost-wise it works out pretty much the same if not cheaper for some things.
I know I'm quite lucky to have a shop within 3 miles of my home that will supply this though.
To add, I've also got some reusable bags that I use for fruit and veg, when I buy loose in the supermarket. I actually really like this little bags. It saves getting plastic bags each time, even if they are compostable. I had to train myself to remember to take them though–hehe!
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