There has certainly been a change in the way we travel. With restrictions still in place, international borders relatively closed and the pandemic yet at large, people are choosing to feel safer by spending holidays closer to home. Workcations, staycations and celebrations have become a new sanctuary. In addition, sustainability is the new mantra on everyone’s mind and being eco-friendly has become a way of a simpler, yet fuller life.
Turning to “reduce, reuse, recycle”, people are being more conscientious about how they live and choose to holiday. Having been locked indoors for extended amounts of time, they want to make their homes, workspaces and vacation rentals greener, to alleviate some physical, mental and emotional stress.
Here are 7 tips on how you can make your holiday home greener and more welcoming for your guests:
Less Is More: Reduce the clutter in your villa, make the space minimalistic and allow for tons of natural light to come pouring in through the windows. Have sitting areas outside or window-side seating, for a daily dose of fresh air. Balconies, gazebos, patios or walking trails are a great way for guests to soak in some sunlight.
Ditch the disposables: Being responsible isn’t just about wearing a mask. At your villa, recycle your plastic bottles and cans, or better still switch to glass to store your perishables and water. Separate your waste by providing separate bins for plastic, paper and glass and encourage your guests to add to your compost pit. Leave little notes for your guests to encourage them to do their bit. Provide repurposed, biodegradable containers and crockery, instead of plastic.
Being Organic is being Original: Create an organic kitchen garden or a terrace garden and make an activity out of it, by letting your guests plant native fruits and vegetables and using the compost pit that is present on your property. This will encourage your guests to give back to the environment and also bond with their families with this fun-filled, outdoor activity.
Green Yet Clean: Indoor plants are another good ode to nature and sustainability. Stick to native plants found in your holiday home’s region, as they are easier to maintain and don’t require climate control. Plants purify the air and reduce pollutants. When in doubt, opt for a succulent or a small bamboo, as they are modest and don’t take up too much space or effort to maintain. Have a rainwater harvesting pit and collect water which can be used for landscaping the property.
Upcycle and Repurpose: Decorate your villa with furniture made from repurposed wood. Installing a wall-mounted wooden wine rack or a centre coffee table with a piece of glass to cover the gaps. Re-vamp your property with bamboo floor boards and turn a wall into designer wall art with repurposed pieces of stone and wood. This will add a rustic vibe to your home but also insulate and keep the house cool. Furniture made from recycled materials is another great way to consume responsibly.
Say bye to a high carbon footprint: Reduce your electricity consumption by providing motion-sensor lighting in each room. Have a T.V. only in the living room, after all your guests are on holiday – let them enjoy the environment and encourage more bonding experiences and family time. Equip your bathrooms with aerator taps, which reduces water consumption or install solar panels so you do your bit to use renewable energy.
Give back to your community: Whether you decide to regularly donate to an environmental or social organization, giving back to the community is an integral part of making your space sustainable. Part with goods to those who need them more than you and donate the extra food that is prepared at your property to those locals. Support local jobs by employing local caretakers or contractors to look after your villa. Encourage your guests to give back to the planet by visiting and supporting local causes around your property.
Have your guests suggest some additional tips on how the space can be made more eco-friendly!