Hostels are cheap and sociable ways to stay when visiting different parts of the world. Whether you are travelling alone or as part of a group, a hostel provides the perfect way to make new friends and learn about the local area. As more of us become aware of our impact upon the planet, we have begun to take steps to reduce our carbon footprint. One excellent way to do this is by changing our vacation habits. Long car drives, flights, expensive hotels with air-conditioning and heated swimming pools all contribute to the amount of greenhouse gases entering our atmosphere. Therefore, it is important to start changing our habits and becoming more environmentally conscious. The following hostels are all eco-friendly establishments that will help you on your carbon neutral journey.
1. Mellow Eco Hostel Barcelona, Spain
This beautiful, bright hostel is located in the quiet district of Horta. They use renewable solar energy to heat hot water tanks located on the building’s roof. They also recycle, use environmentally friendly cleaning products and only run the air-conditioner when it’s absolutely necessary. It has all the modern amenities such as luggage store, Wi-Fi, etc. All dinners are served on the communal patio around the BBQ for a more social experience.
2. Reykjavík City Hostel, Iceland
Iceland is a must-see destination for environmental warriors. Waterfalls, geysers, icebergs and other natural delights make for a dramatic natural environment. The hostel specialises in locally grown, organic food and sells only fair-trade coffee in its adjacent café bar. They also offer green workshops that guests can attend to learn more about eco-living and environmental protection.
3. The Grampians YHA Eco-Hostel, Australia
The Grampians National Park offers an amazing vacation experience. Guests can go hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking and abseiling all within the same resort. The hostel is located right in the centre of the National Park. The staff help to preserve the natural beauty of their environment by participating in recycling programs, collecting rain water to cut water consumption and only offer organic produce to their guests.
4. Auberge Alternative du Vieux-Montréal, Canada
This boutique hostel will charm and delight art lovers with its onsite gallery and art studio. Guests can really get back to nature as there are no television sets, junk foods or vending machines available on the site. The staff source the majority of their products from local businesses and offer a sustainable breakfast buffet.
5. The Green Hostel, Uruguay
The main feature of The Green Hostel is its promotion of bicycles as a preferred method of travel for guests. They also use energy saving light bulbs, solar hot water heaters and the hostel is decorated with furniture created using recycled materials. The hostel also offers free breakfast, Wi-Fi, luggage store and a laundry service.
6. Gyreum Ecolodge, Ireland
Rising straight out of the ground in the hills of Northwest Ireland, the Ecolodge looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. However, it is actually a thoroughly modern eco-friendly accommodation building that is known as an Installation Incubator. The idea behind it is that the guests travel here to incubate different ideas. The hostel is powered by a wind turbine producing geothermal heat, and the staff tend to their own personal vegetable garden.
7. Portland Hawthorne Hostel, America
The main feature of this hostel is its living roof of vegetables and soil. The installation is self-sustaining and is used to soak up water from heavy rainfalls. The hostel offers free breakfast, bike rentals and is located in one of the most beautiful parts of North America.
8. Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge, Ethiopia
Ethiopia may not be the first country that springs to mind when thinking of eco-friendly dwellings. However, the Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge is blazing a trial on the African continent. Small wood huts provide basic accommodation that is powered by solar energy.
9. Enigmata Treehouse Ecolodge, Philippines
This wonderful hostel also serves as an environmental workshop that educates the guests on recycling and preservation. It is run by artists that display their collections onsite. Located on a remote farm, it allows the guests to reconnect with the planet.
10. Eco Hostel Palermo, Argentina
All of the furniture in this trendy hostel is made from recycled materials making it a true eco-hostel. It also offers modern features such as Wi-Fi and a 24-hour manned reception desk. Guests can relax on the BBQ terrace or tend to the organic garden. The hostel even features low-carbon computers.
Any one of these wonderful hostels guarantees visitors the time of their lives. Helping to protect the environment whilst relaxing on a vacation is a wonderful way to blend two different worthwhile activities. Eco-friendly hostels are a relatively new phenomenon that have become incredibly popular and offer a wonderful way to spend you vacation. Just make sure you research the area thoroughly beforehand to ensure you make the best of your trip and experience all it has to offer.