5 Effective Ideas to Encourage Recycling in Vacation Rentals

In today’s world, where environmental concerns are at the forefront, it is essential for vacation rental owners and managers to take an active role in promoting eco-friendly practices. By incorporating sustainability initiatives into your rental property, you not only contribute to a greener planet but also attract environmentally conscious guests who appreciate your commitment to the environment. Recycling in vacation rentals seems to be a headache for many: 

So you have 4 recycling bins but your guests don’t use them?

In this blog article, we will explore ten creative ideas to inspire recycling habits among your vacation rental guests – so recycling in vacation rentals may become a norm. 


When it comes to communicating sustainability, there are several key approaches that can be highly effective. Let’s dive into some strategies that can help you convey your message in a compelling and engaging manner:

  • Ask Nicely: Remember the golden rule of communication – asking nicely can go a long way. Encourage your guests to participate in your recycling efforts by kindly requesting them to recycle during their stay. A polite and friendly approach can make them more receptive to the idea and motivate them to follow your lead.
  • Be Trustworthy: Building trust is crucial when communicating sustainability. Clearly demonstrate your commitment to recycling by providing designated recycling bins, informational materials, and easy-to-follow guidelines. When guests see your genuine efforts and trust in your eco-friendly practices, they are more likely to embrace recycling during their stay.
  • Be Honest: Honesty is the foundation of effective communication. Provide transparent information about your recycling initiatives, such as the types of materials that can be recycled, the local recycling facilities, and any specific recycling requirements. Being open and honest about the recycling process helps guests understand the impact of their actions and encourages their active participation.
  • Be Humorous: Injecting a touch of humor into your sustainability communication can make it more memorable and enjoyable for your guests. Consider using clever and lighthearted signage or quirky messages to remind guests to recycle. Humor can create a positive and engaging atmosphere, making the recycling experience fun and something to look forward to.
  • Be Engaging: Engage your guests in sustainability through interactive and educational experiences. Organize workshops or activities related to recycling, where guests can learn about its importance and even get involved in upcycling or DIY projects. By offering hands-on experiences, you empower guests to become active participants in your sustainability efforts.

Now let’s dive into these 5 tips for recycling in vacation rentals:  

1. Add "We recycle!" to your webpage and listings

Already prior to booking, when travellers are searching for the right accommodation, bring out how important you find recycling. A simple “We recycle!” at the end of your listing descriptions will do the trick. You can also place it on your website footer!

2. Involve the children: use these free bin stickers!

Making sustainability fun and accessible, increases the likelihood of comprehension and retention of the information. When children are exposed to sustainability communication and encouraged to adopt sustainable habits, they can become role models within their households.  

Download these sticker designs in different sizes!  

3. Recycling guidelines in your guidebook and in the rental

Create a concise set of recycling guidelines specific to your area. Ensure the instructions are straightforward and easy to follow, increasing the likelihood of guest compliance. Include also clear instructions as to where each bin can then be emptied.

>Display these guidelines in visible areas such as the kitchen or near the recycling bins. 

>Add an entry with these guidelines in your guidebook 

All of this sets the tone for eco-conscious behaviour during the stay.

4. Provide appropriate recycling bags

Make recycling convenient for guests by placing dedicated recycling bins or bags in each guest unit. This encourages them to separate recyclable items right where they are staying, making the process more accessible and encouraging participation.

5. Stand out for sustainability with a Sustonica badge

Badge simplified

Receiving a Sustonica badge means you have taken steps towards being more sustainable. You will not only have looked at providing recycling options but have also taken steps towards energy conservation, water conservation, respect of the community and waste reduction. 


What's my Score?

Take the test to find out if your vacation rentals are eligible for the Sustonica badge.