Travel Sustainable Solar Energy

10 cost-effective ways to make your holiday rental more sustainable

 | Save
Becoming more sustainable doesn’t have to come with significant costs. Sustonica’s CEO, Vanessa de Souza Lage, shares practical tips and tricks that you can make without breaking the bank

Making your holiday rental more sustainable doesn’t only benefit the planet, but can also lead to saving money, better guest experiences and a competitive edge in the market. Sustainability is often associated with structural changes such as installing solar panels or heat pumps, and while these can be expensive, they are worth the investment in the long run. 

However, for now, this article is going to focus on quick wins which are cost-effective, easy to implement and most importantly – they work.

Winning with water 

A few of the less obvious but the most impactful changes you can make to your holiday rental are found in the bathroom. Using less water reduces wastewater treatment and pollution of our seas and rivers. There are a few ways to significantly lower your water usage around the house. 

  • Adding a ‘shower flow reduce/restrictor’ to your shower head is inexpensive and can save on average 40% of water per shower – without impacting your water pressure. 

  • While a dual-flush toilet can save you up to 15,000 litres of water every year, installing one can be expensive. A cheaper alternative is to use a water tank bank. When the toilet is flushed, the tank bank prevents water travelling back into the cistern, saving water every time.

  • A leak detection device can save properties 38,000 litres of water per year. These are battery-operated discs or small boxes which sit under places a leak may occur such as the sink or toilet. When they detect water, they can send a message to your phone, meaning you can get the leak fixed before a substantial amount of water is wasted.

  • Outside of the bathroom, water and energy can be saved with ‘eco’ labelled settings on dishwashers and washing machines. You actually use less water by filling up your dishwasher and setting it to ‘eco’ mode than you do washing the dishes by hand.

Travel Sustainable Avoid Single-Use Plastics


Waste less, save more

 Another area where it’s easy to make a big difference quickly is reducing waste. By minimising waste you can limit the amount of harmful material going to landfill, preserve natural resources and save money.

  • Research has shown that 95% of the plastic used in hotel bathrooms ends up in landfill. By using refillable shampoo, body wash and soap dispensers in your holiday rental, you can significantly reduce plastic waste.

  • Microplastics have been used in the cosmetic industry for a long time. When disposed of, the miniscule particles find their way into waterways and cause a threat to marine life and ecosystems. Thankfully, a lot of brands are now using products which don’t contain microplastics – so look out for these. Rather than checking every chemical yourself, it’s a lot easier to use the “Beat the Microbead” app. Just take a photo of the ingredients, and it’ll let you know. 

  • In a similar vein, cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that pose risks to our health and environment. Products made from natural ingredients are non-toxic and biodegradable, meaning they are a lot better for the planet. Brands will try and make out that their products are ‘environmentally friendly’, but look for accredited labels to make sure they’re telling the truth! 

  • Switching your toilet paper, napkins and paper towels for recycled alternatives can help reduce deforestation and waste. Choose recycled paper that is processed chlorine-free, with minimal packaging and without dyes and fragrances.

You’ve got the power 

The changes you can make to your electricity and power can save you money and lower your dependence on harmful fossil fuels.

  • Not many people are aware that, in many countries, all it takes is one phone call to your energy supplier, and you can switch to a 100% renewable energy plan. It’s completely free, takes no time at all and makes a huge difference. Check with your local authorities or providers for information relevant to your specific area.

  • LED light bulbs use 75% less energy than regular bulbs, and last up to 25 times longer. Using them will lower your energy bill and help to protect the planet.    

It's sometimes hard to know if the changes you’re making are really having an effect. But by reducing water consumption, electricity usage and waste, you’ll soon start to notice financial gains, even if you can’t see the positive impact it’s having on the world around you. Knowing your holiday rental is managed with sustainability in mind will help attract the increasing number of travellers looking to travel more sustainably, while creating a better guest experience.

sustainable travel trends 2023
Find out more practical tips and tricks

Discover other ways that your holiday rental can have a positive impact on the environment in’s Travel Sustainable Handbook.

Take me there

What do you think of this page?

  • A more sustainable holiday rental can save you money, while protecting the planet

  • Save tens of thousands of litres of water a year with small adjustments to your shower and toilet

  • Minimising waste by using recycled toilet paper and refillable shampoo bottles can help reduce landfill

  • A quick call to your energy provider can put you on a 100% renewable energy plan