Many holiday rental owners wonder about how they can reduce their interior running costs, but how many think about putting the garden to good use? I wanted to share a few ideas that are easy to implement in the garden that will not only add value to your rentals but can also save you money. To get more inspiration sign up for our e-Newsletter
The garden can be such an integral part of a holiday let since being out in the fresh air goes hand in hand with a relaxing holiday! Get it right and you’ll also be on the road to another USP, not only appealing to lovers of nature and the outdoors, but also offering ‘Environmentally Friendly Accommodation’.
So how can you make your garden pay for itself? Obviously every property is different and while you may not be able to implement every idea on the list, there may be one or two ideas to get you started and would suit your circumstances. Country houses with lots of space could go the whole hog, but those with apartments or smaller rental properties might like to emulate mini versions on a balcony for example.
- Veggie patch – a relatively simple way to improve the quality of your welcome basket for free and introduce your guests to a taste of ‘the good life’ …they’ll love it! If you have a property suitable for the child friendly market, why not offer a mini gardening kit and allow the children to get their hands dirty digging up goodies for dinner?
- Herb garden by the kitchen door (using any kind of recycled container for extra Brownie points). How wonderful for a guest to be able to grab fresh ingredients straight from the garden when following a recipe in a cookery book on local cuisine that you have thoughtfully provided?
- Fruit & nut orchard – obviously this takes some forward planning! As well as harvesting a lovely crop (there is nothing better than fruit warmed by the sun and straight off of the branch). An orchard will also create another dimension in the garden and provide areas of shade. Perhaps string up a hammock between two trees – If you then capture this wonderful image in a photo for your website it will allow browsing guests to start imagining themselves at the property; yearning to be there.
- Rain water and Grey water harvesting for non-potable uses (toilet flushing, washing machines, garden irrigation, general cleaning) – it can be a simple process to harvest rainwater and according to a study by the UK Rainwater Harvesting Association it can save up to 50% of your mains water cost. Rainwater can be easily harvested from your roof tops using a simple diverter attachment for your down pipes. Grey water is water from the bath, shower, wash hand basin; imagine if you used either of these for irrigation use in the garden alone. Of course if you have the possibility to store large volumes of collected rain water, it can also help to reduce your running costs. Plumb it into your downstairs loo cistern and washing machine, and count the savings! Do check your the rules with your local council before using recycled waste-water.
- Solar heating the pool is another way to extend your pool’s season. You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by installing a solar pool heater. They’re cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters, and they have very low annual operating costs. Actually, solar pool heating is the most cost-effective use of solar energy in many climates.
- Chickens – free range eggs and a lot of fun. Who doesn’t love fresh eggs in the morning. Another great FREE addition to your welcome basket too.
If you enjoyed these tips we would love you to leave a comment below, and feel free to share your own ideas for running an Eco-home.
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