Does Reusing Hotel Towels Save the Planet or Just Money?

As some of us contemplate traveling again, the Environmentalist from Hell looks into tourism-industry greenwashing.

Sara Bynoe
Aug 27 · 6 min read
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I started thinking that little card was just marketing for eco-warriors like me.

Another hospitality union leader claims “green” initiatives that encourage forgoing housekeeping service are just cost-cutting measures in disguise. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Unite Here Local 26 president Brian Lang said, “It’s a brilliant marketing program, but it’s done at the expense of, largely, immigrant women.” Housekeepers — who once had reliable, full-time jobs — have had their hours reduced and their schedules made more erratic since hotels started offering incentives like reward points or drink vouchers to guests who skip cleaning.

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Twenty years into the twenty-first century, how can you not have a BLUE BIN?!

So, next time you find yourself in a hotel — whenever that may be — here are some ways to tell if it’s engaging in greenwashing, or actually working to be more sustainable. Look for a range of environmental initiatives. Does the hotel use LED light bulbs? Do the showers turn off after a certain amount of time to prevent water waste? Are there low-flow toilets, or arrangements to reuse waste water? One red flag that tells me a hotel isn’t serious about sustainability is if it has no recycling bins in the rooms or lobby. Twenty years into the twenty-first century, how can you not have a BLUE BIN?!

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Sara Bynoe

Written by

AKA The Environmentalist From Hell @ Asparagus Magazine www.SaraBynoe.com

Asparagus Magazine

Asparagus tells the large and small stories of how we can live sustainably, from an environmental, social, and cultural perspective.

Sara Bynoe

Written by

AKA The Environmentalist From Hell @ Asparagus Magazine www.SaraBynoe.com

Asparagus Magazine

Asparagus tells the large and small stories of how we can live sustainably, from an environmental, social, and cultural perspective.

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