Industry Update
Opinion Article30 July 2015

AirBnB Could Change The World

By John Ragsdale Hendrie, Customer Experience Facilitator at Hospitality Performance

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Sometimes you can have a great notion, which will go nowhere due to a variety of constraints. Other times it is a "no brainer". AirBnB is already changing the face of lodging and the Visitor Experience. Now, it has that opportunity to change the world to "Green", and it would be so easy to do.


Let's look at a few factors which might impact this dynamic. Firstly, their constituents, both Hosts and Guests. Opening up your home and/or your other abodes takes some courage, whereas a Guest is taking some chances, too. But, what brings them together is a feeling of adventure (and, of course, meaningful economics). So, both constituents have a right attitude to bring about change. And, they both have an avenue to report on their experience.

Let's get to some brass tacks now. Water is everywhere, but not always a drop to drink. Look at Africa or even California. This is a resource which can be in short supply. Fields become barren. Once huge lakes are almost empty of water. People often forget that they have a municipal water supply outside their cities, which is drying up. Water will soon become the new oil and already is in certain parts of the world. Fortunately, there are new technologies and products out there which can help sustain our usage. Look at shower heads or even toilet specialties which regulate water flow. Even toilet paper quality and quantity along with bath soaps can have play here. And, who will monitor this "green" activity and possible membership requirement by AirBnB – the Guest, of course.

Let's look elsewhere. How about recycling? In the US we have some pockets where recycling is very important and rules are adhered to. Other areas of the country we do not. Consider how recycling is looked at around the world. What trash piles we have created. How you separate trash at home is a good standard – separate bins for bottles, plastics, cans, newspapers and cardboard, along with normal, biodegradable trash. This is all very observable, whether on the porch or mud-room or on the curb. And, who will see this effort (or, non-effort)? Why, the Guest, of course.

So, we have the constituents who really want AirBnB to be successful, so they can be as well. Both parties have a certain joie de vivre, they are enjoying the sharing economy, and they probably think "green" is right and proper. There are certain ways the Hosts can contribute to the environment. There is also in place a reporting aspect through the Guest. Many hotels have been on the ecological bandwagon for some time, but they get little respect. As AirBnB fine tunes its business model, this effort might be a sound requirement for their enterprise and the world.

John Ragsdale Hendrie

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