How to shrink your short-term rental business’s digital carbon footprint
As a short-term rental owner or manager, you’re likely aware of the importance of sustainability in the travel industry. More and more travellers are looking for eco-friendly accommodation, meaning that prioritising sustainable travel practices is good for your business, as well as good for the planet. However, sustainability isn’t just about the physical aspects of your rental – it’s also about your digital presence, specifically your website.
Did you know that your website also has a carbon footprint?
Every time someone visits your website, the servers that host your site use energy to deliver the content to that user’s device. This energy consumption contributes to carbon emissions and, therefore, to climate change.
According to a study by The Shift Project, the digital industry accounts for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this figure is expected to double by 2025.
But don’t worry – there are steps you can take to reduce your website’s carbon footprint and promote sustainability through your digital presence.
Here are a few ideas to consider…
Get a FREE Website Carbon Audit
An important first step is to find out what impact your website has now. This will help you to identify any problem areas and also measure the impact your changes have so you can include them in any reporting or marketing you do based on your green credentials.
Claim a free audit from the Kakadu Creative team (the people who built the low-carbon EnviroRental website).
Now that you know what impact your website has, it’s time to start making some changes…
Choose a green hosting provider
The hosting provider you choose for your website has a big impact on its carbon footprint. Traditional web hosting often relies on energy-intensive data centres that consume a lot of power. So, a simple step towards reducing your digital carbon footprint is switching to a green hosting provider.
Green hosting providers use renewable energy sources, like wind, solar, or hydro, to power their servers, reducing their carbon footprint by up to 90% compared to traditional hosting providers. Additionally, they often have other sustainable practices in place, such as using energy-efficient hardware and cooling systems, and investing in tree planting initiatives.
Optimise your website for energy efficiency
As a short-term rental operator, optimising your website for energy efficiency is a key aspect of reducing your digital carbon footprint. This is where sustainable web design comes into play.
Sustainable, low-carbon web design is a specialised field that focuses on creating websites that are environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.
The first step in sustainable web design is to minimise the overall energy consumption of your website. This can be achieved by:
- Optimising your website’s code
- Minimising the use of large files and resource-intensive design elements, such as videos and animations
- Reducing the number of HTTP requests (in plain English: the number of times a users device sends or receives data from the server)
By doing so, you can significantly reduce the amount of energy required to load and display your website.
A study by Akamai found that reducing the file size of images on a website by 10% can result in a 14% reduction in energy consumption. This can be achieved through tools like image compressors or plugins, which optimise images without sacrificing quality.
Improve the user experience of your website
Sustainable web design also involves creating a website that’s easy to navigate and use. This can be achieved by:
- simplifying your website’s layout
- reducing the number of clicks required to access information
- providing clear and concise instructions
By doing so, you reduce the number of pages your users have to load and reduce frustration. This in turn leads to a more positive user experience and encourages viewers to stay on your website for longer periods of time.
While sustainable, low-carbon web design may require some additional effort and investment up front, the long-term benefits are substantial. As well as reducing your carbon footprint and attracting eco-conscious travellers, you’ll also improve the overall user experience and make your website more accessible to a wider audience.
Use a content delivery network (CDN)
A CDN is a network of servers that work together to deliver content to users. By using a CDN, you can significantly reduce the energy required to deliver your website’s content, by reducing the distance that it has to travel to reach your users.
For example, if your hosting provider is based in Europe, but your visitors are mostly from the United States, a CDN can help deliver content from servers located in the US, meaning that much less energy is required.
Encourage sustainable travel practices
Finally, you can use your website to promote sustainable travel practices to your guests. For example, you can encourage them to use public transportation or to rent electric vehicles during their stay. You can also provide information on local sustainability initiatives and eco-friendly businesses in your area.
According to a survey by Booking.com, 72% of travellers believe that sustainable travel is important, and 53% plan to make more sustainable travel choices in the future. By promoting sustainable travel practices on your website, you can attract eco-conscious travellers and differentiate yourself from other short-term rental properties.
As a short-term rental operator, it’s important to consider your digital carbon footprint and to take steps to reduce it. By choosing a green hosting provider, optimising your website for energy efficiency, using a content delivery network, and promoting sustainable travel practices, you can contribute to a more sustainable travel industry, whilst also attracting eco-conscious travellers to your property.
Remember, sustainability isn’t just about the physical aspects of your rental – it’s also about your digital presence. By taking action to reduce your website’s carbon footprint, you can future-proof your business and demonstrate to your guests that you’re committed to sustainability.
Green your digital presence with Kakadu Creative
They built this low-carbon, sustainable website for EnviroRental, the very one that you’re currently enjoying.
By choosing Kakadu Creative as your web design and hosting provider, you can ensure that your website is not only visually appealing, user-friendly and effective but also treads lightly on the planet.
Start Your Low-Carbon Digital Journey Today
Book a free, no-obligation discovery call with the Kakadu Creative team to find out your website’s carbon footprint, the steps you need to take to reduce it and how to promote sustainability through your digital presence.
Explore More EnviroRental Resources
Your financial choices make a difference
Understanding the steps that you can take
A summary of what we still need to do