13 eco-hostels doing their part to save the world (PHOTOS)

May 6 2019, 7:42 pm

Thanks to the rise of eco-hostels, it’s easier than ever for backpackers to make conscious choices.

Following other businesses in a shift toward sustainable offerings, the number of eco-hostels is growing fast. These now offer a budget-friendly option to backpackers and travellers who are conscious of their footprint.

These eco-friendly abodes adopt various sustainable methods. Some are built from salvaged materials and use passive design to minimize consumption. Others implement rainwater collection, greywater re-use, compost, or recycling systems. Many tend their own organic gardens or incorporate large green spaces.

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In addition to giving Mother Earth a hand, these hostels also tend to attract and nurture a community mindful and conscious travellers.

There are many amazing options to choose from around the world but here are a few of our favourites.

Reykjavik City Hostel – Reykjavik, Iceland


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This hostel is on a mission is to create an environmentally aware travel industry and has won the Swan Eco-label in recognition of its efforts. The hostel is conveniently located beside the largest geothermal swimming pool in Reykjavik and within striking distance of must-see glaciers and geysers, which all stand testament to the hostel’s eco-mission.

Rooms listed at: $45

Atlantic Point Backpackers – Cape Town, South Africa


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Centrally located in one of the most epic cities in the world, Atlantic Point is committed to going green and encouraging its guests to do the same. The hostel features efficient water heating through heat pumps, reduced water flow shower heads, energy efficient lightbulbs, reclaimed wood where possible, and a thorough recycling system. Water conservation reminders are posted throughout the hostel, and during periods of drought guests can even win a free beverage for keeping showers under two minutes!

Rooms listed at: $20

Loch Ossian – Fort William, Scotland


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Loch Ossian sits high atop Rannoch Moor and implements an impressive combination of sustainable practices. It’s been recently refurbished to use wind and solar energy, recycle grey water. It’s even been touched up with ecological paint. Enjoy stunning lake views and set off on hikes with peace of mind.

Rooms listed at: $44

Die Fabrik – Berlin, Germany


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Die Fabrik (meaning “The Factory”) is a factory building that’s been repurposed into an eco-hostel. It relies on solar energy for heat and hot water and participates in the Development of Energy Savings Measures in Berlin Hotels project.

Rooms listed at: $18 – $29

Ecomama – Amsterdam, Netherlands


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This stylish boutique hostel was thoughtfully designed using cradle-to-cradle furniture, fair trade materials, stone heating, waste recycling, and an eco-friendly water system. They encourage guests to live consciously and donate one euro for every head that rests on a pillow to a good cause.

Rooms listed at: $52

Sleep Green Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain


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This hostel is not only walking distance to Barcelona’s best attractions, but uses 100% renewable energy. Details like water-conserving shower heads, on-site recycling, energy efficient laundry services, and green travel tips for guests have earned it a European Ecolabel.

Rooms listed at: $30

Eco Hostel Planeta De Luz – Cochabamba, Bolivia


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This abode is nestled in an alternative community in the Planeta de Luz nature reserve. The buildings are made with natural materials sourced locally and designed to express the sustainable values of the community. Guests are invited to hike in the nearby Tunari foothills, soak in the Liriuni thermal springs, and discover the indigenous flora and fauna.

Rooms listed at: $11

The Yard Hostel – Bangkok, Thailand


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Made from recycled shipping containers with recycled paper insulation. Inverter air conditioners and LED lights safe further energy. Their compost system grows a garden — including mint for mojitos. It’s a respite from the otherwise loud and chaotic Bangkok.

Rooms listed at: $24

Eden Eco Village – Kampot City, Cambodia


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As the name suggests, this is more of a village than a typical hostel. The bamboo and thatch bungalows hover on stilts over calm waters. They generate their own solar electricity, recycle and compost everything in their power, and even repurpose toilet compost for fertilizer. Eden Eco Village also serves local produce and mangoes grown on-site.

Rooms listed at: $18

Lodges Ekologika – South of Jakarta, Indonesia


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Escape Jakarta’s traffic and relax in these salvaged leuit (Sudanese rice barns). Sustainable features include solar power, collected rainwater, recycled grey water, and private farm for growing organic produce. They not only have a reputation for whipping up some of the tastiest dishes in the region but also manage a local reforestation program.

Rooms listed at: $1o for leuit or $55 for bungalows (plus additional $40 per day rate including activities and three meals)

Hi-Point Reyes – Point Reyes, USA


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Hi-Point Reyes sits in a secluded valley on Point Reyes National Seashore. Its green buildings received an official LEED rating for implementing sustainable strategies, utilizing sustainable materials, and reducing consumption and waste. Travellers flock here to immerse in the local flora and fauna, which includes deer, elk, bobcats, harbour seals, and sea lions.

Rooms listed at: $47

Pigeon Point Lighthouse – Pescadero, USA


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For those who have always dreamt of being a lighthouse keeper, this is as close as it gets. Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a top-rated hostel beside a 115-foot-tall working lighthouse. A certified Bay Area Green Business, Pigeon Point’s sustainable practices include composting and recycling systems. Hike, bike, explore the tidal pools, or spot local wildlife like elephant seals and grey whales from the cliffside hot tub.

Rooms listed at: $46

Portland Hawthorne Hostel – Portland, USA


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This hostel not only has free breakfast, but also cheap bike rentals and an eco-roof. Their “green living roof of soil and vegetation” is a self-sustaining project that brings stormwater back into the natural water cycle. They also recycle, compost, and offer a $5 discount to guests travelling by bicycle.

Rooms listed at: $47

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