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Worlds Top Ten eco-hostels
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

(19 May 2009)
So for those thinking about getting away this year, but worry about the impact on the planet, not to mention their pocket, has the perfect solution. To coincide with World Earth Day 2009 – celebrated today – the organisation has set out to discover the Top Ten most eco-friendly hostels around the globe.

Here takes a look at the results.

Omagh Hostel
The Omagh, in Northern Ireland, is a small, remote family run hostel offering visitors the warmest of welcomes along with the greenest of accommodations - evidenced when the location became the worthy recipient of the prestigious EU Flower Ecolabel in the tourist accommodation category.

From the extensive recycling, composting and green purchasing policy to the use of low energy lighting and even environmentally friendly reed beds makes this hostel as green as the country it is part of!

Direct from Middle-Earth and nestled snugly in the Irish countryside, the Gyreum is a solar and wind powered hobbit-hole, constructed from renewable resources - including sheep wool insulation and a 'living roof'.

Located in Sligo, Ireland, the location was designed with a reverence to the natural world; meaning the structure aligns to the dawns & dusks of the summer and winter solstices when beams of light enter into the great central hall. During the day, ocean-loving guests can carry their shortboard past the hostel’s organic garden to some of the best surfing beaches in Ireland.

Landlubbers can also trek in their Birkenstocks across the rich landscape that inspired Yeats, searching the nearby hills for hidden pubs that serve their own inspiration by the pint.

Reykjavik City Hostel
Iceland is a country steeped in natural beauty, from tremendous icecaps and explosive geysers to steaming solfataras and magnificent waterfalls. Reykjavik City Hostel, is one of the capital’s top hostels, and has received awards for both its responsible treatment of nature and its excellence in service and quality.

Located next to one of the great geothermal swimming holes in the city, the hostel promotes energy monitoring, erosion control and extensive recycling services, while offering its pampered guests high-speed internet access, laundry service and fully equipped kitchens.

Liverpool International Inn
Housed in former a Victorian warehouse in Liverpool, the International Inn is committed to green tourism and promoting eco-friendly policies at every opportunity.

With a choice of shared or private rooms, all with their own 'green guide', the hostel offers modern facilities combined with a tremendous character. Holding the Silver award for Green Tourism the Liverpool International Inn’s philosophy is 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'.

Sleepzone Connemara
Probably one of the most spectacularly situated hostels anywhere in Western Europe, Sleepzone Connemara offers guests environmentally sound accommodation.

Located in Connemara, Ireland, solar panels are fully installed, electricity is wind-generated, all light-bulbs and shower-heads are being changed to the most energy-efficient kind. Further, all glass, paper, cardboard and aluminium is recycled.

So a relaxing break in the West of Ireland can leave travellers' conscious clean knowing they are doing their bit for the environment while at the same time not compromising on the comfort.

Cnocnafeola Cultural & Residential Centre
Offering visitors state of the art accommodation and facilities in the heart of the Mourne District in Northern Ireland, the Cnocnafeola Cultural & Residential Centre is committed to an environmental policy and has recently been awarded a European Stem Award.

Hostelling International Boston Downtown
Located at the birthplace of the American Revolution in Boston’s Back Bay, H.I. Boston is at the forefront of another uprising – the movement towards environmentally conscious lifestyles in bustling urban jungles.

The hostel not only provides guided tours of the Freedom Trail and kayak trips down the Charles River, but also an eco-program that pushes both staff and patrons to be stewards of the earth by offering recycling stations, energy efficient lighting and appliances, recyclable carpet and low-flow plumbing.

Hedonisia Hawaii
For those wishing to enjoy an affordable stay on the tropical island of Hawaii and do their bit to help the environment at the same time, Hedonisia Hawaii is the perfect place.

Located in Pahoa on Hawaii’s Big Island, rather than use new materials, the hostel was made from donated and free materials. Most of the products which are used are also recyclable and renewable products such as bamboo. But by far the most interesting feature of Hedonisia Hawaii is their eco-friendly toilet which looks out over the jungle.

As Mojo, the hostel’s manager describes it: ""It's an eco-friendly toilet with a view!"

Hostelling International Washington
The Washington arm of Hostelling International sits just eight blocks from the White House, and is one of the greenest hostels in North America. It is committed to being a positive force on environmental issues.

Each floor has its own recycling centre, where they promote the recycling of aluminium, glass, paper and plastic. But that’s not all; the paper used at reception is 100 per cent recycled; compact fluorescent light bulbs are used throughout the city and the soap used in the kitchen is environmentally friendly.

They even show documentaries on environmental topics once a month. For those who feel the people at the White House aren’t doing their bit to help the environment but want to help when they are in town, make sure to stay here.

Hostel One66
Deep in the heart of Singapore, one of south-east Asia’s most popular cities with travellers, Hostel One66 has decorated its hostel with uniquely recycled materials.

The signboard at the entrance is made from a discarded PVC door and children play mat, the lamp is an unwanted Keorsense lamp converted into an electric lamp, while the table holding their computer is a recycled sewing-machine table so guests can exercise their legs while on the internet making it the healthiest way to surf the net!

The local newspapers have called it "The Karung guni Hostel", 'Karung guni' meaning rag and bone men who pay a small fee for unwanted stuff.

Chris O'Toole 

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