Eco Friendly & Sustainable Lodging in San Diego

Bobby Dyer

At International Traveler’s House, we aren’t your run-of-the-mill lodging. That’s because we’ve built all of our properties on our values. To start, we value guest experience above everything else. This made the decision to provide free meals and take guests out on excursions every day easy. It’s our way to ensure you have an incredible experience.

Guest experience isn’t our only key value. The environment is another big one.


We’re all in this world together. We each need to take steps to preserve natural resources where we can. This applies to our hostels as well.


Below are several of the sustainable measures we are building into the foundation of our properties. It’s a work in process. We have a large-scale vision to grow our efforts over time. In our opinion, that’s no reason to not start today.


So here is how International Traveler’s House is championing sustainable efforts today:


Growing Our Own Food


Turns out we have a green thumb. Even more than that, we love gardening!


We have a large garden at our Eco Farm House in San Diego. Additionally, our Retro Cabin in Big Bear has a spacious garden as well. That garden just sees a shorter growing season. Apparently snow doesn’t mix well with fresh greens.


While we may have started out our gardens to create a sustainable food source, there is something incredibly satisfying about growing your own food. To continue on that gravy train, it’s also powerful sharing the fruits of your labor with guests.


The food tastes different. Guests notice.


It’s not uncommon to see them out near the garden enjoying the burst of nature. For some, it’s the best place on the grounds to meditate. Overall, these gardens enhance all aspects of staying at our properties.


Local Food


Let’s be honest. We serve a lot of meals every day, much less over a month’s time frame. We can’t grow enough to feed every guest who passes through our door.


When we can’t grow it, we look to provide locally-sourced food. This includes seasonal items from the local Little Italy’s Farmer’s Market. Happening every Saturday morning, perusing the market is one of our favorite ways to spend a weekend morning.


Not everything we serve is locally sourced, but we try to provide locally sourced or home grown when we can.


Water Capture Systems


Some of the best innovations are small systems that make a big impact. That’s how we view our water capture systems. You’ll run into these at our Eco Farm House. The main one is right outside near the garden.


Here we have an outdoor shower for guests returning from the beach to quickly rinse off. All the runoff goes directly to water the garden. It also captures rains from San Diego’s sparse rainstorms.




Parts of our efforts coincide with keeping costs down. Yes, sustainable measures can be used for good business practices. At ITH, we make the majority of our hand soap. Not only can we make it with natural ingredients, we can make it more affordably than at the store.


This mentality extends to other areas. You’ll commonly see our founders out working on building decks, tilling the garden, or addressing home improvements. We blend recycled materials and good old-fashioned elbow grease. The results continue to be impressive, as well as keep our prices low.


The ITH Experience


As we mentioned in the beginning, we’re not your run-of-the-mill lodging. We approach the entire travel experience differently. By traveling you get to meet and exchange with different cultures. We want to facilitate that cultural exploration. And as we are doing that, we want to pursue the most sustainable and environmentally friendly efforts possible.


If you are looking for a green getaway, check out our Eco Farm House. We build sustainable measures into each of our properties, but this is our eco-friendly pride and joy.


Curious about all of our properties? Check out our property guide.




Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.