Ideas for a sustainable accommodation

08 March 2024

Ideas for a sustainable accommodation

At Icnea we work with sustainability as one of the key elements for the development of our activity. That is why during the last year we have adopted new sustainable initiatives such as the collaboration with Treedom and the migration to new environmentally friendly servers.

With this commitment, we want to help our customers to adopt sustainable initiatives for their business and to make the holiday rental industry environmentally friendly for owners and managers, but also for guests.

Implementing sustainable measures is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for the cost savings of the properties and the sustainability of the cities, communities and local businesses that our guests visit.

Improve your energy efficiency

Improving the energy efficiency of your properties includes a wide variety of possibilities ranging from simple options such as energy efficient light bulbs to solar panel systems and geothermal heating systems.
  • Energy efficient appliances and light bulbs: replacing traditional light sources with energy efficient alternatives such as LED bulbs is an effective way to reduce electricity consumption in accommodation. In addition, when furnishing holiday accommodation or replacing old appliances, it is advisable to choose A, B and C certified appliances to ensure that you are buying energy efficient appliances.
  • Smart thermostats: These devices optimise heating and air-conditioning systems to regulate the temperature according to the preferences set by the guest or owner. In addition, these thermostats can be controlled remotely even when the guest is not in the accommodation.
  • Motion sensors: these devices allow lights to be automatically switched on when activity is detected in a particular room or space in the property and subsequently switched off when no activity is detected. Their use prevents guests from forgetting to turn off the lights in rooms or even leaving the property leaving lights on with the excessive electricity costs that this would entail.
  • Insulating windows and doors: It is important for accommodation to have insulated doors and windows to prevent heating or cooling from leaking, which will result in a greater expenditure of resources to air-condition a space. For windows, there are options such as double glazing or adhesive weatherstripping that prevent such leaks. This, together with a good optimisation of the cooling and heating systems, allows air conditioning in less time and with a reduced consumption of resources.

Control water consumption

As an owner you have at your disposal different measures to control water consumption in the property and prevent guests from making excessive use of this resource. It is especially important to have control in the bathroom, where water consumption can be higher, but without neglecting other key points such as cleaning dishes or garden maintenance in case you need to have water for the care of outdoor areas.
  • Flow reduction devices: using flow reducers on showers and taps can save up to 40% of water consumption. In drought-prone areas, the use of these devices is particularly important, allowing automatic savings every time water is used for any purpose. In addition, these devices do not affect the water pressure, so there is no need to worry about needing more water due to the flow reducer.
  • Correct use of dishwashers: it is important to educate guests in the use of electrical appliances such as dishwashers, recommending that they always use Eco wash programmes and wait until the machine is fully loaded before starting to use it. If necessary, we can leave instructions next to the dishwasher so that the guest can adapt to its correct use during their stay.
  • Water bags for cisterns: to save water when using the toilet, it is advisable to install a water bag in the cistern. This device prevents the cistern from filling up to its maximum capacity when flushing, which leads to savings in each use of the cistern.
  • Leak detection: prevention is just as important as saving measures. Much of the water wasted is due to undetected leaks that can go undetected for a long time, generating unwanted expenditure. To avoid these complications, there are leak detection measures that are located next to possible leakage points such as shower trays, toilets, taps, sinks, etc. In the event of a leak, the device alerts the owner before the problem escalates, thus allowing maintenance technicians to be contacted and the problem to be solved immediately.

Recycling in accommodation

In addition to the consumption of resources, it is important to pay attention to the correct disposal of guests' waste. Recycling is the basic point to start with, however, it is important to know that not all countries recycle in the same way, so it is important to have the corresponding bins in the accommodation for proper recycling and to provide instructions on how to do it in the correct way according to local regulations. It is advisable to provide a space, preferably in the kitchen, for waste bins and instructions for the disposal of other waste. Facilitating the task of recycling and proper waste disposal is essential as most people tend to neglect their recycling efforts when they are on holiday.

Promote the use of public transport among guests

Encouraging the use of public transport is a way of taking care of the environment and providing guests with a way to get around the city. By making them aware of the options available to them to get to the locations they wish to visit, we improve the guest experience and prevent them from wasting their time looking for information on the different ways to get to their destinations. In addition, many cities have services such as bicycles or electric motorbikes that can be offered to guests to create their own sightseeing routes, saving the cost of renting a conventional vehicle. Services such as tour buses and guided tours can also be offered to expand guests' options when visiting the city.

Community and social sustainability

Each destination offers tourists a unique experience and, as owners, you need to know how to drive visitor interest to have a positive impact on the community as well. Here it is important to incorporate local commerce and activities either with recommendations or even welcome gifts.

Many travellers want to take advantage of their trip to have the opportunity to get closer to the community and to purchase and consume local products to get a closer perspective of the place they are visiting. In addition, tourism today has a high demand for activities and experiences that support local businesses and that the visitor can feel like one more in the community. To this end, at Icnea we collaborate with Liiffe, a platform that helps owners to offer, together with their accommodation, local experiences proposed and devised by the people who live in the place and that cannot be found in conventional guides.

Remember to have information about local businesses, products and experiences to ensure that your guests' stay has a positive impact on the community. Tourists can be a vital part of the preservation of local culture and customs and the income they earn helps the development of these communities.

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