Free sustainability resources for vacation rentals

Websites, Case Studies, Podcasts, Stats… all you need to help you save money and attract the new eco-conscious guest today

If you are reading this, you are already interested in making your vacation rental more sustainable. At Sustonica, we want to empower our clients and future clients to adopt eco-initiatives and environmental practices. This way they can achieve the points needed in our Criteria to gain their badge and go further in consequent years.

For this reason, Sustonica chose to become a Sponsor of EnviroRental to show our commitment to sustainability in the vacation rental market. Importantly, we are also helping to fund this amazing hub of free sustainability resources to help hosts and property managers green up their holiday homes with ease.


1. EnviroRental Website: Free sustainability resources for hosts and property managers

EnviroRental is the brainchild of sustainability advocate, Bob Garner. Bob has been running his own very successful short-term rental business for the past 17 years in Italy. Consequently, he knows how to incorporate sustainable practices which are easy to do, save you money, and enhance the guest experience.

“I really wanted to make it easy for other hosts to get involved in sustainability,” explained Bob. “I’ve seen first-hand how this has been part of the success of my business, Casal dei Fichi. We have reduced our energy bills and waste as well as getting great reviews from guests with 65% repeat bookings. A winning combination for any property owner or manager.”

Bob has realized over the years that most vacation rental operators would like to take on sustainable initiatives, but usually struggle with where to start. He has continually shared his knowledge and experience at conferences and online events, spreading the word that sustainability is good for business.

Finally, in 2022 he decided that he wanted to empower other property owners and managers to get on board by offering a hub of free sustainability resources. This was when the idea for EnviroRental was born. He was adamant that these resources should be free to encourage large numbers of operators to get involved.

We want lots of property owners and hosts working imperfectly on sustainability rather than a select few doing it perfectly. In this way we make a bigger aggregate difference and really move the dial on sustainable action in our industry.

So, he reached out to suppliers in the vacation rental industry to fund EnviroRental. He received an enthusiastic response, and Sustonica quickly decided to become a Sponsor. 

EnviroRental is based on three pillars.

Educate – to ensure that short-term rental professionals have the relevant information and resources about environmental sustainability.

Inspire – trigger and orientate stakeholders to take the appropriate sustainable actions for their business and the planet.

Influence – Move individual businesses AND the short-term rental sector to a sustainable environmental footprint.

When you become an EnviroRental subscriber, you will have access to a whole host of useful and practical sustainability resources. Specifically for the vacation rental market.

  • Sustainability Roadmap (the key resource)
  • Webinars
  • Measurement advice
  • Case Studies
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Sustainability News
  • Surveys and Data
  • Industry Awards
  • Industry Events

Now let’s delve deeper into some of those free sustainability resources to give you a taste of what you will find if you become an EnviroRental subscriber



2. Where to read: Case studies

One of the easiest ways to learn is to find out what others are doing successfully already, and then adapt that to your own needs.

Read the stories of other property owners and hosts and see what appeals to you and is relevant to your brand. To access these Case Studies and more, you will need to sign up as a subscriber on the EnviroRental website.

Villa in the Vineyard in Italy is a “private eco-retreat”. Everything has been decided and chosen with the purpose of having a positive impact on the environment and the local community whilst creating a great guest experience.

One of the many things that the property owners do is provide refillable containers for shampoo and soap, as well as green cleaning products.


DID YOU KNOW? – Providing refillable shampoo and soap dispensers can get you up to 3,00% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Plastic waste is a huge global problem. We produce 400 million tonnes of plastic waste every year.  If you provide single-use bottles of shampoo and soap you are just adding to the problem. Refills are better for the environment as well as being more cost-effective.

DID YOU KNOW? – Using green cleaning products can get you up to 3,50% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Many nasty chemicals are used in cleaning products and you would not know as they do not have to listed on the label. Choosing green cleaning products is better for your staff for less allergic reactions like dermatitis and asthma. It keeps toxic chemicals out of our waterways and oceans. Not to mention better for your guests!


Asheville Hillside Hideaway in the United States also has sustainability at the heart of their business. They encourage guests to adopt sustainable habits whilst on holiday by using humor not lecturing. One example is their “Tushi bidet” – they explain what a bidet is all about and how to use it. Using a bidet is quite widely adopted in Europe, and it saves on toilet paper. It does use water but only in small amounts. The hosts accept that some guests may find it weird, whilst others will want one put in at home!

This approach is totally in line with our ethos here at Sustonica. We want to encourage and inspire guests to adopt some of the practices they discover whilst staying in a Sustonica-badged rental. We also like to use fun when communicating with guests. Have you seen our colorful stickers for your recycling bins?


DID YOU KNOW? – Now we are not suggesting that every property should install a bidet! But we do encourage recycled paper products including toilet paper. This can get you up to 2.75% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Paper products are made from trees which obviously involves cutting down forests. At Sustonica we encourage a circular approach where materials are reused to create new products. In this instance, recycled paper for toilet paper, napkins and kitchen roll

Read these two case studies in full and others by becoming an EnviroRental subscriber. Also check out our Sustonica case studies for inspiration!


3. Green Path Podcast: listen and learn from others in the vacation rental industry

If listening or watching is more your style, check out The Green Path Podcast, hosted by Deborah Labi. You will hear from different stakeholders within the vacation rental market, from eco-product suppliers to hosts and property managers. You will also hear from experts in related industries such as hotels whose initiatives are easily transferable.

Some of our favorite episodes are:

Mark Kombrink, Host 2 Coast – some wonderful examples of having a positive impact on the local community

Chris Grime, Small Luxury Hotels of the World –  small hotels that are using engaging storytelling about local suppliers to enhance the guest experience

Vanessa de Souza Lage, Sustonica – our co-founder explains her motivations and vision for Sustonica


4. Other Resources: Blogs, surveys, and data

Other useful sustainability resources you will find on the EnviroRental platform are blogs, surveys, and data. Here are a few blogs that caught our eye… sustainable travel report – for an insight into travel trends and what guests are looking for

9 Tips for Reducing Plastic Waste in your Short-Term Rentaleasy fixes that you could start on today

Climate Action Plan & Check List – if you prefer to take a more structured approach and are interested in starting to measure your impact


5. Making a Sustainability Roadmap

The core of all EnviroRental’s free sustainability resources is the Sustainability Roadmap. It covers 12 key areas that any host or property manager can choose from and get started straight away. To access the Roadmap, you must subscribe to EnviroRental here. These are the topics covered to date, with more to come….

  • Electricity tariff
  • Energy consumption
  • Plastic
  • Water use
  • Technology
  • Product & supplier selection
  • Waste and recycling
  • Green building solutions
  • Your website and hosting
  • Calculate your carbon footprint
  • Carbon offsetting
  • Communicate your commitment


TEST YOUR PROPERTY AT SUSTONICA – then use the EnviroRental Sustainability Roadmap to get advice and tips on the areas where you want to improve your score.


Your real superpower is that you can now encourage hundreds of travelers to adopt lots of eco-friendly practices when they go back home!

Print a Sustainability chart for your vacation rental and list all the things that you do with regard to:

  • energy efficiency
  • waste reduction
  • water conservation
  • respect of the community
  • promoting the destination
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