Environmental Sustainability in the Vacation Rental Industry | Part 1

September 11, 2019

Environmental sustainability. Today, it’s something that we all need to think about personally, with our families, and for our businesses. While it might seem like we live in a world of endless natural resources, we don’t! It’s up to each of us to try to conserve and make healthier choices when it comes to energy use, gardening, and consumer products.

We in the vacation rental industry have a unique opportunity to not only adopt sustainable practices for our properties but to also educate our guests on the benefits of a sustainable lifestyle. Small changes can make a big difference, and while some have an upfront cost, many are simply changing the way we do things and making informed choices when it comes to purchasing.

In this report, we are going to explain sustainability and why it is important, take a look at areas where you can adopt the practice, and how you can market your environmentally friendly units to new and existing companies as a way to increase revenue.

PART 1: What Is Environmental Sustainability?

Sustainability is one of the biggest issues facing mankind today. As populations increase the escalation of human activity has put a severe strain on our planet’s natural resources. No part of the planet is untouched by these effects. Population increases and increasing per capita consumption of goods are creating problems like rapid urbanization, industrialization and modern agricultural practices that are draining resources and polluting the air, water, and soil, around the world.

Each one of us needs to adopt practices in our businesses and our lives that will cut waste, reduce consumption, and lower pollution. These practices form the basis of sustainability. So, what exactly is sustainability?

The formal definition of environmental sustainability is:
“the rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely. If they cannot be continued indefinitely, then they are not sustainable.”

While this is a problem with global reach and implications, we can make a difference by acting locally. We live in a modern, consumerist, and largely urban world, especially here in the US, and we unthinkingly consume vast amounts of natural resources every day. The goal of sustainability is not to hinder growth, or negatively impact our modern existence, but to make changes that help us to balance the fine line between our need to move forward, and the need to protect the environment.

Environmental sustainability comes down to considering the future while making decisions in the present. It means making small changes, that when compounded over time, and the population can make a difference.

Why It’s Important

Sustainability works to improve health and quality of life. It’s important for many reasons including:

  • Environmental Quality
    To have healthy communities we all need clean air and water, natural resources, and a nontoxic environment. Making changes like installing permeable pavers to help return clean rainwater to aquifers and reduce run-off, using non-toxic bio-pesticides and natural plant foods, and eliminating single use plastic bottles can help to improve the quality of the environment and reduce waste.
  • Foster Growth
    As our businesses grow, we need more resources like energy, water and space. Using resources more efficiently can benefit your business, and the community.
  • Healthcare
    Sustainability and healthcare are closely related. The quality of our environment directly effects public health. For example, many health issues are directly related to air and water quality.

By adopting sustainable practices you’ll not only reduce your impact on the environment, but you’ll also enjoy greater operational efficiency through lowering energy use, conserving water, minimizing waste and enjoying the cost benefits of these actions. As a vacation rental property manager, you also have the unique ability to increase guest awareness and engagement in their own sustainable practices, leveraging the benefits far beyond your immediate location!

Stay tuned to the Xplorie Insider as next week we’ll tell you what you can do differently in your units to improve sustainability.