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OVO is partnering up with Airbnb to power great green staycations

07 July 2021 | Aimee Tweedale

Is there anything better than a Great British staycation? From swimming in the coves of Cornwall to trekking in the Scottish Highlands: there are breathtaking sights to behold all over our little island. 

Plus, if you want your break to be eco-friendly, staycations are the way forward. By holidaying closer to home and cutting out flights, you can shrink your carbon footprint. 

Family on holiday in a cabin

At OVO, we’re all about making sustainable choices easier – whether you’re at home or on holiday. That’s why we’re teaming up with the good people of Airbnb to make UK staycations even greener.

Having an eco-friendly holiday isn’t just about the transport you choose, but also where you stay. According to Airbnb, choosing home-sharing instead of booking a hotel can mean huge carbon savings. In 2016, Airbnb calculated that their guests across the UK collectively saved enough energy to power 60,000 homes1!

We want to do our bit to make UK holidays as green as can possibly be. So in the coming weeks, we’ll be working with Airbnb to offer a great deal to Hosts who choose to power their homes with OVO.

Just as a reminder: when you switch to OVO, you’ll get 100% renewable electricity as standard2, and a tree planted for each year you’re with us3. Want to go even greener? Our eco-friendly upgrade OVO Beyond comes with 100% carbon-neutral energy (including 15% green gas – one of the best mixes available in the UK!)4, and 5 extra trees planted per year5. And all you and your guests have to do is put your feet up, and relax!

That’s not all. Airbnb will also be offering OVO members a special bonus when you sign up as Airbnb Hosts: £100 off your next holiday. Sign up here to get the offer6!

Thinking about booking your next trip? To celebrate our partnership, we spoke to Airbnb’s General Manager for Northern Europe, Amanda Cupples, about the future of sustainable holidays. Here’s how to make sure your next one doesn’t cost the earth. 

Do you have any tips for planning an eco holiday? 

“There are all types of stays available on Airbnb in nearby places – meaning anyone looking to travel with a reduced impact can search based on their needs. 

“With the focus on staycations this year, nearby travel has made up 82% of nights booked in the UK in 2021. There are all kinds of listings that combine a unique experience with a more sustainable holiday, from small living quarters to outdoor spaces and yurts. 

“Our new ‘Flexible Destinations’ tool is a new way to plan trips when finding a unique place to stay is more important than traveling to a specific destination. Clicking on ‘I’m Flexible’ will reveal listing categories – from boats to tiny homes to domes to A-frames – with the nearest to the guest’s location at the top of the list. 

“Anyone travelling with an electric vehicle can use our dedicated filter to ensure their listing has a charging facility, too!”

An eco-holiday for the family

How sustainable is hosted travel today?

“Home sharing through Airbnb promotes sustainable travel, with Hosts using existing infrastructure – their homes – to welcome guests. 82% of Hosts say they use one or more green practices in their hosting, such as using bulk toiletries, promoting recycling, or encouraging guests’ use of public transport7.

“In a recent ‘guide to promoting sustainable tourism’, we supported our Hosts to help their guests be more environmentally-friendly travellers, by sharing advice around using public transport in the local community, providing reusable containers, and celebrating local environmentally-friendly businesses.”

What is Airbnb doing to encourage more sustainable travel? 

“Our community is always looking for ways to do more on sustainability, and we want to help.  Airbnb is working on initiatives to encourage the adoption of renewable electricity for Hosts’ homes around the world.

“Last year in the UK, we organised a ‘Meet the Experts’ event, for Hosts to find out more about sustainability and energy-saving from a number of trusted authorities. Big Clean Switch, Olio and Green Tourism all shared their expertise on improving energy efficiency, switching suppliers, recycling and food waste.”

Switch to OVO Energy

Fancy being a part of what we're doing here at OVO to fight the climate crisis and kickstart a journey to zero carbon? You can get a quote from us in less time than it takes to boil the kettle. 

Sources and references:

1 https://www.airbnbcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Airbnbandsustainabletravel2017.pdf

2 100% of the renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. A proportion of the electricity we sell is also purchased directly from renewable generators in the UK.

3 Each year, OVO plants 1 tree for every member in partnership with the Woodland Trust. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change.

4 Enjoy even greener energy with OVO Beyond in comparison with our standard OVO plans. In addition to 100% renewable electricity as available with our standard plans, OVO Beyond reduces your yearly carbon emissions from the energy used in your home that is supplied by OVO to net zero by providing 100% carbon-neutral gas (15% green gas and 85% offset) and offsetting all associated lifecycle carbon emissions involved in the production and consumption of your electricity & gas, you will also get 5 trees per year in UK schools and communities and other green benefits. The renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. The green gas we sell is backed via renewable certificates (Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin and how these work. We offset the remaining emissions by supporting UN REDD+ carbon reduction projects that are certified to the Verified Carbon Standard or the Gold Standard. See here for more information on how we restore nature and protect rainforests with our offsetting programmes.

5 OVO plants 5 trees for every OVO Beyond member through our  award-winning I Dig Trees programme with The Conservation Volunteers. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change. Since 2015 we have planted over 1 million trees.

6 Qualifying criteria and terms and conditions apply.

7 https://www.airbnbcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Airbnbandsustainabletravel2017.pdf

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