As we at New York Habitat enter our 30th year in the travel and hospitality business, we look forward to the future and keeping our industry modern. With that in mind, and with Earth Day right around the corner, we turn our sights towards sustainability and living “green”—putting effort into lifestyle changes that are healthy for our planet and lessen our carbon footprints in a globalized world.
One of the easiest ways to try going green is within your living space—which is great news for the owners and tenants of our furnished apartment rentals alike! In this day and age, the tourism industry is seeing a trend towards “green travel,” or travel and tourism that puts an emphasis on making sustainable choices that are better for the earth. In fact, two-thirds of travelers planned to make sustainable choices in 2018, according to The Washington Post, and Booking.com reports that 52% of travelers choose destinations based on environmental impact.
Whether you’re looking for a rental in New York, Paris, London, or the South of France, or you’re an apartment owner looking to make your apartment more eco-friendly to appeal to travelers, we’ve compiled a list of great tips to help you go green for 2019!
Tips for clients: How a New York Habitat furnished apartment rental can help you live sustainably
If you’re a renter or traveler looking to live more sustainably, you’re in luck: a furnished apartment rental can be a great option! At New York Habitat, we offer different types of rentals depending on the duration of your stay, between stays of less than a month and stays of 1 month or more. Fortunately, regardless of your destination (New York, Paris, London or the South of France), it’s easy to practice sustainability in any type of stay.
If you’re in New York and want to learn more about environmentally-friendly habits, be sure to stop by New York City’s Earth Day celebrations in Union Square this spring for tips from professionals!
Going green with a vacation rental
Did you know that a vacation rental can often be a more eco-friendly option than a hotel? Staying in a furnished apartment has exploded in popularity in the past decade due in no small part to their more sustainable reputation. Here are just a few of the ways that a vacation rental can reduce your carbon footprint:
1. Water usage– Without the daily maid service that’s a mainstay in hotels, sheets, towels, and other linens go the extra mile in a vacation rental. Eco-savvy travelers appreciate the reduced water usage that comes as a bonus with reusing household linens.
2. Increased efficiency– Because they are located in private homes, especially in Paris and New York (where local restrictions typically sanction only smaller and privately-owned buildings for short-term rentals), vacation rentals typically consume far less energy than a traditional hotel room. Think about it—no massive lobby or common area means no 24/7 electricity consumption!
3. Reduced energy use– Vacation rentals often have outdoor areas that encourage you to spend time outside in the natural sunlight, particularly in the South of France (we love the stunning outdoor areas of this Theoule sur Mer vacation rental, the wraparound terrace of this St. Jean Cap Ferrat 1-bedroom, and the breezy open layout of this Puyricard vacation rental). More time outside means less energy consumption too!
4. Reduced fuel consumption– Take advantage of your time living like a local in your vacation rental’s city to use its public transportation system! New York’s subway is one of the largest systems in the world, Paris’s metro features beautiful art installations, and London’s Underground and double-decker buses are as iconic as the city itself. New York Habitat agents can easily help you find an apartment near the metro for an easy commute, and transportation is so lively in these cities, you may not even notice your reduced environmental impact.
While you’re on vacation, you can also take advantage of plenty of eco-friendly activities, including a walk through famous parks like Central Park and the High Line, Tuileries Garden, or St. James’s Park, or a trip to a beautiful beach on the French Riviera!
Making sustainable choices in a furnished apartment
When you’re renting for a longer stay (one month or more), it’s even easier to adopt eco-friendly lifestyle changes! Monthly apartment tenants have more time to adopt semi-permanent “green” living habits. With a move to a new city, the time is perfect to become more environmentally conscious.
1. Unplug and turn off– Be mindful of your electricity consumption and unplug electronics and turn off lights when not in use. This comes with an added bonus: cheaper monthly utility bills!
2. Consider a studio– If you don’t need the extra space, a studio apartment can be a great (and greener) option. Living in a more compact space is generally more energy-efficient, as it requires less energy to heat, cool, and light the apartment. Once again, a studio will usually save you money on rent vs. a one-bedroom too!
3. Join a bike-sharing program– Bike shares have become exceedingly popular in big cities like New York and London. Bicycling for transportation has minimal environmental impact, and is a great way to see your city and get fit at the same time.
4. Shop local– Fortunately, the bountiful local markets in Paris and the South of France make buying locally-grown produce and foodstuffs easy and even desirable. New Yorkers have caught the farmer’s market craze too, and London’s markets are a destination in themselves. Locally-grown food consumes less energy in its shipment and storage, and is a great way to use your furnished rental’s kitchen too!
5. Discuss additional steps with your landlord– Passionate about the environment? Ask your apartment’s owner about simple changes like switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, and learn your building’s recycling policy. If you’re living in a roommate share, this is also a great opportunity to encourage your roommates to adopt eco-friendly habits too.
If you want to go the extra mile, see if you can find volunteer opportunities like park and street cleanups, wildlife rehabilitation, or community gardens you can join in your city. Volunteering is a great way to help the earth, meet locals, and give back to your new city at the same time.
Tips for owners: Making your apartment more eco-friendly
As mentioned in our last section, apartment owners can play a huge role in sustainability too. Whether you’re looking to attract more tenants who are interested in ecotourism or just want to make your property more environmentally-friendly, there are steps owners can take at any budget to make their apartment “greener” (no fresh paint job required!).
1. Switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs– Switching to energy-efficient bulbs from standard incandescents conserves energy use by 25-80%, which saves you money too—around $75 a year!
2. Upgrade plumbing fixtures– Consider changing the heads in your showers and sinks to low-flow fixtures. These fixtures conserve water usage while guests shower or use the sink without affecting water pressure.
3. Choose energy-efficient appliances– While it may be cost-prohibitive for apartment owners to do this casually, if you’re already renovating your apartment’s kitchen, bathroom, or laundry facilities, consider installing energy-efficient appliances with your renovation.
4. Use natural cleaning supplies– Consider buying natural or plant-based cleaning supplies (rather than those made with harsh chemicals) to maintain your apartment and provide to your guests.
5. Provide recycling bins and instructions– If you’re hosting guests, make sure your apartment has recycling bins readily available. To go the extra mile as an owner and encourage recycling among your tenants, provide instructions upon check-in, including what materials can be recycled and the days on which recycling is collected.
6. Construct an eco-friendly welcome basket– Many of our apartment hosts are praised for providing a welcome basket to guests upon check-in (typically containing wine, food items, or other small gifts). This is a great opportunity to be a hospitable host and encourage environmental consciousness! Consider providing organic, local food items, reusable shopping bags, reusable water bottles (a water filter pitcher in the fridge is a great idea too!), instruction sheets with tips for sustainability (our tips above are a great place to start), or whatever else gets you inspired.
If you make any changes to your apartment or vacation rental in hopes of attracting environmentally-conscious tenants, get in touch with New York Habitat! Our agents and Product Management Team will be happy to liaise and update your apartment’s description on our webpage to highlight your “green” upgrades.
New York Habitat makes greener travel easy!
We love the earth at New York Habitat, and believe that in a global society with destinations in multiple cities, it’s important to promote responsible travel as much as possible. That’s why our unique, personalized approach fits right in with promoting sustainability: When you book with us, you’ll be in contact with a licensed agent who can help you make smart choices, regardless of what’s on your wishlist! Want an apartment that makes public transportation simple? Seeking an apartment upgraded with an energy-efficient modern kitchen? Want to be near a community garden? A New York Habitat agent can help you make it happen.
We hope this article has inspired you to make some sustainable choices. If you want to make more smart choices while renting a furnished apartment, check out our blog for more tips!