Hostels are magical places where you can soak up the vibes of fellow free spirits while embarking on adventures across our amazing planet. And now, some of these hostels are blazing the trail to protect our environment and champion sustainability, paving the way for generations of backpackers to explore for years to come. The 2023 HOSCARs voting has unveiled five Eco Warrior Hostel finalists, and the baton is now passed on to you to cast your vote for the most deserving winner.
U.R.D.Ki Hostel, Goa – India
U.R.D.Ki Hostel is all about giving back to the community, starting with their space. They’ve turned trash into treasure, using old mattresses to make extra-comfy sofas and transforming PVC pipes and grass into cool lighting fixtures. Recycled bottles now double up as planters, adding greenery and style to every inch of this trendy hostel. You’ll find recycling bins in every corner, and their waste is all composted. Even cigarette butts (yep, you read that right) are transformed into comfy cushions. U.R.D.Ki is Serious about ditching single-use plastic – no water bottles here – with every floor having a water dispenser and guests getting reusable bottles to refill. The community kitchen is stocked with cutlery and utensils, with separate bins for dry and wet waste. Their offbeat tours are the best way to explore the regional culture and biodiversity, hosted by local entrepreneurs and artists. Bike rental and parking help reduce pollution, and they’ve been featured in the ‘Eco-friendly Collection of 2022’ by Travelmyth. Boom.
When it comes to sustainability, St Christopher’s Inn in Barcelona is the boss. Their staff is seriously passionate about protecting the planet, and they’ve got the green credentials to prove it. Solar panels have been installed for water heating and a grey water system recycles shower water to flush the loos, saving water and energy. They’re serious about reducing plastic and food waste too, with biodegradable or recyclable packaging in the bar and food waste bins throughout the hostel. Pre-payments for breakfast cuts down on food waste AND their bar menu is 20% vegan. Add in some funky signs reminding guests to be mindful of plastic use… Who says eco can’t be trendy?
Ready to get your eco on? YellowSquare Milan’s got you covered. They kicked off their “Smell Like a Teen Spirit” project for Green Week with a ‘slow food’ cooking lesson, dishing up pumpkin gnocchi (with Italian wine) and talking about how eating healthy helps the planet. Guests could also hit up Parco Lambro for a BioDivercityLab stroll, checking out the birds and understanding the importance of biodiversity. This unique project offered an opportunity to bring people closer to nature while promoting awareness about the importance of preserving species diversity. Feeling crafty? Their creative recycling workshops show you how to turn trash into treasure, and their bio-cosmetic lab whips up coffee scrubs and coconut lip balm to take home. Trust us, your souvenir game just got A LOT stronger.
Madama Hostel & Bistrot is all about making sustainability chic. Back in 2016, disposable plastic was kicked to the curb and replaced with eco-friendly PLA cutlery and biodegradable packaging. Straws? Not a chance. Even their napkins and placemats are recycled paper. Since joining forces with Too Good to Go in 2019, Madama Hostel has saved a whopping 942 meals from being tossed. The hostel also installed a first-rate pollution control unit outside their building to keep a close eye on fine particle emissions.
The hostel gives back to the environment by organizing a yearly charity lottery where a portion of the proceeds goes to organizations such as Agroforesti, which helps with reforestation efforts. Over 500 trees have been planted thanks to Madama Hostel. Still not meeting your egg-spectations? They’ve even adopted 5 hens through Soulfood Forestfarms Hub and use their eggs in their bistro (which is just a stone’s throw away from the source). Madama Hostel isn’t just doing their part, they’re also inspiring others to get involved, partnering with Legambiente, WorldRise Onlus, and Fauna Viva to host events and meetings that educate and promote sustainable development. They may be stylish, but they take their eco duties super seriously.
The team behind the world’s first LEED Platinum-certified hostel has got some serious eco-cred. They didn’t just slap a sustainability certification on their building and call it a day, they actually put in the work to ensure their operations are green AF. And they’ve got the awards to prove it. Like the 2014 TN Governor’s Environmental Stewardship award they won for their partnership with The City of Chattanooga on a paver street project that addressed water retention issues. Now they’re throwing their hat in the ring for the 2023 HOSCARs, and they’re ready to show off their low-flow faucets, solar panels, green roof and use of reclaimed materials. The Crash Pad Crew doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk when it comes to sustainability.
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