The allure of Hawaii’s breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture has long been a beacon for travelers from around the globe. People from all around the world visit the island to explore the native flora in the botanical gardens, see the expansive marine life, greet humpback whales, and meet the native Hawaiians.

For vacation rental owners, the islands offer a lucrative opportunity to host guests seeking the ultimate getaway. However, because of this, it’s become increasingly challenging to stand out in the ever-growing market.

If you’re here, you may wonder how to increase your property’s visibility and attract more guests. One answer? Consider taking advantage of the eco-tourism in Hawaii by making your vacation rental more eco-friendly.

Sustainable travel is on the rise, and more guests are actively seeking environmentally responsible accommodations. Plus, eco-friendly upgrades can also save you money in the long run by reducing energy and water costs.

Hawaii and Ecotourism

So, basically, ecotourism is all about getting the full experience of a place by diving into its natural beauty. We visit eco-tourist places by paying entrance fees, making donations, learning about the environment, or even volunteering. The aim here is to make sure our tourism dollars actually help keep these areas pristine and not wreck them.

In Hawaii, they’ve got this thing called Malama’ Aina, which is all about taking care of the land—it’s a core part of Hawaiian life. It’s super important to live in sync with nature. When we visit Hawaii, we should totally embrace this vibe.

Supporting ecotourism projects is a solid move because, seriously, this stunning native Hawaiian culture deserves nothing less than our best effort to preserve it.

Hawaii Eco-tourism Association

Hawaii has been part of the tourism industry for a very long time, leading to the starting of The Hawaii Ecotourism Association almost twenty years ago.

The non-profit organization kicked off with a tight focus on ecotourism, but recently, they’ve broadened their mission to push for all kinds of sustainable and responsible tourism, not just the nature stuff.

In 2019, they rebranded as the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii (STAH) and got the nod from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

STAH’s mission now is to “protect Hawaii’s unique natural environment and host culture through promoting responsible travel and educational programs for residents, businesses, and visitors.”

In 2018, Hawaii set some big sustainability goals to hit by 2050. They aimed to:

  • Respect the local culture, character, beauty, native Hawaiian plants, and history of the islands
  • Balance economic, social, local communities, and environmental priorities
  • Meet today’s needs without messing up future generations’ ability to meet theirs

Even though it’s not spelled out, a lot of this aligns with eco-tourism experiences and goals, balancing making money with caring for the environment and community and keeping things good for the future—no wonder we’ve seen a jump in ecotourism options in Hawaii over the past decade.

Eco-Friendly Travel is Here

The Benefits: Why Go Green?

Aside from being a responsible choice for our planet’s future, incorporating eco-friendly practices into your vacation rental is such a vital part of nature conservancy.

First and foremost, it can attract more guests. With the increasing popularity of sustainable travel, guests are actively seeking out eco-friendly accommodations. By promoting your property as environmentally responsible, you can tap into this market and potentially increase bookings.

Another benefit is cost savings. Many eco-friendly upgrades, such as energy-efficient lighting and low-flow fixtures, can significantly reduce your utility bills. This can help you save money in the long run and make your vacation rental more financially sustainable.

Not to mention, making eco-friendly upgrades can also enhance your guests’ overall experience. Many travelers today value sustainability and want to feel good about their choices while on vacation. By providing them with an environmentally friendly place to stay, you can give them a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction during their trip.

Ways to Go Green - Smart Home

How to Go Green: The Spectrum of Eco-Friendly Upgrades

Sustainability in vacation rentals in the Hawaiian islands can manifest in various ways, ranging from simple changes like using energy-efficient or battery-powered lighting to more substantial investments like implementing water-saving fixtures.

These efforts contribute to environmental conservation, protecting fragile ecosystems while also leading to significant financial benefits.

By embracing green practices, property owners can reduce operational costs, appeal to eco-conscious travelers, and ultimately increase the profitability and appeal of their rental properties.

Our top 4 eco-friendly upgrades for vacation rentals in Hawaii include:

Sustainable Materials

1. Smart Home Technology

Switching to LED light bulbs is an extremely easy and highly effective strategy to reduce energy consumption significantly.

LED bulbs are renowned for their long lifespan, often outlasting traditional incandescent bulbs by several years. They also operate on a fraction of the energy their incandescent counterparts consume, making them an excellent eco-friendly choice.

When these energy-efficient bulbs are integrated with home automation systems, such as smart thermostats and intelligent light switches, the potential for energy savings is further amplified.

These systems can automatically adjust the lighting and temperature of your rental property according to specific needs and occupancy, eliminating the need for manual adjustment and ensuring optimal energy use at all times.

Smart Home Technology

2. Energy-Efficient Appliances

Replacing outdated appliances that consume a lot of energy and harm the natural environments, with modern, energy-efficient models is a straightforward yet effective way to decrease electricity consumption significantly.

When shopping for new appliances, searching for products with the ENERGY STAR label is important. This government-backed label signifies that the product meets stringent energy efficiency guidelines.

By opting for appliances with this label, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners, consumers can enjoy the dual benefits of cutting-edge technology that conserves energy while still delivering exceptional performance.

These energy-efficient appliances help reduce the environmental footprint by using less power and contribute to substantial savings on utility bills over time.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

3. Water-Saving Fixtures

Water conservation is crucial worldwide but particularly important in Hawaii, where the island’s resources are inherently limited.

One of the most effective ways for local businesses to conserve water is to install low-flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets on their properties.

These fixtures are specifically designed to reduce water consumption significantly. They have undergone rigorous engineering to ensure that they use less water without compromising on performance or convenience.

This means that while they help save a substantial amount of water, they still provide all the functionality expected of traditional fixtures.

Consequently, your guests can continue to enjoy their stay, indulging in the comforts of modern amenities without contributing to the problem of water wastage.

Making these changes helps preserve Hawaii’s precious water resources and sets an example of responsible environmental stewardship.

Sustainable Materials

4. Sustainable Materials

When it’s time to renovate or update your rental property, opting for sustainable materials such as flooring, countertops, cutlery, and dinnerware can have a considerable positive impact.

It’s wise to seek out products that are crafted from recycled materials or those derived from rapidly renewable resources.

These renewable energy choices do more than lessen your carbon footprint; they infuse your rental space with a distinct, eco-friendly charm that can appeal to a wide array of guests looking for green accommodations.

Sustainable materials also offer an added advantage beyond their minimal environmental impact. They tend to possess greater durability than their conventional counterparts, meaning they can withstand daily use without showing signs of wear and tear as quickly.

This inherent durability translates to less frequent replacements or repairs, thereby saving you money over the long term.

Ways to Go Green - Light Bulbs

Practical Tips for Getting Started

Many guests these days find tour companies that are sustainable and practice environmentally conscious practices. Transforming your vacation rental into an eco-oasis is more straightforward and enjoyable than you might think! Here’s how to make the process less daunting and more rewarding:

  • Take a Good Look Around: Start by evaluating your property to identify areas that could use a makeover. You could even review your utility bills to see if there is high water consumption or energy usage.
  • Small Steps Lead to Big Changes: Remember, every little bit helps! You don’t have to overhaul everything at once. Why not start with something simple, like replacing old lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED ones? Or helping reduce single-use items by providing eco-friendly dishes, cutlery, napkins, and glassware?
  • Keeping an Eye on the Prize: It’s wise to consider how these changes can pay off in the long run. Upgrades like new energy-efficient appliances might seem pricey initially, but they’ll save you money on energy bills and encourage visitors over time.
  • Learning from the Pros: Don’t be shy to ask for advice! There are experts, like our Project Management team at Midway Vacations, who can guide you through making your property more earth-friendly. They’ve done this before and know all the ins and outs.


What is eco-tourism?

Eco-tourism involves traveling to natural areas that conserve the environment, sustain the well-being of local people, and involve interpretation and education. It emphasizes responsible travel, conservation efforts, and fostering respect for different cultures and ecosystems.

How can I make my vacation rental eco-friendly?

You can make your vacation rental eco-friendly by implementing energy-efficient appliances, using renewable energy sources, installing water-saving fixtures, recycling and composting, using eco-friendly cleaning products, and promoting local, sustainable practices.

Are there any certifications or labels to look for in eco-friendly accommodations?

Yes, look for certifications such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Green Key, and EarthCheck. These certifications indicate that the accommodation follows sustainable practices and meets environmental standards.

Ready to Embrace Eco-Tourism?

Adopting eco-friendly upgrades for your Hawaii vacation rental offers many benefits, from reducing environmental impact to appealing to a rapidly growing segment of eco-conscious travelers.

By making thoughtful changes, you can enhance your property’s appeal, contribute to preserving Hawaii’s natural beauty, and pave the way for a more sustainable future in travel!

Now is the perfect time to start your sustainability journey! Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for guidance and assistance. We’re dedicated to helping Oahu and Maui vacation rental owners with all of their property management and renovation needs.