Can Couch-Surfing Help The Environment?
The home sharing organisation Airbnb that was founded in 2008 is a community-trusted marketplace that allows people to list, discover and book unique accommodations around the world. They recently worked together with the Cleantech Group to examine the environmental impacts of staying in an existing home versus sating at a hotel, motel, inn, etc.
Home sharing brings many benefits to both the society and the individuals that make them up. Firstly it is clear that there are more economic benefits when staying in a shared home rather than in a hotel for both hosts and visitors. Hosts are able to earn extra money from sharing their homes whilst visitors will be able to save less on accommodation and spend more on themselves.
Other benefits include social items where a sense of belonging is created for new visitor and even in some cases lifelong friendships are made. The best benefits from home sharing are environmental ones. Guests staying in a private home used 78% less energy, generated less greenhouse gases – 89%, used less water – through less washing of sheets and towels, were less likely to use and discard single use items like their toiletries, more likely to recycle and also used more public transport than private. All of this contributes to decreasing the environmental footprint of people’s trips.
Staying in private homes is a way to save money, meet locals and put money into the local market rather than into the multinational giant pockets of corporations.