Awareness of travel’s impact on the environment has really increased in recent years, with many more holiday-makers than ever investing in sustainable alternatives to traditional tourism. With a global range of eco-hostels growing in response to this demand, there are now plenty of options for environmentally-friendly, cheap hostels all over the world.
Budget accommodation specialist HostelBookers is a member of TIES (The International Ecotourism Society). Among the site’s varied range of great-value places to stay are a significant number of eco-conscious hostels, which aim to reduce their damage to the environment. Sustainable initiatives used by greener hostels include cutting emissions and waste, running on renewable resources and working with neighbouring businesses to boost the local economy and reduce transport miles for outside supplies.
With HostelBookers, travellers see the world at less cost to the environment or to their bank balance. City Backpackers Hostel in Stockholm, for example, has a café serving organic and fair-trade produce, with all pastries direct from the local bakery. Bikes are available on loan for free, which gives you a greener way to explore the city. The hostel has a recycling system, runs on electricity from renewable resources and is lit with energy-saving bulbs.
Refugio Ecologico Casa del Sol Naciente is a farm and organic coffee plantation a mile outside San Agustin in Columbia. Growing its own herbs, fruit and veg, the colourfully-painted hostel lets you discover the area’s unique biodiversity with walks on its own ecological trail, cutting through forest and canyon to the Magdalena River. You can also explore the stunning scenery on horseback, or camp under the stars with views of distant volcanoes.
Ireland’s Sleepzone Connemara is one of the country’s top eco-friendly accommodations. Overlooking the Killary fjord and surrounded by mountain peaks, the hostel runs on wind-generated electricity and has had solar panels newly installed. All plastics, glass, cardboard and aluminium is recycled, bulbs are low-watt and the hostel works with local businesses to provide competitive rates on public transport and tours.
On the outskirts of Vienna, Palace Hostel Schlossherberge offers stunning rooms-with-a-view overlooking the city, and is surrounded by meadows and forestland. The hostel has been awarded the Austrian Ecolabel, and serves fair-trade and organic products as part of its included breakfast. Nordic walking and mountain biking trails can be followed straight from the hostel’s door, and the building is only 25 minutes by public transport from the city centre – so you can enjoy the best of country and town.
A stay in an eco-hostel helps significantly reduce the environmental impact of your trip. Choose an eco-hostel the next time you travel and make sure your experience doesn’t cost the earth.
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