Sustainable travel celebrated on #WorldEarthDay

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By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

New Delhi– Each year 22nd April or Earth Day as we know it, brings with it a reminder to do better for our planet and take responsibility for a greener and better future. With an increased consciousness towards our home, our planet thanks to pandemic, this 51st Earth Day comes with the opportunity for us to think about the choices we make which can help make the planet a better place to live.

As per a recent YouGov report by Airbnb, an overwhelming 94 percent of Indians look at sustainable and responsible travel when they do leave their homes in 2021, with millennials and Gen Z fuelling this trend.

For those of looking to make a difference through daily routines, a little goes a long way when it comes to planet Earth. In fact, one of the most monumental ways in which individuals can make a difference is by adopting sustainable practices in their own homes. So, if you’re looking for simple tips to make your home greener, these easy guidelines from expert Airbnb hosts are sure to inspire you.

Shop local and use local. While designing and getting his quaint and charming farmstay ready, Airbnb Host Honey, who hosts The Owl’s Nest in Dharamshala, made a special effort to use as much local material as possible, with very few exceptions. The minimized need for transportation helped keep the environmental impact to a bare minimum without compromising on the aesthetics or the modern comforts which we’ve grown used to.

Similarly, Airbnb Host, Sanjay, swears by local products. While designing his farm stay, Meena Bagh Ratnari in the gorgeous locales of Himachal Pradesh, he decided to use local products as much as possible. A lot of the furniture has been designed using locally sourced ‘waste’ wood. This discarded wood was picked up from the wood-mills and is also known as reclaimed wood. While adding to the rustic look and feel of the home, reclaimed wood adds a certain warmth to the ambiance. Nestled in the lap of nature, Meena Bagh Ratnari is the perfect place for those who prefer luxury in serenity, surrounded by nature, tranquillity and farm animals.

Meena Bagh Ratnari. An Apple Orchard Farmstay.

Go sustainable from the ground up if possible?

When talking about the need to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, Honey said, “For me, the transformation into a sustainable being living a sustainable lifestyle had to be more than refusing plastic straws at fancy vegan eateries or refusing plastic bags at overpriced organic produce stores. It had to be ‘Real’ with visible positive impact and ‘Local’ enough to bring about a change, however small and however slow, in my community.” Which is why it is important that if you are building a new home, sustainable practices need to be a part of the plan from the very beginning.

Airbnb Host Rupam, who hosts La Belle Vie Naukuchiatal in Nainital has used stone from the surroundings to build walls of the home which adds to the natural aesthetics of the home.

Water harvesting and solar energy are also something that can be included at the time of planning itself. This not only saves the bills but is also a great way to contribute to nature. Joe, who hosts Striking Penthouse With Private Plunge Pool in Goa, recommends adopting upcycling practices during construction as well to create very little wastage.

La Belle Vie Naukuchiatal

Reuse, recycle, reduce!

Both Joe and Sanjay believe in garbage segregation as a small yet crucial step towards sustainable living. Sanjay encourages composting as well and has specially dedicated composting bays where guests are educated on the benefit and ease of composting.?

Each of us can make a huge difference in contributing to the planet, through our daily practices, which is why Rupam encourages guests to reduce waste, save electricity and water as much as possible.

One can even choose to be sustainable while doing the interiors of their home. Honey has reused and upcycled a majority of the furniture, fixtures, doors and windows at his beautiful home.

Chic Luxury Cottage

Choose sustainable travel

As per a recent YouGov report by Airbnb, an overwhelming 94 percent of respondents would look at sustainable travel when they do leave their homes in 2021. This comes out strongly amidst the backdrop of the pandemic, with Indians becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and wanting to give back to local communities. This not only provides a boost to the communities and their members e thus redistributing the economic impact of travel e but is also sometimes more affordable. This is also a model of travel that Airbnb has supported e travel as a way of fostering meaningful connections and regenerating communities.

Striking Penthouse With Private Plunge Pool (IANS)

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