Traveling contributes to climate change – there’s no way around it. But if you must exercise your wanderlust, there are many ways to green your trip – like staying at a home rented from a service like Airbnb. A recent study by Airbnb and Cleantech showed that travelers who use Airbnb’s community marketplace use 63 percent less energy than hotel guests – or enough electricity to power 19,000 homes for a full year.
The study doesn’t stop there. It goes on to show that North American Airbnb guests are also conserving in many other ways, including: using less water and producing less greenhouse gas emissions. In a single year, Airbnb guests conserved the equivalent of 270 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water and saved 33,000 North American cars’ worth of greenhouse gases. And on the whole people who stay with Airbnb tend to be greener folk, with 83 percent of North American guests owning at least one energy-efficient appliance and 10 to 15 percent using public transportation while staying with Airbnb.
Airbnb rentals can also help guests feel more connected to the place they’re visiting by offering a strong community and rentals in more authentic locales. It’s a win-win situation – and it’s something that traditional hotels are starting to take notice of. In a recent interview with Time, Mariott CEO Arne Sorenson said that while services like Airbnb are “interesting experiment(s)” that don’t compete with traditional hotels, they do offer a unique service that some travelers are looking for.