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