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  • Sustainability   


    What we do

    YHA Australia is committed to reducing its environmental impact and promoting the benefits of low-impact travel.       


       Save Energy sustain energy

        Most YHA properties use low energy light bulbs and LED lighting is now also being installed in several properties.  Solar power (photo-voltaic) systems have been installed at Alice Springs, Hawkesbury Heights and Grampians YHAs.  Many properties have solar hot water systems.  Key card activated lighting and air-conditioning is present in several large city hostels with motion and sensor lighting commonplace in other properties.  


       sustain waterWater Conservation

         Three to five star rated water-saving tap-ware, toilets and showers are commonplace in YHAs.  Several properties use rainwater tanks to water gardens or to flush toilets.  We use front loader washing machines which use less water.  Several properties also have grey-water recycling.


       sustain rubbish Recycling

          Recycling is commonplace throughout YHA properties.  Paper, cardboard, glass bottles, plastics, aluminium and steel cans are all collected for recycling. Many properties will also collect your batteries and unwanted clothing for recycling.  Several hostels have shelves for unwanted items for guests to leave for another guest to use.  Some hostels collect organic waste for composting or worm farms.


       Commitment Flower_symbol 

         Providing an opportunity for education is a key to YHAs mission statement.  We offer accommodation to school groups and at some properties even offer onsite educational opportunities such as The Big Dig Archaeology Education Center at Sydney Harbour YHA.  Many YHA hostels will have opportunities for you to donate to a charity of their choice. YHA also sponsors special need groups by offering discounted stays or event opportunities.  We partner with like-minded organisations to bring about positive social change.


    What you can do

    You can help YHA run more sustainable hostels by contributing $1 when you book online to the Sustainable Hostels Fund. YHA will match your contribution and use the accumulated funds to make our hostels more sustainable.  Past projects funded through guest contributions include solar hot water at Byron Bay YHA and Adelaide Central YHA, and solar power at Alice Springs YHA.

    Explore hostels are not part of the YHA hostel network and therefore the standard, style of accommodation and sustainability initiatives may vary from that of YHA hostels.


  • Reduce your carbon footprint


    Did you know that every night you spend in a hostel creates an average of 9,000 grams of carbon emissions? YHA's Sustainable Hostels Fund assists with eco-projects in hostels, particularly solar hot water systems. Research shows this to be the area where we can reduce emissions most significantly. It will also reduce energy costs so any cost savings will go back into the scheme to purchase or generate other renewable energy sources.

    • Located on Victoria's Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay YHA is architecturally-designed to be environmentally sustainable. An organically grown herb garden is available for the use of guests, and the hostel implements a range of energy and water saving techniques to reduce its impact on the environment.

      Environmental Initiatives

      Just some of the initiatives in place at Apollo Bay YHA include:

      • Solar hot water system supplies heating for the showers.
      • Rainwater tanks irrigate the landscaped gardens and lawns.
      • Water saving devices are fitted on all taps and showerheads. Buckets are supplied for guests to save shower water for the gardens.
      • A passive solar design means that sun penetration is maximised in winter and minimised in summer.

      For more information on the facilities available to guests, click here.

    • A stylish and friendly eco hostel, the Grampians Eco YHA hostel was architecturally designed to be environmentally sustainable. It features a herb garden, chickens providing free range eggs, and vegetables and fruit are supplied for the use of guests.

      Environmental Initiatives

      These are just some of the initiatives on display at the hostel:

      • A passive solar design to maximise winter sun penetration and minimise sunshine into the building in summer.
      • Built with materials including rammed earth, stone, reverse brick veneer, corrugated iron clad walls and burnished concrete floors.
      • To reduce heat loss in winter, glass in the southern walls has been kept to a minimum, and fitted drapes have been installed to reduce night-time heat loss through windows.
      • Reverse-cycle overhead fans installed in main guest lounges.
      • Solar electricity tiles have been installed on the roof. The heat generated in the roof space beneath them can be used to heat the building in winter.

      For more information on the facilities available to guests, click here.

    • Port O'Call Lodge is a 4-green-star eco-lodge hostel in Queensland, a short drive from Cairns. The hostel managers are committed to developing an environmentally sustainable hostel, and the property currently derives all its hot water heating from solar energy.

      Environmental Initiatives

      Some of the initiatives on display at the hostel include:

      • 32 solar collectors on the roof and an insulated tank farm holding 11,000 litres of water heats all hot water for guests. No carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases are produced in this process.
      • Lower energy level lighting system and low voltage lamps have reduced the lighting load by 50%.
      • Ensuite bathrooms have been upgraded with water efficient showerheads, taps and dual-flush toilet systems. Water usage in the hostel has been reduced by 40%.
      • Two ADR 80 compliant diesel shuttle buses transfer guests daily to and from Cairns and these run on a biodiesel blend made locally from the hostel’s waste cooking oil.
      • Implementation of a recycling process has reduced waste to landfill by 60%. Aluminium and metal cans are recycled locally.

      For more information on the facilities available to guests, click here.

    • Sydney Harbour YHA is located in the heart of The Rocks, Sydney and has stunning Opera House and harbour views. Built over an important archaeological site of early colonial history, Sydney Harbour YHA has over a $1million worth of environmentally sustainable features.

      Environmental Initiatives

      • Solar hot water panels
      • Gas powered generator or lower carbon footprint
      • Restricted air conditioning combined with window shutters in bedrooms
      • Rainwater and stormwater tanks for flushing toilets
      • Low energy bulbs, water saver taps, key card power activation system
      • Extensive recycling program throughout the hostel
      • Bicycle parking only, encouraging use of public transport

      For more information on the facilities available to guests, click here.