Yesterday, we had a good post on 3 green hostels in the Americas. As I promised, here is one on green hostels in Europe as well.
I have lived in Europe, in total, for about 2 and a half years now. I’m not very familiar with hostels in the Americas or other places, but I have found a number of green or greenish ones here. Here is some commentary on that as well as a few top choices from hostelbookers.com (one of the main sites I’ve used to find hostels), especially written for our Ecolocalizer readers:
Green Hostels in Europe
The past five years have seen an environmental revolution in the hostelling industry. While once ‘cheap’ and ‘chic’ were the name of the game, hostels in Europe are increasingly judged by reference to a third essential criteria –- being ‘eco-friendly’. As a result, new ‘green hostels’ or ‘eco hostels‘ have been popping up across the globe, defined by everything from basic recycling programs to solar panels and advanced renewable energy systems.
At one end of the spectrum are a range of accommodations offering an all-embracing eco-escape. Far from merely a place to sleep at night, these hostels are often based far out from tourist centres and hence perhaps better defined as ‘retreats’. Centre Ecologic Llemena in Gerona is one such example, being situated in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees 25km from the Gerona centre. Perfect for greenie travellers, just about everything in this 12th century country house is based on sustainability, from the naturally heated swimming pool to 100% latex mattresses, organic vegetable garden and on-site shop selling only organic produce.
Specific eco retreats aside, there are a number of hostels across Europe that have built green practices into their general daily agenda. Jetpak Forest in Berlin has been a forerunner of this movement, using power from 100% renewable sources including solar panels and a wood-burning CO2-neutral heating system. In addition to this, the hostel has incorporated an advanced recycling program, with food composted onsite and bottles returned to manufacturers for reuse.
Besides modifying their own practices, hostels like Liverpool International Inn further aim to influence the long-term behaviour and attitude of their guests. Here, in addition to the requisite recycling and energy-saving programs, travellers are actively educated and encouraged by a ‘green guide’ in all rooms instructing on how to use water wisely and alter daily routines in accordance with environmental practices.
While the degree of their commitment varies, the sentiment of these hostels is the same: travel has a negative impact on the environment. So why not do what you can to make a change?