Do you ever feel embarrassed while shopping at Whole Foods Market because you do not have four receptacles for trash at your vacation rental property?
Or, you hear your friend at the office talk about turning her compost bin and you shy away into the break room because you have nothing to contribute to the conversation?
Have no fear because here are seven ways to create a more eco-friendly vacation rental property.
Don’t Go All or Nothing
So, you forgot your reusable coffee cup and you got a throwaway cup from the coffee shop. It’s OK. That doesn’t mean you’re not doing your best to save the planet. Even the thought that you should have that reusable cup with you sets you up for success next time.
Stock your house and car with extra glass and recyclable products and ditch the plastics. Don’t beat yourself up if you are not an instantly perfect recycler; remember that each step is a move in the right direction.
Find Your Green Thumb
Do you love the thought of having a garden but have never gotten past the initial thought? Google “How to Start a Raised Bed,” or read Gardening for Dummies. The only reason you do not have a garden yet is that you think you cannot do it.
Start with an herb garden on the windowsill or pick up that basil plant from the grocery store. You will never know if you have a green thumb if you do not try.
Organize Your Waste
Find a system that works for you. Does it mirror the Whole Foods model? Can you copy a friend? Get extra bins with lids and keep them outside. Sealed containers will do wonders for a waste organization. If your landlord doesn’t already supply you with the option to recycle, make sure you check with your municipality to locate the proper disposal areas.
Whether you’re trying to keep your own home neat and tidy or you run a cleaning business, organization is a key element in maintaining effective cleaning practices.
Teach ‘Em Young
Your children are the future. How are we going to sustain our world if we do not teach our children how to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, and make less waste? What would the world look like fifty years from now if we still threw our glass and cans into the landfill?
We know better, and if we are willing, we can spread the knowledge and love for planet earth to those that will live far longer than us. It is our greatest responsibility.
Take On One Room At a Time
Sure, solar panels on the roof and an electric car sound great, but maybe you just don’t think you can afford it. Try eco-friendly tips room by room. Start with your mudroom and work your way into your kitchen. It will feel less overwhelming and the short-term gratification that will come from tackling each area individually will push you toward the next. You can do this!
Becoming eco-friendly can be as easy as recycling something that is considered “trash” into art. Can you repurpose that old shelf? Can you use that cardboard for a school project? One man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. Think egg cartons for starting plants and dryer lint for outdoor fire kindling.
It is important to get creative during the vacation rental cleaning process. Perhaps try using different alternatives for hazardous cleaning products to minimize your carbon footprint.
Smart apps for HVAC, garden sprinkling, lighting, and appliance electricity usage monitoring are a great way to get that greenness going. Start with a smart thermostat and move on to garden water usage apps and then to smart lighting.
Whether you live in a trendy Chicago neighborhood like Lincoln Park or a huge penthouse in New York City, you should still think of LEDs when you are considering illumination because LEDs are becoming highly affordable and they last a long time. Did you know that some LED entryway fixtures are made to last for almost 40 years?
And remember, a smart programmable thermostat will allow you to control your rental home environment from almost anywhere in the world as long as you have a solid and consistent Wi-Fi signal.
Smart app acclimation may involve some homework, but it’s worth it!
New habits can be hard to start, and old habits die hard. With these seven easy steps, the one giant leap to becoming eco-friendly can be one small step on a life-long journey. Remember that an all-or-nothing philosophy will set you up for failure. Once again, this applies to running your own vacation rental or for maintaining cleanliness within your home.
Find your green thumb, organize your waste, teach your children, and get creative. If you try even just one or two of the above tips, the world is going to be a better place, and you are going to feel like you have done your part.