AirBnB has become our latest entry point into the peer-to-peer sharing economy. We have enjoyed meeting travelers from near and far and learning about all the reasons why people come to Seattle. Last week, we had a chef from NYC who apparently did all his cooking for a catering gig in our funny 1955 2nd kitchen. I’m still eating his yummy leftovers! We also had an aspiring teen fashion model from Wenatchee who came in for a photo shoot. And lots of families booked for the summer while they visit relatives nearby.
I do like AirBnB quite a lot, but I have one suggestion for them. Make some kind of “green badge” or green certification that can be earned by both hosts and travelers alike. Here are some suggested criteria that would help everyone strive towards zero waste and less environmental impact:
Green Moves for AirBnB Hosts:
- provide cloth napkins & other paper towel replacements
- provide travel coffee mugs and water bottles
- provide filtered water & info about tap water so that travelers don’t buy the bottled stuff
- eat or give away food that guests leave behind
- use refillable liquid soap containers for hand washing, shower gel, shampoo, etc.
- use washable towels & rags for cleaning with natural cleaning solutions
- teach guests how to separate waste into compost, recycling & garbage
- provide on-site composting for fruit & veggie scraps
- provide racks or clotheslines for drying towels, sheets & guests’ laundry
- provide recycled toilet paper such as Seventh Generation
- encourage public transit use with info about trains from the airport, local transit stops, etc. We provide info about the Transit Go Ticket app and Orca cards for the local buses upon request.
- use programmable thermostats & localized heating/cooling for each guest room
- explore green heating options such as heat pumps & pellet stoves
- all that other good green building stuff like insulation, natural lighting, solar panels, etc.
Hopefully our guests will make use of all those reusables, they’ll conserve water and create little trash, and they’ll turn off the lights when they leave a room. Staying with a green host can mean getting a taste of a greener lifestyle during their stay. Happy trails, everyone!