Hostelling International USA (HI-USA) strives to operate our hostels in an environmentally responsible manner, working towards sustainability. We will measure our impacts, and communicate our progress and practices to the hostel community and the community as a whole. In this spirit, we have identified the following principles as important to our hostel network.
- Energy Conservation
- Protecting Natural Environments
- Reduced Consumption
- Environmental Education
Since 1934, Hostelling International USA has operated a network of hostels to encourage and enable low impact travel while preserving and protecting the landmark buildings, national parks, and communities that they are part of. Our hostels are built on the concept of shared spaces to foster interaction between guests and reduce our footprint.
From retrofitting historic buildings in New York City & Chicago, to repurposing lighthouses in California, HI-USA has sought to minimize our impact while providing high quality, comfortable and affordable accommodations. HI-USA hostels offer a wide range of hostel stay experiences, whether you've stayed with us in the past, or you're discovering hostels for the first time.
Hostel Spotlight: HI Portland Hawthorne
2009 Best of Portland Award Winner:
General Sustainability Practices for Very Small Businesses This prestigious award is given every spring by the City of Portland's Best Business Center. In the spring of 2009, the HI-Portland Hawthorne Hostel won the Very Small Business category due to it's innovative sustainability practices. Most notably, the hostel boosts an 8,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system, four eco-roofs, a permeable wall, bioswales, community built cob bench and onsite composting.
Recycled at Work Certified 2008-09
For the past 12 years we have considered ourselves master recyclers, recycling all the usual material, plus food, books, travelers clothes, batteries, light bulbs and more. In 2008, we applied for the City's Recycle at Work Certification to officially recognize our efforts. The city was impressed with our creative solutions, and we have been certified ever since.
New Green Common Space
Our new common room has recycled jeans for insulation, bamboo flooring, salvaged glass doors for windows, recycled paint and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified lumber. Through these efforts, we created a sustainable space, available for local like minded non-profits that's perfect for numerous activities, or holding an event.
Hawthorne's First Eco Roof
One of the first eco roofs built in Portland covers the hostel's front porch. The 700 sq ft eco roof was installed in 2001, and consists of native flowers, grasses and sedums. It reduces our rainwater runoff by creating a permeable verdant space where there was once a shingled roof.