Right now, most hostels will claim to be eco-friendly to attract environmentally conscious globetrotters as they stop off for a night or a week in any city. Many of these hostels are telling the truth, but others, not so much. If you consider yourself an eco-friendly traveler, there are three fundamental essentials to look for so you can feel confident you are doing your part for the environment while also experiencing the wide world around you.
There are hostels worldwide that have embraced renewable energy much more readily than the rest of society. From Germany to Colombia, you can find hostels that rely entirely on renewable energy by using solar panels to generate power.
In some places, you can enjoy this energy throughout the night, but other places require a ‘blackout’ after a specific time, usually 9pm until 6am, so make sure your phone is charged throughout the day. While unusual to some travelers, this blackout is a clear cut sign that the hostel is dedicated to keeping energy consumption low.
Hostels that focus on organic composting and work with local farms for fresh fruit and vegetables are some of the most enjoyable (and relaxed) hostels you can find. Organic composting will minimize food waste and ensure everything goes back into the environment. From here, they can grow their food or donate it to local establishments.
These prefixes create a marvelous community-feel wherever you are, and you may find that you never want to leave at the end of your initial stay. However, while some hostels may claim to compost food waste, you shouldn’t always take their word for it. Be on the lookout for designated garbage bins to dispose of leftover food and stations for recycling and general garbage. Any hostel that only uses one container for everything is not the eco-friendly place you are looking for.
Energy Efficient Appliances
It’s almost certain you have been in a hostel with a stove, washing machine, and dryer that are older than you. Traditionally, these are not the most energy-efficient of appliances, so they are likely to consume and waste plenty of energy, especially if the hostel can accommodate a lot of people. Look for Energy Star ratings while looking around, or at least minimize how much you use the appliances.
You should also consider what you take with you to overcome wasted energy, as it’s unlikely everywhere will have energy-efficient items. In humid countries, it can be difficult to air dry your clothes, and so you’ll have no choice but to use a dryer. The best wool dryer balls provide a reusable solution to this and mean you can keep your clothes fresh, clean, and dry wherever you go.
More than Just a Place to Sleep
While some travelers may not care where they lay their heads to get a good night’s sleep, eco-conscious travelers have more in mind. While a place to sleep is always welcomed and appreciated, they also want to ensure that they are not wasting resources and keeping in line with the eco-friendly lifestyle they are so dedicated to.
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