Hostelling International is celebrating the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by running a campaign addressing projects and practices related to ten different areas of sustainability in our HI Hostels around the globe.
As hostels, we have the power to directly make a positive contribution to protecting the environment in the way we handle and manage waste and water. From daily habits to specialised equipment, our hostels are striving to reduce their production of non-recyclable waste and decrease water consumption. The Backpack Hostel in Cape Town, South Africa is leading the way in this area with their efforts in sustainability.
The Backpack has been creating initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of the accommodation and to be sustainable in the long run, including cutting down on waste and saving water.
Due to extreme water shortages experienced in Cape Town, the hostel guests are encouraged to save water through informative and playful posters. With 100 guests coming in and out of the hostel daily, there are measures in place to reuse the water from showers, reduce the volume of water used from taps and prevent excessive toilet flushing.
For separating and decreasing waste quantities, the hostel has specific food waste and worm food bins to reduce the amount of compostable waste leaving the hostel. As well as this, they have clearly labelled recycling bins, battery recycling bins and a process of collecting bottle tops for local artists to use in their artwork.
For The Backpack, getting guests involved is the only way to truly see a difference as they feel like they can contribute and become responsible in playing a key role in saving water and significantly reducing waste. They believe it is vital for all establishments to take on this mentality as it can only deliver positive long-term outcomes for our people and our planet.