Skip to content
Navigate forward to access suggested results

    Learn about recycling and reducing waste

    Become a more sustainable Host by helping guests properly dispose of waste.
    By Airbnb on Apr 21, 2021
    3 min read
    Updated Apr 22, 2021

    Highlights

    • Get ideas for easy steps you can take to be a more environmentally-friendly Host

    • From offering filtered water to providing reusable bags, small changes can reduce plastic waste

    • Make sure to provide separate bins for recycling

    Many tourism destinations struggle with managing trash, from overflowing landfills to inadequate recycling options. One dump truck full of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute. Over the course of a year, that’s 8 million tons* of plastics. Because of the harmful effects on wildlife and the environment, it’s important to minimize the use of plastic—and avoid creating waste when possible.

    To help Hosts learn best practices for managing and reducing waste, we worked closely with the United Nations Environment Programme, a global champion for the environment, and World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading conservation organization. We’re also sharing tips from our global Host community for how they’ve addressed this in their spaces.

    Check out these ideas for ways you can cut down on waste:

    Cut out single-use plastics

    Superhost Anna of Pembrokeshire, Wales, and her family made a commitment to try to stop using plastic in 2019. The process has been gradual, but they’re doing better each year.

    “The handmade soap and shampoo bars we provide are from a wonderful business less than a mile away,” says Anna. “There’s even seaweed in the soap foraged from the local beach that our guests can see from the window!”

    Here are some other ideas to avoid plastic:

    • Provide reusable bags: Plastic bags can be mistaken for food** by wild animals. Help guests avoid them by offering reusable and washable shopping bags and produce bags for their stay. Superhost Tiffany in Hollywood Beach, California, has bike baskets with liners that convert to bags to make it easier for her guests to shop on the go.
    • Stock reusable cups and food storage containers: Reusable water bottles and coffee mugs are great for guests to use when they’re out and about. Reusable glass food storage containers allow guests to save leftovers or pack food for a picnic.
    • Use refillable containers: Instead of single-use bottles, opt for refillable hand soap, dish soap, and cleaning products.
    • Offer filtered water: Installing a water filter on your faucet or having a filtered water pitcher can help prevent guests from buying bottled water. “We have a water-filtering system at our listings,” says Superhost Omar in Mexico City. “Guests have told us it’s been a deciding factor when booking!”
    • Avoid coffee makers that use plastic pods: If you offer a caffeine fix for your guests, opt for organic, shade-grown coffee instead of disposable coffee capsules. Shade-grown coffee is grown under a canopy of trees that creates an important habitat for a variety of insects, birds, and animals, which are increasingly threatened by deforestation.

    Champion recycling

    Some guests may not be familiar with recycling, and each community has its own regulations. Here are some suggestions to help your guests recycle like locals:

    • Educate yourself: Find out which types of plastics your area’s recycling system accepts, and encourage your guests to recycle them.
    • Provide labeled bins: Offer at least one recycling bin. If specific items need to be recycled separately, like paper and glass, make sure you have bins for each one.
    • Share clear instructions: Include pictures and examples in your house manual so guests can easily refer to it.
    • Post reminders around your space: Superhost Antonella of Milan, Italy, likes to personally explain the recycling process to her guests at check-in—and reinforces the rules throughout her space. “I have a printed sheet with the rules in English near the garbage baskets and include the rules in the house manual,” she says. She also printed out the recycling rules in multiple languages from her local government’s website.
    We hope these ideas help you incorporate more environmentally-friendly practices into your hosting routine. Because we all need to do our part to take care of the planet, consider inviting your family, friends, and neighbors to join in, too.

    NEXT: Learn simple steps to support sustainable tourism

    *From World Wildlife Fund’s
    No Plastic in Nature: A Practical Guide for Business Engagement, published February 5, 2019

    **From World Wildlife Fund’s 60 Actions for the Planet, published March 5, 2021

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Highlights

    • Get ideas for easy steps you can take to be a more environmentally-friendly Host

    • From offering filtered water to providing reusable bags, small changes can reduce plastic waste

    • Make sure to provide separate bins for recycling

    Airbnb
    Apr 21, 2021
    Was this helpful?