Airbnb urged to help make rental gardens greener

Airbnb urged to help make rental gardens greener: The Society of Garden Designers (SGD) is urging Airbnb to help make holiday and long-term rental properties more sustainable with a new Green & Easy Garden Checklist to explain to hosts how they can create a low-maintenance garden that can benefit wildlife and the environment and still incorporate the outdoor features many holiday renters have come to expect.

With the number of Airbnb listings in the UK having quadrupled over the last six years and a reported 1 in 4 properties in some parts of Britain now listed on the site, the SGD fears that the desire for low-maintenance gardens is leading to a rise in the use of environmentally-damaging materials such as plastic grass, as well as the inclusion of large expanses of patio at the expense of greenery.

Airbnb urged to help make rental gardens greener

Airbnb urged to help make rental gardens greener

Airbnb already offers advice to hosts on how to make their homes more sustainable, including ways to improve energy, heating and water usage efficiency indoors, but gardens are currently overlooked.   With rental gardens also increasingly featuring ‘resort style’ features such as hot tubs, firepits and outdoor kitchens, the SGD believes that the need for guidance on how to reduce the carbon footprint in your outdoor space is crucial.

Andrew Duff MSGD, Chair of the SGD said: “Living in a more sustainable, environmentally-conscious way is something many of us are already doing in our homes but we can also live greener existences through our gardens.

“Low-maintenance gardens shouldn’t mean plastic grass and paving, and incorporating outdoor amenities, such as outdoor kitchens, should always be done with sustainability and nature in mind.   That applies not just to holiday homes but to anyone looking for an easy-to-maintain garden and to landlords creating gardens for long-term tenants.”

Garden designer Zoe Claymore who designed a Renters’ Garden for the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival in 2023 agrees.  “If we aren’t looking after the millions of rented gardens in the UK, how can we hope to effectively manage climate change, heat islands and flash flooding?” she says.

Last year, the SGD ran a campaign supported by the Royal Horticultural Society, highlighting the extreme environmental damage and decline in wildlife caused by the growing trend for plastic grass and encouraging millions of homeowners, gardeners and garden designers to look for alternative natural solutions for their gardens.  They have now produced a Green & Easy Garden Checklist advising Airbnb hosts, landlords and homeowners wanting hassle-free gardens, what they can do to make their outdoor spaces more sustainable.

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