It’d be a rare adventurer these days who hasn’t stayed in an Airbnb. What’s not to love – unique stays, homely touches, quirks galore, often an interesting host or astonishing architectural feature to tell stories about when you get home. Airbnb has changed the holiday landscape forever, and for the better.
As one might expect from anyone involved in an innovative property management model, Airbnb hosts are increasingly inviting guests to consider the environment. In some cases it’s simply a matter of necessity. Many of us – in numbers that will only increase – live in areas where water restrictions are a seasonal certainty. But in broader terms, we are all increasingly aware of the climate change threat, and of our responsibilities to the one planet we have. Airbnb is keeping up with the developing ethics of its clientele. If we’re guests, we like to know that our hosts are taking steps to offset some of the environmental costs associated with running a small business and maintaining a property. If we’re hosts, we like to encourage guests to appreciate that their adventures away from home do leave traces upon the earth.
There are many small ways hosts can role model good environmental citizenship. Most of us already do some of them in our own homes – we might encourage recycling, use eco-cleaners, minimise heating and cooling needs through sensible furnishing, a whole raft of modest but useful measures. There are also more macro ways to help – purchase green power for Airbnb properties, for example, or choose banks with good environmental credentials. We can also plant trees.
Fifteen Trees has partnered with a number of Airbnb hosts over the past couple of years. The aim is to plant one for every guest who stays at an Airbnb property. Jill Gilchrist is our most recent host to plant trees on behalf of guests. Jill is an Airbnb host who lets out her lovely home, Wyobie One near Manly in Sydney. Wyobie One already featured eco-friendly features like bamboo toilet paper and composting facilities. Now, for every booking made, a tree is planted.
The tree isn’t planted in a Manly backyard. It might be planted in any of Fifteen Trees’ partner projects – up in the high country of Victoria, or over in Western Australia, or, as in Jill’s case, on the outskirts of the very successful ongoing revegetation project in the new Woowookarung State Forest Victoria. Jill’s guests might never see these trees. But, like Airbnb itself, this is a partnership about connection and mutual benefit. It’s about making links all over the world, creating a more vibrant, sustainable society where we can both play and breathe for many years to come.
If you’re an Airbnb host and are interested in upping your eco credentials, please contact us. We can get you started by planting 15 trees (@$4.80/tree) on your behalf and sending you a PDF poster you can display outlining your support to your guests. Plus we’ll feature you here so you can link back to your trees from your end.
Article by Sarah Hart.
Sarah is an emerging self-taught artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form.