Recycling – it’s a way of life for most people. Although we can be diligent about it while at home, as a traveler and vacation rental guest, it can sometimes be challenging. Recently, I stayed at a waterfront property in Arizona. Everything about my stay was fantastic, aside from having to throw every ounce of household waste into the trash. At home, recycling bins are customary. We even make special trips to our local recycling center for glass, batteries, and other challenging materials. As you can imagine, throwing away EVERYTHING during my stay was a bitter pill to swallow. Here are a few ideas to make your vacation rental more eco-friendly.

As hosts, we can maintain the at-home momentum by sharing ideas and implementing best practices for an eco-conscious stay.


  • Stock your rental with non-disposable utensils, dishes and containers.
  • Switch out paper towels and napkins for real towels and cloth napkins – just be sure to provide plenty!
  • Install a water filter for guests to avoid buying bottled water.


  • Install LED light bulbs, which can save an average of $25 each month in utility bills!
  • Add solar panels to source your own electricity. Over the course of 20 years, you could save up to $20,000! Side bonus – you can market your property as an eco-friendly retreat.
  • Install a smart thermostat, allowing you to set timing limits and remotely control the temperature of your heat & air conditioning.
  • Install low flush toilets to help cut down on water usage. Almost 30% of the USA is drought status – the more water we conserve, the better for everyone.


  • Outline resources in your guidebook and install instructions around your property. Let guests know where recycling bins are located and if additional actions are needed to empty them (days of the week, location). Be clear about what can and cannot be recycled in your area.


  • Did you know that most airport bookstores offer a buy and return program for books? You’ll receive a 50% refund, and any Paradies Lagardere location participates in this fantastic program.
  • Bring your own earbuds on flights. So many are small and packable, and usually included with a smart phone purchase.
  • Travel with your own water bottle – It’s almost impossible to not locate a filtered water bottle refilling station in an airport these days. To help you find the ideal reusable water bottle, here’s a list of some favorites.
  • Calculate your carbon footprint – you can actually crunch the numbers and donate funds to organizations like or TerraPass that help offset how much carbon you produce on a trip.
  • Bring your own toiletries. Those small bottles are terrible for the environment as they generally aren’t biodegradable. Besides, it’s so easy to refill your own.
  • Reuse shower towels – no question, it’s better for the environment if you use your towel more than once. Laundry typically accounts for 16% of any water bill. Keeping those expenses in check helps the environment and keeps your nightly rates low.
  • Car rental vs. Uber/Lyft – ride-share services are far more environmentally friendly. If you must rent a car, here’s a list of the most fuel-efficient rental cars.

 If you liked “Make Your Vacation Rental More Eco-Friendly”, check out the VacayMyWay Journal for host resources and helpful hosting tips: