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YHA and Sustainability

Sustainability is all about ensuring our magnificent world can be enjoyed not just by us, but by our kids, their kids and…you get the idea. At YHA, the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic - are at the core of absolutely everything we do. When you book a stay with YHA, you can rest assured you’re choosing an accommodation provider dedicated to responsible travel. So, sit back, relax and read more about what we’re doing to ensure this big, beautiful world can be enjoyed by endless generations of travellers to come…and find out more about how you can help.

YHA Sustainability

Sustainability is all about ensuring our magnificent world can be enjoyed not just by us, but by our kids, their kids and…you get the idea. At YHA, the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic - are at the core of absolutely everything we do.

YHA Sustainability - Energy

YHA Sustainability - Waste

YHA Sustainability - Water

YHA Sustainability - Waste

Every night you spend in a hostel creates an average of nine kilograms of carbon emissions. We do everything we can to reduce our impact, with initiaves as small as every-saving light bulbs and as large as solar hot water systems. We believe in the afterlife. Besides recycling sations and swap shelves at every hostel, we're always looking for other things to recycle - from compsoting and installing water bubblers to recelcying whole buildings! There is no life without water, and Australia is an arid country with rural areas frequently facing drought. That's why we invest in water-saver apparatus such as rainwater tanks, grey-water recycling and water-saving taps, toilets and showers. Doing our part doesn't stop with the natural environment. We give back to the communities that have welcomed us, by being actively involdved in locas events and fundraising for various charities dedicated ti reducing social inequalities 
  • Saving Energy and Water

    Saving Energy and Water

    YHA Australia is committed to saving energy and conserving water. 

  • Recycling and Waste Minimisation

    Recycling and Waste Minimisation

    YHA Australia is committed to recycle and minimise the waste. 

  • Commitment & Recognition

    Commitment & Recognition

    YHA has been promoted to a Silver Partner in the NSW Government Sustainability Advantage program.

  • Past and Recent Projects

    Past and Recent Projects

    Check out YHA Australia's past and recent projects to reduce the effects on society, ecology and the economy. 

Sustainable Hostels

Airlie Beach YHA, Whitsundays tile image)
Airlie Beach, QLD

This sunny hostel at the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands is committed to reducing its impact on the environment through low-energy lighting, water-efficient bathrooms and recycling.

Alice Springs YHA tile image)
Alice Springs, NT

Converting a historic outdoor cinema, this Red Centre hostel has installed a solar power system that caters to as much as half of the property’s needs, partly funded by YHA’s Sustainable Hostels Fund.

Apollo Bay Eco YHA tile image)
Apollo Bay, VIC

This scenic stop on the Great Ocean Road was purpose-built with sustainability in mind, boasting ECO Certification for its commitment to solar energy, power-saving devices and rainwater tanks.

Brisbane City YHA tile image)
Brisbane, QLD

This award-winning hostel located smack-bang in the middle of the Queensland capital doesn’t skimp on sustainability, with its impressive 80,000L rainwater tank and solar hot water system.

Byron Bay - Byron Bay YHA tile image)
Byron Bay, NSW

This recently renovated property is brimming with all the usual eco-friendly features, as well as a lush internal courtyard surrounding the pool made up of water-efficient native plants.

Byron Bay - Cape Byron YHA tile image)
Byron Bay, NSW

The centrepiece of this Byron backpackers is the huge pool at the heart of it, and the roof-mounted solar heating system powers the swimming spot as efficiently as possible.

Cairns Central YHA tile image)
Cairns, QLD

Let’s face it – if you don’t have air-con in Cairns, you’ll go troppo. But Cairns Central YHA’s air-conditioning system is controlled by a building management system to reduce energy waste.

Halls Gap - Grampians Eco YHA tile image)
Halls Gap, VIC

Perched at the doorstep of the Grampians National Park and crawling with kangaroos and emus hopping all over the place, this ECO Certified YHA was custom built to be kind on the planet.

Hunter Valley YHA tile image)
Nulkaba, NSW

Hunter Valley YHA is surrounded by a vineyard, and the property’s on-site café is remarkably constructed using 90% sustainably building supplies, including many recycled items.

Magnetic Island YHA tile image)
Magnetic Island, QLD

At Magnetic Island YHA, we can see our sustainability efforts directly affecting our incredible local community.

Melbourne Metro YHA tile image)
North Melbourne, VIC

Located in leafy North Melbourne, Melbourne Metro YHA is your perfect base for exploring off-the-beaten-path Melbourne. This hostel is totally committed to sustainable initiatives and practices, so you can rest easy each night knowing you’ve chosen one of the most earth-friendly accommodation options in the city.

Port Elliot YHA tile image)
Port Elliot, SA

This gorgeous sandstone beach house enjoys panoramic views of Horseshoe Bay, and assists the serene environment of SA’s Fleurieu Peninsula with a veggie garden and a composting site.

Stradbroke Island YHA tile image)
Point Lookout, QLD

Stradbroke Island YHA is reducing their carbon footprint with solar powered electricity and recycling stations, while also giving back to the local community through fundraising and offering work experience.

Sydney Central YHA tile image)
Sydney, NSW

Sydney Central YHA is a big hostel with an even bigger heart for sustainability. Right in the heart of Sydney, you might spot some solar panels if you’re looking from above, and from participating in Earth Hour to being a proud member of the local tourism body – sustainability is more than recycling!

Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks tile image)
Sydney, The Rocks, NSW

You could hardly squeeze any more sustainability features into this harbourside hostel, from solar cells on the roof to the recycled rubber flooring and pin boards made from nasty plastic bottles.

Sydney, Pittwater YHA tile image)
Pittwater, NSW

This leafy bush lodge hosts two bush regeneration weekends a year, when an army of volunteers helps protect the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park by tackling outbreaks of weeds.

Sydney Railway Square YHA tile image)
Sydney, NSW

The hostel so green it recycled a whole building! The property that was one a mailhouse is now a buzzing hostel where guests enjoy an upcycled dining table as well as a internal green herb wall, and recycling is cycled to a local Citizen Blue depot on a regular basis.

Perth City YHA tile image)
Perth, WA

From the grassy green entrance to the solar panels on the roof and our sustainability wall Perth City YHA is strongly committed to reducing its environmental footprint through heritage conservation and environmental sustainable practices!

Fremantle Prison YHA tile image)
Fremantle, WA

What's more impressive than actually recycling an entire building? So we did! Built in the 1850's Fremantle Prison YHA is the only accommodation in Western Australia with UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Yamba YHA tile image)
Yamba, NSW

Yamba YHA is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and being a responsible community member through a mix of conservation and sustainable practices and services.


What You Can Do


We aim to implement The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals when we plan our sustainability initiatives. That’s why we are part of a wide range of major projects across Australia, such as the ECO certification program, NSW Government Sustainability Advantage Program, Sydney single use plastic pledge, Sustainable Destination Partnership and many more.


Simply choosing to stay in YHAs helps make our sustainable hostels possible. But if you want to go a step further - you can help YHA’s sustainability projects by contributing $1 to the Sustainable Hostels Fund when you book your next adventure. YHA will match your contribution and use the accumulated funds to make our hostels cleaner, greener and better. Past projects funded with your help (thank you!) include a gas boosted solar hot water system at Brisbane City YHA in 2015, a 32kw Photovoltaic array at Sydney Harbour YHA in 2016 and many more.

There are also little things you can do throughout your travels to be a more world-friendly traveller – from swapping plastic travel bottles for shampoo and soap bars to learning a few words of the local language to be respectful. Find out more here.


YHA Australia is part of Hostelling International (HI) – the world’s largest network of international hostels. HI is also dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism practices, governed by the HI Sustainability Charter and implemented at both grass-roots and on a major scale. Find out more about HI and sustainability Find out more

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