Sustainable Hosting

Sustainable hosts care about the planet as much as they care about their guests. They share time and experiences and enrich each other’s lives.

    Top 5 suggestions for the hosts:

    • create a Free Box or a book corner at home
    • lend your bike to the guests
    • give your guests city maps which can be reused
    • help your guests recycle well the waste they produce
    • bring your guests to have a fair-trade coffee

    Find out and create more suggestions

    This is a list of adaptable suggestions, not of closed rules. It is divided into three sections: ecological, economic and social sustainability. At the end there are few suggestions regarding the spreading of the concept of Sustainable Couch during a sustainable hosting experience.

    This is not about creating a difference between “normal” and “sustainable” host. The aim is to constructively motivate many hosts to take conscience of the “power” they possess in order to contribute to a more sustainable world hosting experiences, based on respect and intercultural understanding.

    Download all the suggestions as a PDF document

    Ecological sustainability

    Hosts care about the environment in a broad sense. They care about their flat, their district, their city, country, including the entire world. They want to protect the environment and are actively involved to preserve it. They are informed about the local reality and are able to share information with their guest. They live in a way they consider sustainable and which they are satisfied with. They are ready to show their lifestyle in an open and constructive way, without expecting their guests to behave the same.

    List of suggestions

    Be informed and share information

    The hosts can give their surfers suggestions about:

    • practical ways to keep electricity and water consumption adequate to their needs, avoiding waste.
    • how to avoid and to recycle the waste in their place, giving clear indication of the bins and, if asked, explain how the recycle system works in their city.
    • ecological ways to discover the city: on foot, by bike (i.e. local City Bike systems), by public transportation.
    • ecological ways to reach their place and the next destination (train, bus, car-sharing, hitch-hiking, etc.)
    • places where it is possible to buy organic and fair-trade food (supermarket, market, etc.). If they have a common meal the hosts can explain the advantages of eating this kind of food compared to “normal” food.
    • places where it is possible to eat organic or fair-trade food, if they have a common meal outside.
    • places in the nature where it is possible to go for a walk, to hike, etc.


    The hosts can give their surfers:

    • a map of the city and/or a city guide, so that the surfers do not need to buy one. If the surfers already got a map, i.e. from a tourist office, they can leave it to their hosts to be used by the next guests.
    • the possibility to use their bike (if they have one available).
    • reusable bags (e.g. textile bags) so they don’t need to get any plastic bags when they go shopping.

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    Economic sustainability

    The hosts believe money is a mean, not the aim of life. They want a happiness-based, not a consume-based, lifestyle. At a global level, they see ethical finance as a part of the solution for a bigger economic and social justice. At a personal and local level, solidarity, lending, exchange are guiding principles in their lives.

    List of suggestions

    Be informed/share information

    The hosts have basic information and can inform their guests about:

    • the principles of ethical finance, ethic banks, alternative currencies alternatives to the money-based financial system, etc.
    • shops/groups/places where it is possible to exchange things, to buy second-hand products, etc.
    • their personal list of skills. They can share something with their guests, i.e. teaching a language, giving a hair-cut, repairing something, etc.


    The hosts offer:

    • a free box at home, which is a collection of different objects they want to share with or donate to their guests, who have the possibility to take one or more objects from the free box, if wished and needed, and to leave something in return.
    • a book corner at home, where the guests can take a book and leave one in exchange.

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    Social sustainability

    The hosts want to live in a world where every human being has the same human rights, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, sexual orientation, property, birth or other status. Social justice, fight against racism, sexism and any form of discrimination are guiding principles.

    List of suggestions

    The hosts do not tolerate discriminating racist, sexist or religious actions or words. If a guest is acting or speaking in such a way, the hosts will address the topic and defend the universality of human rights. Through an open discussion a solution should be found without offending any of the parts.

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    Spreading the idea

    If the surfer is interested, the host can describe the concept of Sustainable Couch, of sustainable hosting, etc. If the guests want to get active, the sustainable host gives them all the information and contacts to make it possible.

    List of suggestions:

    The hosts can inform their guests about:

    • the concept of Sustainable Couch and the way they are sustainable hosts. They can show the website, their profile and the possibilities to get active
    • events of the local sustainable community

    The hosts can document their sustainable hosting experiences with pictures, videos, short texts and send them to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) in order to be published on the Website.