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Published on August 11th, 2014 | by Sandy Dechert


Homesharing With AIRBNB: Greener Than Your Usual Hotel

August 11th, 2014 by  

airbnb shelters visitors to New York (airbnb)

Andrew Simon of Grist describes Airbnb, a five-year-old vaca-homeshare business from San Francisco along the lines of the carshare program Lyft, as “the growing vacation-rental juggernaut.”

The company calls itself “a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world–online or from a mobile phone.” It boasts space available all the way from single city rooms to medieval castles. Among other notable sources, Katie Couric of “Katie” and Tom Friedman of The New York Times covered the company this year.

Grist reported briefly on an environmental study Airbnb conducted this year with Cleantech Group, the corporate strategists for sustainable growth and innovation sourcing. We thought you might like to see the actual stats, so here’s more on the survey and its results.

Airbnb shelters visitors to New York (airbnb)Researchers compared the environmental impact of stays at Airbnb properties with that of hotel stays, retrieving 8,000 survey responses from hosts and guests worldwide. They measured energy consumption, greenhouse gas emission, water uses, waste production, sustainability awareness, and chemical use at both types of locations. “To set the bar high,” the company reports in its blog, “residences were compared to some of the most sustainable and energy-efficient hotels.”

The research team found the upstart taking the prize in every category. Details of each follow. The results suggest that Airbnb’s new sustainable tourism mode successfully conserves precious resources as well as providing more people with memorable trips.Airbnb waste generation vs. hotels (Cleantech)Airbnb water use vs. hotels (Cleantech)Airbnb greenhouse gas emissions vs. hotels (Cleantech)

Airbnb energy use vs. hotels (Cleantech) 


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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

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