How to make your travel accommodation more eco-friendly and sustainable

Top view of recycled paperboard with recycle symbol printed on the center
Photo credit: Getty Images

There are a few things that will change in the world of travel once the borders open, and one of those will be an increase in travelers' awareness of sustainability.

A recent study by found that according to 61 percent of respondents, the pandemic has encouraged them to travel more sustainably in the future.

The Sustainable Travel Report also found 31 percent of Kiwi travellers weren't even aware that sustainable properties exist and 27 percent weren't sure where to find them.

So, regardless of whether you've found a place that's more sustainable, there are things you can do to turn any accommodation option into one that's more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Make it official – find certified properties 

One of the easiest ways to confidently book a more sustainable property is to check and see if it has an established eco-label or third-party sustainability certification. There are numerous, reputable third-party sustainability certifications that properties can work towards and achieve.

On websites such as, accommodation providers can display a full list of certifications they have obtained. By choosing one of these properties, you're making a statement with your wallet and more and more places will take steps to be more eco-friendly purely from a business perspective. 

Impactful sustainable practices

For 49 percent of Kiwi travellers, not knowing where to find sustainable travel options is a big barrier. Look for properties which state they use 100 percent renewable energy, or have installed water-efficient showers and even what specific types of single-use plastics they've eliminated from their operations. 

Don't leave your good habits at home 

Many of us are already super sustainability-conscious at home by doing things like recycling and reducing food waste.

But 52 percent of travellers believe it's harder to make sustainable choices when they're on holiday. A sustainable first step could be as simple as remembering to carry those mindful habits from home with you when you travel. These include making sure the air conditioning or heating and lights are off when you're not at the property or reusing your towels and forgoing daily linen changing while staying at a hotel. Despite how luxurious that can feel.

See ya later, plastic!

Limiting single-use plastic is arguably one of the greatest environmental challenges we face. 

With an estimated 91 percent of plastic not being recycled, most of it ends up either in the ocean or a landfill.

Many properties have taken numerous steps to either reduce or eliminate single-use plastics from their operations, but travelers can also take simple steps like purchasing a stainless steel water bottle or packing their own reusable toiletry bottles with all of their favorite products from home - many properties are already making the move away from offering single-use toiletries. 

What steps do you take to make your travel more sustainable or eco-friendly? Let us know on our Newshub Travel Facebook Group