Green tip for week #14 — Week of August 3, 2008

Reuse your towel (and incorporate your environmental responsibility into your hotel stay)

In vacation season, many people stay for several days, or even several weeks, at a hotel or resort. Although many of the luxuries, amenities, and conveniences of housekeeping services create a welcome break from the normal routine, they also come at an environmental price. To maintain some effort at environmental responsibility and thinking green, you can start by reusing your towel.

You will notice that hotels often have signs in the room or elsewhere that encourage you to reuse your towel. Not only does this help them save cost, time, and energy, but it is good for the environment. Having a fresh towel every time you need one is a nice convenience, but when you consider the effect all the towel washing (energy consumption, water consumption, cleaning supplies) has on the environment, it’s easy to see the benefit of reusing your towel at least once during your stay, if not throughout your stay.

The hotel industry, when considered cumulatively, can create a significant draw on energy and water resources. Consequently, they are in a great position to foster change. Hotels have taken a positive step by informing and encouraging guests to make a small effort toward conservation by reusing towels. Now it is up to all of us, as guests of hotels and resorts, to take the next step to put the idea into action, and to do our part in shifting the focus from consumption to conservation of resources.

Next time you are in a hotel, think twice before throwing your towel on the floor, and encourage others to do the same. Small steps become much bigger when they are done by a large scale of people. Green living and environmental responsibility occur one step at a time, by everyone making a conscious effort to become more responsible and more conscious about the environment in their daily lives.

Remember that taking small steps today can lead to substantial benefits to the environment tomorrow!

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