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Greening up your holiday let

It’s more important — and easier — than ever to make your holiday let as eco-friendly as possible. With the demand for green tourism growing each year, environmentally-friendly measures will not only cut your carbon usage, they may attract more guests to book with you and increase your revenue too. We’ve compiled a list of easy, cost effective tweaks to make to your holiday let which will help you reduce your carbon footprint whilst increasing the appeal of your let — and save you some money in the process.

In the garden

Harvest rainwater

Water is a precious resource and the effects of climate change are increasingly affecting supply. If you have a garden that needs regular watering — even if it’s just a few beds and pots — installing a water butt is a no brainer: not only is rainwater better for plants (it has a lower PH than mains water, which plants prefer) it’s better for your pocket and the environment, too.

Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar on Unsplash

Create a compost bin

Compost bins not only address the issue of food waste (which accounts for 6% of global emissions), they save you money, too. If you have a garden that needs to be fed regularly with compost, creating a compost bin in the garden is a great way to ensure you have a free, never-ending supply throughout the year. There are plenty of tutorials online on how to create your own using old pallets (easy to get hold of for free). Just make sure you leave instructions for guests so they’re clear about what they can and can’t compost.

Photo by Del Barrett on Unsplash

Plant a simple herb garden

Herbs are easy to grow and maintain in pots, and making an edible garden with some of the most popular varieties not only makes your garden look attractive to both guests and wildlife, they save visitors buying fresh plastic-wrapped ones from the supermarket. Mint, thyme, rosemary, parsley and basil all thrive in the UK’s climate and are used in so many recipes that are staples of the British diet. And who doesn’t like a bit of freshly-picked parsley with their fish?

Saving energy and water
LED lightbulb

Replacing with low energy bulbs

If you haven’t already made the switch, using energy-saving bulbs the next time a bulb needs replacing is an easy, cost-effective change to make, and gone are the days of extortionately priced bulbs that give off a nasty, icy-bright glare. Top-quality LED bulbs — which you can pick up for as little as a pound or two — will not only be 10 times more efficient than the bulbs you’re replacing, but collectively they could save 40g of carbon emissions a year — and they’ll last for years, saving you money in the long run.

Photo by Federico Bottoson on Unsplash

Top up your insulation

Hot water cylinder jackets, pipe insulation and radiator reflective panels, which are fitted behind radiators to bounce heat back into the room, are all simple and cheap ways to increase your insulation and reduce heat loss by keeping water hotter for longer.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Water-saving devices

Using aerators in your showerheads and taps — easily fitted into your existing appliances — could save 40 litres of water a day. Make sure your sinks have well-fitting plugs or provide a washing up bowl to discourage guests from washing plates under a running tap. About 30% of household water goes down the toilet, so fitting a water hippo into the cistern (or simply using an old plastic bottle filled with water instead), will save thousands of litres a year, and save you money in the process.

Avoiding waste

Reusable water bottles

It’s estimated each guest could potentially use up to 20 plastic bottles over the course of a week-long holiday. Providing some reusable bottles and coffee cups in your holiday let for guests’ use is a great way to cut down on plastic entering our oceans and plaguing our beaches.

Washing line or clothes horse

Tumble dryers are one of the most energy intensive appliances in the home, so encouraging guests to dry their clothes naturally, especially in the warmer months, can have a substantial effect on your energy bills (potentially saving you hundreds of pounds a year) and your carbon footprint, too. 

Beach toys

We’ve all come across abandoned buckets and spades on the beach — not only are they an eyesore, they’re a danger to wildlife and they’re a huge waste of money and resources. As a coastal escape, it’s worth thinking about providing beach toys and bodyboards so guests aren’t tempted to buy new plastic, or provide information on places or schemes which offer hire locally, e.g. Surf Wood for Good.

Photo by Luke Gartside

Around the home

Refillable toiletries

Restocking toiletries and soap dispensers in your holiday let with eco-friendly alternatives is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic that you need to buy and avoids throwing away half used bars off soap.

Shopping bags

Reusable shopping bags are unlikely to be high on your guests’ packing list, so providing some at your holiday let for guests to use is a thoughtful touch that they’ll definitely appreciate. Abandoned plastic bags are a blight on the landscape and although the use of plastic bags have dropped by 95% since the 5p charge was brought in, thousands of bags still make it onto Cornwall’s beaches every year.

Eco-friendly cleaning products

Swapping your regular household cleaning products for environmentally-friendly options and stopping chemicals entering our waterways is a really straightforward change to make, and any allergy sufferers that come to stay will really appreciate it. Regular cleaning with chemicals that contain phosphates, bleach or chlorine can wear surfaces away faster and there is little evidence to suggest that chemical products do a better job than natural ones anyway.