Sustainability. It’s a hot topic, and in the face of today’s challenges dealing with climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions, it’s more important than ever to understand what impact we all have on the planet, and the steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint. The sharing economy has seen explosive growth worldwide and at Holiday Swap we’re passionate about promoting sustainable travel and understanding how our platform and users can contribute to preserving the nature, culture, and history of our planet.
But what role does Holiday Swap play in sustainable travel? Sustainable travel should essentially minimize the negative impacts of tourism. The latest reports show that hotels currently account for 1% of all global emissions and using home-sharing platforms instead, we can significantly reduce a person’s carbon emissions. Platforms such as Holiday Swap emit 66% less CO2 than hotels due to the reduction of resources required by reducing energy, water, and waste. With less cleaning, cooking and miniature hotel toiletries (just to name a few), staying in someone else’s home really can make a positive environmental impact in more ways than one.
But what does this mean for hotels? With the increase of travelers participating in house swaps, the demand for hotel developers to build new hotels and extensions reduces, and with fewer hotel developments we can preserve more historic areas and natural resources. So not only does it help the environment, but travelers who choose to use home-sharing platforms, also find that they save huge amounts of money on accommodation too!
A week’s accommodation with Holiday Swap costs just $7 and it’s fair to say that $7 does not go far when it comes to a hotel room or even a bed in a hostel! With such low accommodation costs, it leaves travelers with more money to support local businesses from shopping local to eating at local neighborhood restaurants and using local tour guides for a more authentic experience. Because of this, a community can really start to see the positive impact of someone using a home-sharing platform instead of a hotel.
It’s without a doubt that the sharing economy and in particular home-sharing platforms are going to continue to play an important role in the future of sustainable travel and tourism. It’s positive environmental and community benefits alone show why it’s important to consider alternative accommodation options as opposed to hotels. But that’s not the only great benefit. Staying in someone else home allows you to experience a destination like a local, save money on accommodation costs and meet new friends along the way. Are you ready to do your part for the environment and give sustainable travel a go with Holiday Swap?
Other tips to be a more sustainable traveler:
Fly nonstop – did you know that flights account for 2.5% of the world’s carbon emissions? Reduce the use of fuel by taking direct flights which emit fewer emissions. If you have the time, travel by train or bus instead (and take in the views!)
Offset carbon emissions – offset the carbon emissions of your travel. Carbon offsets are voluntary financial contributions and the money you pay contributes towards climate protection projects. You can use this tool to help you calculate your flight emissions: https://co2.myclimate.org/en/flight_calculators/new
Say no to plastic – help save the ocean by reducing your plastic intake. Travel with a reusable water bottle or coffee cup and you’re likely to save money at the same time too!
Buy local – purchasing locally made crafts and souvenirs will help contribute towards the local economy. Always check where a ‘local’ product is made though, sometimes they are disguised as local but actually imported from countries like China.