Simple steps to make your property more sustainable

Simple steps to make your property more sustainable

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Eco-friendliness is becoming an increasingly important factor in many people's decision-making processes when it comes to the way in which they choose to live their lives. The UK holiday market has also been party to this eco boom, with an influx of 'green' getaways offering environmentally conscious customers no end of options.

The decision to build or renovate your holiday home in an eco-friendly way is likely to be fuelled by your desire to reduce your impact on the environment, as well as helping customers reduce theirs.

Marketing your property as eco-friendly will also provide another unique selling point and could help you break into the higher end of the market.

So, how can you make your holiday home more eco-friendly?

Jump to one of our suggestions for more information:

Energy efficient appliances

Invest in energy-efficient appliances

According to Which?, fridges and freezers account for 20% of the electricity used in the average home, therefore it's a good strategy to start your green streamlining here.

An A+++ energy rating is the top rating for most appliances, so bear this in mind when making new purchases. Do some research into the most efficient model currently available which suits your needs - the environment and your pocket will thank you for it!

According to uSwitch, the most energy-efficient way to cook is by microwave, followed by on the hob, with the oven being the most energy-intensive. To encourage your guests to use the microwave or hob, you may like to leave a few favourite recipes for them to peruse.

Lighting and temperature control

Energy-saving light bulbs last around 25 times longer than standard ones and use about a tenth of the energy, so switching over all the bulbs in your property will help in the long run.

A lot of energy is wasted through unnecessary central heating. While you want your guests to be cosy during their stay, it shouldn't be too hot to wear a jumper during the winter. There are lots of 'smart' controls on the market now, which will help you keep your property at a comfortable constant temperature, with minimal wastage.

Saving water

There are plenty of appliances and fittings that can help you save water too. Saving water helps reduce the amount of energy used to treat wastewater, and reduces the quantity of water that needs to be diverted from waterways. There are lots of ways to save water, besides consciously using less, and most of them are simple and cheap.

Showerheads and taps can be fitted with aerators that mix air with running water, helping your guests to use less. There are also handy little devices that you can fit inside your toilet cisterns to reduce the amount of water they use to flush.

More energy-saving tips

Reusable bags

Use eco-friendly products

From reusable and refillable products to compostable products, there’s an emerging market of eco products out there offering environmentally friendly solutions to a variety of household needs.

Provide canvas bags for shopping trips

Many people already have their own canvas bags that they store in their cars or carry around in their handbags, but others still don’t or might have simply left their canvas bags at home. Provide these reusable eco-conscious bags so that when your guests head out on a shopping trip to stock up on supplies, they won’t end up handing over their 10p for single-use plastic bags.

Refillable bottles

During the summer, chances are your guests will get out and about to enjoy the fresh air by bike, on foot, and through sports. Supplying refillable water bottles in the kitchen offers them the option of taking tap water instead of buying plastic bottles while they are out. You could even provide quality Tupperware so guests can pack picnics to take with them on their days out.

Water collection

If your property has a garden, you may want to install a water butt to collect rainwater which can then be used for watering plants throughout the year.


Cleaning products and detergents end up in our waterways and landfills and can have an impact on our health. Nowadays, there are lots of eco-friendly options on the market with as much cleaning power as their chemical counterparts.

More green swaps

Shop local

Shop local wherever possible

If you're really committed to offering a sustainable option for holidaymakers, consider every new purchase with a critical eye. You could even offer a few suggestions in a welcome book of local places guests could shop during their stay with you. Every little thing helps to reduce your carbon footprint.

Art and furniture

The ornaments and artwork on display can be from local makers, and garden furniture can be made from recycled plastic. Get in touch with a few artists in your area or even reach out to students to commission pieces for your holiday let. Meanwhile, commissioning a local maker for a piece of furniture means you’ll get something unique and tailored to your property.

Welcome pack

The welcome pack you put together for guests can contain local products and recommendations for sustainable restaurants, shops and attractions. If you offer a welcome pack, fill it with wonderful local treasures that will instantly make guests feel like they have arrived on holiday!

Different parts of the country are renowned for a variety of different things, for example, the South West is loved for its cream teas, Yorkshire is synonymous with tea, and Scotland’s known for the very best whisky around – pick an item or two that represents, and is produced in, your local area.

Make the ultimate welcome hamper

Solar panels

Switch to a green energy supplier

If you produce more energy than you use, you may even be able to sell it back to the National Grid through a scheme called the Feed-in Tariff. To do this your system must be eligible, so do your research before you go ahead if this is something you'd like to take advantage of.

Generate your own power

Using your own renewable energy source is one of the top ways to reduce your property's carbon footprint. The initial outlay can put people off, but it is a long-term investment with the reward being huge savings on your energy bills. Depending on your property's situation, there are several options available to you, including solar panels, solar water heaters, ground source heat pumps and wind turbines.


Older holiday homes may have less insulation than newer ones, but it's something that can be added to start saving you energy and money immediately. Consider cavity wall and roof insulation to prevent heat from seeping out and reduce the energy needed to heat your home.

Save money on your energy bill

Reduce reuse recycle

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Whatever you do at home, whether you reuse or recycle much of your household waste, it may be a good idea to match that ethic in your holiday property, as you already know what you’re doing. You’ll also find that a mix of people will stay in your cottage and many will be keen to take advantage of any recycling services offered.

Recycling services

Even if you don't live in the area local to your holiday property, make sure you find out about the recycling services they offer and inform guests of what they can and can't recycle in the welcome pack. It can be frustrating if you are on holiday and want to recycle but simply don’t have the opportunity. Make the rules clear too so that you or the cottage’s cleaner won’t have to spend time sorting out your guests' recycling after they’ve left.

Buy pre-loved

Places like charity shops and local tips often have a wealth of surprising items, from beautiful furniture to artwork, outdoor furniture and even electrical appliances. If you have the time, pop down to your local recycling centre or head into charity shops to see what they've got before buying new.

How to reduce litter on holiday


Coastal properties and plastic

One big area for concern is the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans, and beach holidays mean the arrival of beach litter. With millions of holidaymakers heading to the beach during the summer, lots of plastic items produced for people to enjoy themselves by the sea often end up left behind when the holiday is over. That means items like buckets and spades, bodyboards and inflatables are discarded on the beach and swept out to sea when the tide comes in.

Discourage guests from buying and abandoning plastic equipment by providing your own in the holiday cottage. It can still be relatively cheap for you to purchase and simply means holidaymakers can borrow and return the items to your cottage rather than leaving items behind on the beach.

Find out more about beach cleans


Get your guests involved!

Include a small explanation of your eco-friendly endeavours in the welcome pack. Not only will this act as an introduction to your holiday home, but will also make sure that being green is on your guests' mind during their stay. You can include friendly pointers on how they can support the green initiative, such as turning appliances off at the plug and switching off heating when they are out and about.

Help the environment on holiday

Green Tourism Award

Green Tourism is the ‘world's largest sustainable certification programme of its kind’ and joining will get you support and guidance on the road to becoming a graded member. There are three grades - Bronze, Silver and Gold - reflecting different levels of commitment towards sustainability.

Eco-friendly holiday cottages
 Blackthorn Cottage is an off-grid eco-retreat in the Brecon Beacons

Join our ‘green’ collection

We have a collection of ‘green’ holiday properties for environmentally conscious travellers, which may be the right fit for your eco property. Feel free to explore the collection or even take a holiday to a cottage elsewhere in the UK to gain insight and ideas.

However, you don’t need to have stayed in an eco property to run one yourself. If you would like any help making your property eco-friendly or have any questions about running a holiday let, please get in touch with our friendly team of property advisers who can offer advice and put you in contact with recommended service providers.

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