It’s World Earth Day and time to celebrate and appreciate our natural environment. Founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, The Earth Day Network is celebrated in more than 175 countries and the United Nations decreed April 22 2013 as International Mother Earth Day to raise awareness of our suffering planet.
So, let’s take a look at what the world of hostelling has to offer the earth’s cause…
1. Prague: St Christopher’s at the Mosaic House
Where? Prague, Czech Republic
Why? Our top eco-friendly hostel St Christopher’s at the Mosaic House provides a unique stopover with recycling facilities aplenty and solar-panelled energy.
Located in the city’s centre you can admire the view from the terrace garden on top of the purpose-built, eco-friendly hostel. The rooms are automatically heated depending on the occupancy, all lighting is energy-efficient, the bathrooms have low-flow toilets and rain dance showers, and the Czech Republic’s first grey water recycling unit with heat recuperation is located here.
Dorms from €4.64pppn | Book here
2. Girona: Can Sala (CEL)
Where? Girona, Spain
Why? Situated in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees 25km from Girona centre, Can Sala is more a retreat destination than merely a place to sleep. Self-described as the ‘most decent place to stay’, just about everything in this 12th century country house is based on sustainability, from the naturally heated swimming pool, to 100% latex mattresses and organic vegetable garden.
In addition to this, there’s an on-site shop selling only organic products, which are also used in its vegetarian restaurant. The epitome of eco-tourism!
Dorms from €22pppn | Book here
3. Edinburgh: High Street Hostel
Where? Edinburgh, Scotland
Why? Twelve years ago, High Street Hostel invested in over 75 hectares of woodland. This area absorbs more than the total CO2 emissions from fuel used in the accommodation, meaning that High Street can claim to be 100% Carbon Neutral. Now that’s a commitment if ever there was one!
Other green policies implemented by this historic building (it dates back to 1564!) are a waste recycling system and electricity sourced from renewable non-nuclear supplies.
Dorms start from €11.70 | Book here
4. Vientiane: Rivertime Resort and Eco Lodge
Where? Vientiane, Laos
Why? Built entirely from local materials using traditional methods and local labour, Rivertime Resort and Eco Lodge is the premier ‘green’ hostel destination in South-East Asia. Making a serious effort in the environmental stakes, Rivertime uses electricity produced by falling water via the Nam Ngum hydro-electric power plant, and are looking to install solar water heaters in the near future.
Other eco-policies include low wattage fluorescent lightbulbs, hand-washing of clothes, low water use toilets, an advanced recycling program, locally grown fruit and vegetables, employment of local labour and a commitment to anti-deforestation. Not a single tree has been cut down in the construction and extension of this forest resort.
Dorms from €7.67pppn | Book here
5. Aveiro Rossio Hostel
Where? Aveiro, Portugal
Why? A classic centenary house located in the centre of downtown Aveiro, Aveiro Rossio Hostel is the very first eco hostel in Portugal. For nine months of the year, all hot water used is heated by solar panels to conserve energy.
Other eco-policies include the widespread use of energy saving lightbulbs, recycling of glass, paper and plastic, water saving systems in taps and toilets, sealed windows and recycled common area furniture.
Dorms from €16pppn | Book here
6. Hostelling International Washington DC
Where? Washington, USA
Why? One of very few hostels to be Energy Star certified, Hostelling International Washington is frequently recognised as one of the best eco hostels in the world. As part of its commitment to being a steward of the environment, the hostel uses compact fluorescent lightbulbs, paper made from at least 95% recyclable materials, push faucets on sinks, Green Seal Certified cleaning products and low VOC paints and carpets.
In an effort to educate guests, HI Washington also provides information on recycling and environment throughout the property and hosts monthly documentary movie nights on environmental topics.
Dorms from €26.85pppn | Book here
7. Monteverde: Cabinas Tina’s Casitas
Where? Monteverde, Costa Rica
Why? Just about everything in Cabinas Tina’s Casitas is geared towards the environment. Staying at one of nine rooms in the four ‘casita’ houses, guests will be surrounded by rustic furniture designed to blend in with the natural environment.
From May through to October, the hostel is involved in a tree-planting project to reforest the Pacific slope and preserve local flora and fauna.
Privates from €5.55pppn | Book here
8. Port Douglas: Port O’Call Eco Lodge
Where? Port Douglas, Australia
Why? The resort-style Port O’Call Lodge accommodation is in a great location, just 5 minutes walk from everywhere, and is rated 4 Green Stars for being environmentally friendly.
The lodge is ecologically sustainable with solar heating, a seawater swimming pool and wind turbines to power the lighting. The hostel also employs waste minimisation programmes. They’ve been awarded a Developing Sustainable Communities Award, and now aim to be the most energy efficient property in Australia.
Dorms from €28.45pppn | Book here
9. Hedonisia Hawaii
Where? Hawaii, USA
Why? It doesn’t get more eco-friendly than at Hedonisia Hawaii. Electrical needs at this unique hostel are all met by a nearby geothermal power plant which uses hot liquids from underground slopes to drive steam turbine generators. The hostel has also implemented a recycling program, where bottles, glass, cans, plastic, paper, scrap metal, old clothing and other items are taken to the nearby Kea’au Recycling & Reuse Centre.
Then, of course, there’s the ‘eco friendly toilet-with-a-garden-view’ located in a private tropical garden complete with ‘bidet bum washer’ to minimise toilet paper use. And for those more adventurous, why not check out the eco-friendly female-friendly ‘Pee Garden’ to avoid toilet flushing and paper all together. An odd concept… but at least Mother Nature will be happy!
Dorms start from €23.93pppn | Book here
10. Liverpool International Inn
Where? Liverpool, England
Why? An award-winning 3-star hostel in the heart of Liverpool City Centre, the Liverpool International Inn actively promotes eco-friendly policies at every opportunity. In all private and dorm rooms is a ‘Green Guide’ encouraging guests to use water wisely and be aware of environmental policies. These include operating a recycling program, installing energy saving light fittings, relying on local business for basic hotel supplies, printing promotion materials on recyclable paper and ensuring toiletries are in line with ethical policies.
The International Inn holds a Green Tourism Silver Award for its commitment to eco-friendly policies.
Dorms start at €19.88pppn | Book here
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