Everything You Need to Know: Building a Green Vacation Home
It’s no secret – there’s a worldwide movement to healthier food options, eco-friendly products, and green energy use. It’s about time you transformed your property into the socially-valuable, clean home travelers are expecting. Draw more travelers and vacation-goers while saving a ton of money and time (if you play your cards right). Here are 5 ways to “go green” with your vacation rental property.
1) Conscious Consumerism
As a vacation rental owner, you’re going to have maintenance costs, new amenities to provide guests, and continuous improvements to your property to deliver the best customer value. This is the easiest way to start the move to a green property: make conscious purchasing choices! Taking a few extra minutes to look at your options, you can get better financial and social returns on your purchases. Which amenities are you providing that have socially responsible sources? You can search for cleaning companies that best suit your sustainable needs. Fortunately, the internet has made this research much more accessible.
2) Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
This one might be a no-brainer, but you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint by investing in efficient, low-energy use appliances. In 2015, 89% of residential households had at least one energy-efficient light bulb. You can evaluate your options for other long-term appliances such as refrigerators, dish-washing machines, and ovens!
3) Install Solar Panels
Most people have heard of solar panels as an alternative source of power. Yet many property owners haven’t taken advantage of their benefits. In the U.S., approximately 1.6 million systems had been installed in 2017 with a 49-gigawatt capacity – enough to power 6,560,000 homes! Solar panel systems are also a great long-term savings strategy: estimates say that savings can be $10,000-$20,000 in a 20-year period. The price for installation is also falling, so get one step ahead of the competition!
3) Self-Sustaining Gardens/Fixtures
A trend that can change how individuals get their groceries – or even how large-scale farmers work is using sustainable gardens. Aquaponics and hydroponics are two systems that have been making strides in the movement to green practices. In short, a system has a water base that transfers to sprinklers, waters plants, seeps back down into the bottom, and is re-used. In Aquaponics, fish are an added factor to enhance the system with nutrients. There are pioneers trying to bring this to larger agricultural practices, however personal products for simple gardens or herbs are available for purchase today.
4) Use Graywater Systems
Graywater is relatively clean water from sinks, showers, and other household water usage systems. The idea is to reuse this water to minimize water consumption – for example, use the leftover water from a shower to flush your toilet. Since toilet water does not have to necessarily be clean, reusing it proves to be cost and energy efficient for this purpose.
5) Leave a Legacy
Most important is the impact you leave on the world. Many people recognizing the importance of clean and green practices for long-term goals. More and more they expect environmentally conscious decisions by each other, including vacation rental hosts!