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Portland Hawthorne Hostel


logoThe Portland Hawthorne Hostel is a 35-bed eco-hostel that serves an average of 3,800 world and American travelers per year. The hostel is designated as a Sustainable Living Center by its umbrella organization, Hostelling International USA.


Gold Certification

  • BEST Award winner, 2009 – BEST Practices for Sustainability: Very Small Organization

Alternative Transportation

  • Seventy-five percent of hostel staff commute to work via bicycle on a daily basis. Every year an average of 75% of hostel guests arrive to and depart from the hostel via public transportation. A very conservative estimate suggests that guests spend over $11,500/year using Tri-Met’s services each year. Staff demystifies the Tri-Met system on a daily basis, has discounted bike rentals for guests and offers touring cyclists $5 off per night.

Water Efficiency

  • In September 2008 the hostel completed a large-scale rainwater harvesting system that consists of two 4,000-gallon cisterns, living walls, bioswales, a perennial culinary herb garden and a cascading waterfall salmon sculpture. The rainwater is collected from the roof, funneled into the cisterns and pumped into the house to be filtered before being delivered to our toilets and urinal. To date we have collected over 148,000 gallons of rainwater and prevented an equal amountof rainwater from entering the sewer systems each year.

Recycling and Waste Reduction

  • Portland Hawthorne Hostel has recycled an average of 75% of their waste for a number of years. During check-in, guests are given a short introduction to the hostel, which includes a mention of our recycling and composting practices. Onsite composting, book exchange, and a "free-bin" for extra clothing and travel goods further reduce waste and encourage reuse.

Sustainable Purchasing

  • As part of ongoing efforts to make our hostel and Portland a healthier place to live, work and play, we strive to purchase equipment, materials and products that are recyclable, made of recycled content, reduce waste and/or energy, made of non-toxic ingredients and/or are locally produced. The General Manager and Operations Manager are responsible for adhering to these guidelines when making purchasing decisions. Most of our suppliers such as Bio-Kleen, Cartridge World and Natural Press already have sustainability practices in place. Those that don’t are challenged by us to provide services or products that meet our environmental purchasing guidelines whenever a viable need arises.

Promoting a Sustainable Built Environment

  • In 2001 the hostel built the first ecoroof on Hawthorne Blvd. In 2006 they partnered with a PSU graduate student and SE City Repair to construct a cobb bench at corner of SE 31st and Hawthorne. Complete with an eco roof and pyramid skylight. In 2008 we built a new common room, using sustainable materials such as recycled jean insulation, FSC certified wood, bamboo flooring, salvaged windows and doors, and Metro recycled paint and in 2009 and 2011 they replaced their front and side porches with 950 sq feet of Trex decking.

Community Service & Civic Involvement

  • Throughout the year nearly 800 community members, leaders, students and Girl Scouts participate in our free or low-cost educational programming, events and ecotours. As part of our ongoing commitment to education, ecotours are open to the public, available on most days of the week and are free of charge.


3031 SE Hawthorne Blvd.