Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, and is an annual global event that promotes the protection of the environment and natural resources.
Exchanging homes is a form of sustainable tourism based on the use of existing resources.
Home exchanges are based on a philosophy of sustainable tourism with the use of existing resources (our Members’ homes) as well as respect for local customs and traditions. Exchanging a house is much more than traveling: it is partaking in a different way of life, integrating others’ habits and respecting other cultures and ways of life. HomeExchangers feel absolute passion for living their destination’s culture when they travel. Respect and generosity is part of them.
Both HomeExchange and our Members are involved in the development of sustainable tourism and are committed to caring for and respecting the environment. Not only do they exchange their homes, but they also exchange their bicycles, cars, and all kinds of equipment that is needed to fully enjoy a vacation. Many have opted for an ecological way of life, integrating eco-friendly habits and features into their homes; and in general, all share a great love for nature, a series of healthy habits, and common respect for the environment.
"I use solar panels to operate appliances during the day. We have passive solar heating and we explain how to make sure the house stays at room temperature to our guests."Discover eco-friendly homes
How do HomeExchange Members contribute to the sustainability of the environment in their daily lives and during exchanges?
At HomeExchange, we believe that it is very important to raise awareness about protecting the Earth and contributing daily to this cause with small "green acts". As a community, we want to help build a better world through daily habits and actions.
Through our Facebook groups, we conducted a survey to find out what daily actions our Members carry out to preserve and protect resources in their own homes.
"We are also beginning to change our habits little by little. I use washable wipes and we no longer buy cotton. We use water bottles. My old clothes dryer broke and I decided not to buy a new one ... And we have to keep going! "- Sylvie Chapon, HomeExchanger
Of the answers obtained, 80% of our Members think that exchanging homes is a sustainable way of traveling. 95% of responders stated that it is important to increase public awareness about the protection of the environment and in fact, 93% of respondents help protect and conserve resources on a day-to-day basis.
During home exchanges, 80% of good practices carried out daily by a host Member are shared with the guests they receive at home and actually, almost 50% of our Members claim to have learned some good practice from their hosts during an exchange. And of course, during home exchanges, host Members share what practices are common in their home or neighborhood with their guests.The exchange is not only about the house, but can also be about many other things!
What are the 10 most sustainable habits carried out by our Members?
- I separate and recycle the garbage and recycling according to local collection systems.
- I try to avoid using plastic bags
- I try not to waste food. I only buy what is necessary and make sure to eat leftovers
- I try to reduce water consumption (ex. showers instead of baths)
- I try not to use dangerous chemical cleaning products
- I optimize the heating of my home
- I try to drive responsibly to consume less gas
- I make compost with organic remains
- I limit new and irresponsible purchases and buy as many local products as possible.
- I have stopped using single use or non-compostable drinking straws.
Although these are the most common, they are not the only habits that our Members have adopted in order to live eco-friendly lifestyles.
Among their responses we can find a great interest in the use of local resources and products. In addition, the consumption of organic products is very common and in some cases our Members even grow their own organic products in their orchards or gardens.
"Buy responsibly. As conscious consumers, we have a lot of influence on sustainability. "
"I turn off the computers and devices in my home when we go on a non-reciprocal exchange.”
Our Members also encourage the use of public transportation and bicycles, the use of reusable products instead of disposable ones (such as napkins, water bottles, diapers, etc.), avoid packaging and plastic bags as much as possible, and also encourage the responsible use of household appliances.
“I adopted these little habits during my childhood, so today I have them fully integrated and I work hard to make sure that my children and grandchildren also respect them" - Marie Léon Diare, HomeExchanger
At home, many of our Members make their own household products, or carry out other actions such as reusing water from the shower or from the dryer for watering plants, using low-energy lightbulbs, replacing air conditioning with fans, etc.
"I installed a rain sensor on my outdoor irrigation system so it does not turn on when it rains."
"We have an ecological garden that we nourish with the compost that we created with waste and vegetable scraps."
And these habits are not only practiced at home, but also at their holiday destinations and are shared with their guests. Many of our Members said that when they go to public places like beaches they try to collect all the plastic they can to avoid it ending up at the bottom of the ocean.
What actions do our Members propose for us to live an eco-friendly lifestyle?
Do you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Our Members have left us many ideas of what you can do in your day-to-day lives.
Maybe these could give you some inspiration!
- Collect the cold water while you wait for the water to heat up in the shower.
- Make crafts out of recycled glass, wood, and plastic.
- Accumulate cooking oil and take it to a suitable place of collection.
- Take advantage of the water in the shower to scrub and clean.
- Use water from the dryer to water your plants.
- Use pellet heating and get a solar powered hot water heater at home.
- Reuse clothes from other seasons by giving them new "touches"
- Before buying new furniture, you can look at what you have stored in the storage room. You may be able to give it a new life. For example, I made a night table out of a wooden wine bottle crate by varnishing it and adding some wooden legs. I also made an auxiliary table and a coffee table with a drum set that nobody had touched for years, I line cans with discarded fabric to make flower pots, and other similar things ...)
- I put water in the refrigerator in glass bottles and avoid buying bottled water.
- I buy vegetables and other local products directly from the producer without packaging.
- I use glass jars for jam instead of putting it in plastic bags and freezing it.
- We cook everything we can with raw and organic products, instead of buying cooked and packaged foods.
What about you? What actions do you take on a day-to-day basis to live an eco-friendly lifestyle?Plan your exchange!