Our Initiatives

Mt Cook Recycling Derek Golding 200x212 YHA Planting 6 2016 Jarrad Johnstone 200x212

YHA New Zealand is committed to protecting our beautiful backyard and makes sustainability central to the way we run the organisation. That's why we implement environmental initiatives across our hostel network. 

Renewable Energy

We're focused on reducing energy consumption across our network. This has seen us install solar panels at our Franz Josef and Wellington hostels, and a geothermal bore in Rotorua.

Green Footprint Project

With the increase of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions through increased travel and energy usage, the Green Footprint Project helps travellers reduce some of the impacts they are making on their travels. We provide an opportunity for guests to give back by purchasing a native shrub or tree at any hostel to help offset the impact of their travel on the environment.

 Green Footprint Project 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

All YHA-managed hostels have clearly marked recycling facilities in the kitchens for plastics, glass, paper/cardboard, aluminium and tin and we have been adding recycling stations in hallways and in guest rooms where possible. We also have fluorescent tube recycling, battery recycling, used clothing collection, reuse of courier bags, and even our membership cards are now made with recycled PVC!

Some of our hostels have seen a massive 50% increase in the amount of recycling collected and which is no longer going to the landfill. It goes to show every little bit makes a difference.

Community Projects

All our YHA-managed hostels have incorporated a community project as part of their annual business plans. At least one day a year is spent on community projects and many of our hostels do a lot more.

 Our Community Projects 

Switching Off

We are always looking for ways to reduce our energy consumption. Our current energy initiatives include energy efficient light bulbs, insulated hot water cylinders where possible, ceiling and wall insulation, movement sensor light switches, energy efficient heat pumps and hot water heat pumps, grey water heat recovery systems, recladding and installing double glazing, and replacing domestic appliances with energy efficient commercial models. Phew!

Water Watchers

We know our clean water is precious and we want to protect this valuable resource. We installed Clever Flush water saving devices in toilets throughout the YHA hostel network, which save up to 12,000 litres of water per toilet each year! We have also installed low-flow shower-heads in most of our YHA-managed hostels and our guests have continued to have fantastic showers!

Clean Up NZ week

The international "Clean Up the World" campaign involves 40 million people and takes the form of an annual Clean Up Week in New Zealand each September. Each year a number of our hostels participate in this activity in their local community.

You Can Help!

We're doing our part to reuse, recycle, conserve and protect our planet. For more specific information on what you can do check out some easy and fun tips on how to be a more environmentally friendly backpacker.

 What You Can Do     Our Sustainability Policy     Our Achievements