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Vienna's best Hostel since 1968!

A Green & Fair Hostel

A green & fair Hostel!

We’ve been around as a business since 1968 – since the beginning Hostel Ruthensteiner has tried to be greener than traditional hostels/hotels. We were one of the first to adapt to solar power, we offer receycling bins, etc. But of course there’s plenty more we could do – and we are more than happy to implement new ideas! Here’s a brief overview of what we’re doing now:

hostel ruthensteiner receycling bins

we support receycling

Waste & recycling/upcycling

  • We recycle paper, metal, plastic & glass in accordance with the City of Vienna’s recycling program, with several recycling stations for guest use.
  • We also participate in the ÖkoBox program, which combines a social employment project with beverage package recycling (boxed milk, juice, etc).
  • We build much of our own furniture, often with found wood, and generally try to re-use whatever we can (yogurt containers become garden buckets…scrap wood is transformed into benches…with plenty more projects to come!)
  • All our leaflet material is printed donation to reforestation programs so to be CO2 neutral
Ruthensteiners free austrian tap water & homemade elderflower lemonade

Free Water & homemade Lemonade

Water conservation

  • All of our public showers are on timers in order to decrease water waste.
  • We also actively promote TAP WATER as preferable to bottled water, especially since Viennese tap water is among the best in the world – we have signs posted around the hostel praising tap water, and at reception we frequently point guests towards the tap :).
  • We use a laundry service that is extremely water efficient.
Vienna Hostel Ruthensteiner seen from above: Green Gardens and solar panels

Green gardens and solar panels

Green Vienna

  • Our organic gardens add to Vienna’s green spaces and provide habitat for bees and other wildlife while helping to diminish CO2 production.
  • We encourage our guests to travel green by offering in-house bike rentals.
  • At reception we actively promote use of Vienna’s excellent public transportation system, and encourage car drivers to leave their cars at Park&Ride lots during their stay in the city.
Old lamps getting eschanged against new energy efficient LED lamps

Old lamps sorted and exchanged

LED Bulbs with 4W 6W to save energy with warm light

Our new 4W LED Bulbs

Energy conservation & alternative energy

  • We use a sustainable energy provider.
  • We have solar-powered water heaters that supply about half of our rooms with hot water, and plan on extending that to the other half as soon as possible.
  • We use energy-efficient light bulbs in most of the house, and switched to 90% LED this summer.
  • The lights in most public areas of the house are on sensors in order to avoid unnecessary energy use.
  • We’ve recently re-insulated our entire house, including the windows, which saves huge amounts of energy during the winter months – and during the summer we offer fans rather than air conditioning.
  • We do not have a single television set in our hostel – this is more of a social statement, but one could say that it also saves the energy needed to power the TVs :).

More to come

Of course there’s still plenty more that we could do! We have a few changes in mind that we’ll be able to put into action relatively soon – we want to add more recycling stations, including recycling in dorm rooms; we’re also in the process of working out how best to reduce waste during breakfast, for example by switching from individually portioned breakfast jams and spreads (which involve a lot of packaging) to self-service containers. We’re also researching and experimenting with green cleaning products, with the long-term goal of switching entirely to eco-friendly products and practices.

Eco Labeled toilet paper and hand towels for dispensers

Eco Labeled toilet paper and hand towels

organic citric acid used for cleaning faucets, showers etc.

Citric acid for cleaning

If YOU have any suggestions about how we can make our hostel greener, please do let us know via our suggestions form. Thanks!