Hayden Ward

Saving Green by Going Green

Saving Green by Going Green in your Vacation Rental Property

Eco-friendly and sustainability are common terms used on packaging when purchasing home goods such as appliances, air-conditioning units, wood materials, and even fabrics. Often, they are associated with saving money. At the same time, the ever-changing climate has created a desire for a more conscientious lifestyle.

Many vacationers are looking for these “green” properties. Not only is making your vacation rental home eco-friendly good for business; it also helps leave less of a carbon footprint on Mother Earth, which is beneficial for everyone. Take a look around your rental and see where you can save money, protect the earth’s resources, and potentially reduce your risks. 

Celebrate Earth Day, April 22, 2020, by going green using these simple 15 tips.

1. Switch light bulbs to LED and CFL bulbs

They may initially be more expensive than the average halogen, however, these bulbs produce 70 to 90% less heat, reducing the risk of fires or burnt fingers. The use of these type bulbs make it safer for your guests and easier on your wallet long term. In fact, LED bulbs are known to last up to 17 years if used for only 8 hours a day.  

2. Use a filtered water dispenser

Are your guests stocking up on plastic water bottles when they stay at your rental? Reduce the amount of single use plastic bottles by investing in a water filter for your kitchen faucet. This small upgrade not only gives your guests peace of mind by providing filtered water but it also minimizes your carbon footprint. If you wanted to take the extra step, create your own logoed water bottles for your property that your guests can take with them. Not only are you reducing water bottle use but also promoting your brand. It’s a win-win for everyone.

3. Incorporate real plants in your décor

Swap your faux plants for real ones! Studies have shown that plants clean the indoor air by increasing humidity, absorbing toxins, and producing oxygen. They also give off a strong eco-friendly vibe that your guests will love. Snap a few photos of your green space to add to your listing. “Plus” hosts on Airbnb have listed their property as “natural” and “green” thousands of times within the past few years according to Airbnb. Plants are where design meets the environment and where eco-friendly travelers reside. Our team compiled a list of vacation rental friendly greenery even for those with a “brown thumb.” Everything from which plants to try and how to care for them can be found in our plant guide. Download it here!

4. Switch to energy saving appliances

Upgrade your appliances to Energy Star certified. On average, 13% of your energy bill is from appliances alone. Switching to energy efficient ones will help cut down on that cost. Additionally, they use less water. 

5. Reduce water use

One of the simplest ways to reduce water is to upgrade your fixtures. By doing so, you eliminate pollution caused from wasting water and help abate our ever-increasing problem of climate change. Upgrading an older toilet is one of the best improvements to prevent water waste. If that is too big of a purchase, look at replacing the toilet flap. This small change can have a large impact on saving water. A low flow shower head is another way to reduce water waste. It can reduce water consumption by 40% over the standard shower head without affecting the water pressure.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that on average Americans use 100 gallons of water per day. Reducing water waste will substantially save you money and have a huge positive impact on one of our most precious resources.

6. Look for leaky pipes 

We have all heard the drip, drip, drip sound coming from a faucet that you are positive was turned off. It is so important to make sure that your faucets are in good working order and not wasting water. A leaking tap that drips one drip per second is said to waste 3,000 gallons of water in a year’s time. This can significantly impact our water supply. Improperly working faucets can escalate into other major problems like mold buildup. According to the EPA, don’t ignore the drip as 10% of your current water bill could be going down the drain. Detect these risks before they create a costly issue. 

Not all leaks are created equal. Make sure to check underneath the sink, toilet, and any plumbing at your rental. By purchasing a leak detector, you will be notified if a leak occurs. It will not only save you money but will also help reduce the risk of property damage.

7. Clean fridge coils

Those dusty coils in the back of your refrigerator can cost you money and add to greenhouse gas emissions. Make sure to unplug your fridge before vacuuming the dust from the coils. Of all the kitchen appliances, the refrigerator uses the most energy. Cleaning the coils will dissipate heat causing your appliance to cool more efficiently. This also can help reduce your chances of having to pay more for a costly repair.

8. Upgrade your thermostat

By switching to a smart thermostat, you can control heating and cooling from your phone, tablet, or even a voice automation device like Alexa. Not only are you offering smart technology at your vacation rental but another opportunity to reduce expenses. Smart thermostats allow you to have complete control over the indoor temperature of your property. Some devices even let you know when you have chosen a temperature that is saving energy. Nest, a well-known smart thermostat, gives the owner the ability to adjust the temperature depending on if there are guests there or not, therefore saving energy when it is unoccupied. Although these powerful devices sound a little pricey, there are many on the market for every price range and function. 

9. Have recycle bins available

Providing a recycle bin on the premises is one of the easiest eco-friendly upgrades to make to your property. Studies have shown that placing a recycle bin within close proximity to your trash can will encourage guests to recycle. Inform visitors which items can be placed in the bin with a simple sign. This makes it easy for everyone to do a small part in helping the earth.

10. Switch to biodegradable/compostable trash bags

Another small step in the right direction of sustainability is to switch from regular plastic trash bags to biodegradable ones certified compostable. The average plastic trash bag takes 10 years to disintegrate in a landfill. Biodegradable certified compostable trash bags take 3 to 6 months to decompose. The price difference between the greener choice is only a few dollars. It’s a small change that can have a big positive impact on our earth.

11. Prevent air leaks in windows 

Air leaks result in a great amount of unnecessary energy being used to heat and cool your property. Repairing leaks can save your energy bill anywhere between 5 to 30%. Take the time to caulk around the windows where the frame meets the exterior of the building. Remember to replace weather stripping so leaks don’t occur. Flashing around doors is the most important factor to prevent moisture intrusion. Locating air leaks in your property can not only save you money but make your property more efficient by saving on energy. Taking these precautionary measures to ensure all cracks are sealed will also help with the ever changing spring weather.           

12. Have reusable bags on hand

Stock your short-term rental property with reusable bags instead of plastic and paper sacks. Leave a note where guests can find the reusable bag at your property. You might even consider it as a marketing tool by having your property name or business name imprinted on the bag. It is such a simple reminder of what a great time they had staying at your location. Another eco-friendly item to try are beeswax wraps, they also help reduce the amount of single use plastic. Providing reusable glasses, water bottles, plates, and silverware helps your guests reduce not only the trash they make but also their carbon footprint while traveling. 

13. Buy local

Purchasing items from local businesses cuts down the carbon footprint exponentially. Just think about all the cardboard, gas emissions, and waste that goes into shipping one item. If you can purchase items like soaps, detergents, bath bombs, and even coffee locally, you are helping the environment and potentially cross promoting local businesses. Guests appreciate a host that goes the extra mile and introduces them to the charm of your town. Local businesses are more likely to share your property with friends, family, or visitors at their establishment based on the relationship you have made supporting one another.

14. Create an eco-friendly bed

Buying an eco-friendly bedding set might sound very expensive. However, don’t lose sleep over it. Many options are just as affordable as any other comforter, sheets set, or pillowcases on the market. Look for guidelines like Global Organic Textile standard, Fair Trade, Cradle to Cradle, and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX. These stamps of approval mean the product was ethically sourced, responsibly labeled, organic, and safe. After upgrading your bedding, you may want to consider purchasing an eco-friendly mattress to reduce toxin emissions in the air. The conscious consumer is looking for properties that align with their belief system of reducing toxins/chemicals and conserving the earth’s resources. By upgrading your bedding, you can market your property to a new niche of eco-friendly travelers.

15. Make your landscaping eco-friendly 

Spring is the season for new growth and rejuvenation. Look around your property for environmentally friendly ways for you to create sustainable landscaping that will help conserve water and energy. If your area has mandated water restrictions, consider an automatic irrigation system. It allows you to control the amount and length of time you water your lawn, shrubs, and plants. Xeriscaping is drought-tolerant landscaping. This helps dry regions where water is conserved. Choose native plants from the region you live in because they will easily adapt to your environment. Whenever possible use recycled bricks, stones, or concrete items to design your space instead of buying new. Recycled plastic can be used for fencing and decks. Eco-friendly landscaping is good for the earth and your wallet. 

Sustainable living benefits us all. There are simple ways to make your property eco-friendly saving you money and creating a new niche of renters. Go green to save green! And, remember to take time to check on your vacation rental insurance so your property is fully covered and up to date with CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance. 

Start your CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance quote today or speak with one of our insurance experts!

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About Us

CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services,Inc., is the largest insurer of short-term vacation rental properties in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we are the first broker to develop specific policy coverage to meet the needs for vacation rental properties and the amenities offered by these businesses. We have insured vacation rental properties since 2002.

The CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to short-term vacation rentals.We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" ~ our representatives are well versed in explaining your coverage in plain English. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a 24/7 claims team that is ready to respond to your call any time of the day. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your business are adequately protected.