While these initiatives can make a difference in the environment, they can also prove to be incredibly rewarding and cost-effective for the homeowner. For instance, a sustainably designed home can help lower energy bills, increase efficiency, and will overall require less maintenance over time.
So, as World Environment Day approaches, here are some highlights from a few Airbnb eco-friendly stays, and the measures taken by the Hosts towards sustainability and a better tomorrow.
* Shivgarh – Heritage Farm Stay near Jaipur, Rajasthan
The eco-reserve spread over 200 acres, is the best way to get a real taste of farm experiences. Sustainability is the primary driver of how this stay functions. Its 400-year-old heritage structure has been retained as it is, along with the original surrounding. Solar power is used to make it more energy efficient. Most of the food and beverages served are sourced from local farms or grown locally. The Hosts have also ensured the integration of the local community of artisans, where you will find most of the furniture crafted locally, using local materials.<br> <br>Airbnb Host Pushpender says, "At Shivgarh, we believe in building an eco-system that’s sustainable, which is why we operate on almost zero-waste, solar power, and rainwater harvesting. Even the construction is done through recycled bricks and all the furniture is handmade by local artisans. Our food is farm to table and we only source hyper locally. Along with keeping the environment safe, we want to grow with the local community".
Besides offering a rustic experience complete with an outhouse, a fire pit, and tree pads, the stay is also pet friendly!
* Meditation Hut, Heal Farm, near Bhimtal, Uaarakhand
The best way to appreciate nature is to be in it. Set in the middle of the forest near Sattal lake, trees can be seen as far as the eyes can see. Given the role of biodiversity in the ecosystem, the stay has been deliberately built in harmony with the surrounding natural biodiversity.
The hosts also employ permaculture practices to retain the richness of the biodiverse surroundings. Besides being extremely cautious in integrating the exterior design into its natural habitat, the hosts have maximized natural light, and installed composting toilets and glass-roofed bathrooms among other things. In addition to these, there is ample room for yoga and meditation, creative workspaces, and a library.<br> <br>Speaking on the idea of the ‘gift economy system’, Airbnb Host Adnan says, "Nature is to be nurtured, both within and outside. We plant seeds we wish to see grow and prosper, both in soil and soul, this is an endeavour to give back as we too grow in the process"
* Chic Luxury Farm Stay in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
While the cottage offers all the modern amenities, it propagates sustainable living as far as possible. The 1-acre organic farm honors its natural surroundings with beautifully landscaped gardens and minimalist interiors. In appreciation of its ambiance, the farm cottage is built to let in natural light as much as possible, with a bright sunroom with French windows. The sound of the surrounding forests is a welcome change for those looking to get away from the city.
Speaking of the contemporary and vernacular design language, Airbnb Host Honey comments, "True luxury at The Owl’s Nest is about creating a living space for humans which blends and maybe even enhances its natural surroundings. We bring in the colors of the forests, the skies with all its stars, the sounds of animals and the breeze into the living space, rather than shutting them out."
(Ajit Weekly Newslife can be contacted at [email protected])
–Ajit Weekly News<br>lh/tb<br>