If you’re an eco-conscious traveller planning to visit Buenos Aires on a tight budget, don’t worry, you don’t have to leave your green lifestyle behind. The Eco-Pampa Hostel located in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo ¨Soho¨ is an affordable alternative to big hotels that has been carefully designed for minimal environmental impact. The hostel, which prides itself on being ¨Buenos Aires’ first eco-hostel,¨ opened its doors just a year ago in what used to be the local theatre, and is a growing favorite amongst international travelers!
Sited along the lush and green Guatemala Street, the Eco-Pampa Hostel greets its visitors with a bar and a multi-purpose salon decorated with a mix of furniture purchased at flea markets and auction sales. The salon serves as a meeting space where travellers from around the globe can exchange tips on where to go and what to do in the sunny Argentine capital and beyond.
On the first floor, the bedrooms are austere and made to last. They boast facilities such as low-energy air conditioning and LCD TVs, and because all the furniture is second-hand, no two rooms look the same. Furnishing and bedding are made of unbleached cotton that has not been treated with environmentally harmful dyes or bleach. Additionally, quirky signage system reminds visitors of the small, everyday sustainable actions they can incorporate to their everyday life – the taps have water aerators and the toilets water-efficient dual-flush systems. Water from the showers also get reused as water for the toilets through a simple but clever pipes system.
A communal kitchen maintains recycling facilities (as Buenos Aires does not have a governmental recycling scheme yet), and cooperatives such as El Ceibo come and take the rubbish to make new materials. Guests are able to stay connected through the low-energy computer area, which sits adjacent to a green sunroof terrace.
Solar panels provide the energy for common areas and solar collectors heat up the water for cooking and showers, reducing the water heaters’ energy demands by 70%. Rain water is captured for watering the organic herbs and vegetable patch on site, and there is also a home-made compost bin that gets fed with leftovers from the hostel’s kitchen.
Eco-Pampa has designed a ¨Sustainable Lifestyle Guide¨ so visitors and employees can not only make use of the various services the hostel has to offer, but also learn how to minimize their environmental impact while in Buenos Aires and at home.
Photos: © Ana Lisa Alperovich / Eco-Pampa Hostel