Green tips for travellers

We are not stopping travelling, that is a fact, but here are a few steps we can all take to minimize the impact our wanderlust can have on the environment. They are split into actions you can take before and while you travel. Feedback to the hostels and other suppliers while you are there and after you get home is also very important and welcome. If you have ideas or comments regarding sustainability please don’t hesitate to contact HI Iceland and share your thoughts. It helps us to become better - for everybody's sake.

At the hostel

  • Many hostels have bookshelves where you can leave or swap books. Please respect that many of them also have great libraries, ask if you are not sure if books are private or free game for all.

  • Many hostels have boxes where you can leave or swap clothes and travel necessities.

  • If you don't need the rest of your shampoo or soap when packing to go home, many hostels have a place where you can leave it for other guests.

  • Recycle your waste as possible. Ask the hosts if you don't see where to dispose of recyclables.

  • Enjoy the facilities in the guest kitchens, make new friends and and cook dinner with them. Cover pots and pans with a lid while cooking, that way you use less energy.

  • Icelandic water is very soft, so when doing laundry you only need a little soap and no fabric softener. If doing a small load of laundry save money by sharing it with other guests.

  • Do not run the tap while you brush your teeth.

  • Take only the brochures and maps necessary. Return the others to the brochure stand or leave them in the room so they will get reused.

  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room.

  • Reduce the amount of water used for bathing or showering.

Before leaving home

  • Pack light. Lighter bags mean lighter planes which use less fuel.

  • Book flights with airlines that recycle the waste created when serving food and beverages to customers.

  • We are not going to stop flying, that is a reality, so when you fly consider offsetting the carbon emissions of your flight.

  • Purchase electronic tickets and utilize online confirmations. Save travel documents to your mobile devices.

  • Borrow travel gear such as backpacks, camping equipment and so on from friends, or lend them yours. It‘s not worth using resources for items you only need once or twice a year.

  • Print only what you need to print, squeeze more info on the page and print on both sides of the paper.

  • Use the internet and electronic guides for your travel research.

  • Rather than buying small size toothpaste tubes, squeeze some toothpaste into a clean contact lens case or a film canister. These are also handy for carrying salves or pills.

  • Stop your newspaper or have it forwarded to someone who will use it while you are away, such as your neighbour or a local school.

  • Unplug appliances, such as TVs, as they can draw or „leak“ as much as 40 watts per hour even when they are off.

  • Remember to turn the water heater to "vacation" or lowest setting, and to turn off AC/heat or adjust the thermostat.

While traveling

  • Walking and biking in towns often takes less time than driving and parking - and it's cheaper.

  • Share hire cars and taxis with other travellers - you might even make great new friends.

  • Use rechargable gadgets.

  • Thank suppliers for their green measures, or ask why they don't have a green programme. As a paying customer you can make a huge impact on companies' policies.

  • Refrain from wandering off designated footpaths to avoid erosion and destruction of vegetation.

  • Where available use recycled paper for letters home, trip diaries, tissues, toilet paper etc.

  • Buy local product and souvenirs made locally. In Iceland music, wool products and art are a good option.

  • Support local conservation programmes.

  • Opt for low-carbon activities such as trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, kayaking, rafting, caving, snorkelling, swimming, concerts, theatre, language and cooking courses.

  • If possible, walk or use a bicycle. It not only helps the planet, but keeps you in shape as well!

  • Use organic biodegradable and concentrated all-purpose soap to save on packaging and to prevent polluting waterways. Organic biodegradable sun block is also a good option.

  • Try to avoid excessive wrapping and plastic bags which are all too readily dished out for each small purchase.

  • Buy local food. In Iceland a lot of food is imported, go for local products when possible and decrease your meal's carbon footprint.

  • Reduce take-out and fast-food waste whenever possible - these create an enormous amount of waste.

  • Bring an eco-friendly bag or two when you go shopping.

  • Take photos with a film camera or if possible use a digital camera. Disposable cameras are very wasteful and expensive.

  • Pick up at least one piece of litter every day. It's not yours - but not nature's either and it's good for your karma.

  • Take only photographs. Do not take "souvenirs" from natural areas.

  • Avoid styrofoam and paper cups. Be a good role model and carry your own cup.

  • Carry a water bottle with you. Icelanders will be very willing to refill your bottle for you and you can drink tap water everywhere in the country.

  • Try to master eco-driving. Cars rented through HI Iceland come with eco-driving instructions. This knowledge is of course applicable when you get home too!

  • If you rent a car, use a supplier which works according to an environmental criteria. Cars rented through HI Iceland are from an environmentally certified car rental.

  • Use public transportation when available, walk where sensible.

  • Enjoy walking tours. Guided walks are a great way to see places and learn about them.

  • If you are using printed guide books, recycle them, give to other travellers or leave at the hostel for future guests before going home.

Share |

       
       
   Swan logo 2013   Loft Hostel got certified by the Nordic Ecolabel, The Swan. The Swan is the official Ecolabel of the Nordic countries and stands for running a successful Environmental Quality System.
       

2013  

Gaulverjaskóli HostelReyðarfjörður HostelVagnsstaðir Hostel and Vík Hostel were successfully labelled  as Green Hostels.

 

A picture of the HI Quality Logo 2011
  Akranes HostelGrundarfjörður Hostel and Bíldudalur hostel were successfully certified as HI Quality Hostels. This Certificate is an official recognition by Hostelling International, of excellence in provision of service and hospitality. 
       
kudungur 2010   The Reykjavík Hostels, Reykjavík City and Reykjavík Downtown, receive the environmental recognition of the Ministry for the Environment
       
Ferdaumhverfisverdlaun-2010-logo 2010   The Reykjavík Hostels, Reykjavík City and Reykjavík Downtown, receive the Icelandic Tourist Board Environmental Award 2010
       
 A picture of the HI Quality Logo 2010 
  The Reykjavík Downtown Hostel was successfully certified as HI Quality Hostel. This Certificate is an official recognition by Hostelling International, of excellence in provision of service and hospitality. 
       
A picture of the Swan Logo for Reykjavík Downtown hostel 2010 
  
Reykjavik Downtown Hostel got certificated by the Nordic Ecolabel, The Swan. The Swan is the official Ecolabel of the Nordic countries and stands for running a successful Environmental Quality System.




 
A picture of the HI Quality Logo
 2005
The Reykjavík City Hostel was successfully certified as HI Quality Hostel.  Reykjavik City Hostel became one of the first 12 Hostels around the World to receive this certification of Quality.




 A picture of the Swan Logo for Reykjavík City Hostel  2004
Reykjavik City Hostel got certificated by the Nordic Ecolabel, The Swan




  A picture of the logo from the Icelandic tourist board  2003
HI Iceland receives the Icelandic Tourist Board Environmental Award 2003
       
   2002
Reykjavík City Hostel received the yearly City of Reykjavík Environmental Award for its contribution to environmental program.

 HI-Iceland | Borgartún 6 | 105 Reykjavík | Tel 575 6700 | Fax 553 0535 | info@hostel.is | Copyright ©www.hostel.is