Monday, May 19, 2014

Dear Hotel Management ...

Dear Hotel Management

What is the deal with those cards and signs exhorting guests to do the right thing and reuse towels? Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). But just about every hotel I stay at tries to guilt me into reusing my towels yet doesn't provide adequate facilities for me to do so. When I see a sign that says, for example:

Every day millions of gallons of water are used to wash towels that have only been used once. 
You make the choice:
 a towel on the rack means 'I will use again'
 a towel on the floor means 'please replace'

... I am more than willing to hang my towel and reuse it. Positively eager, in fact! But in many, indeed most, places there are too few racks. Or no racks at all. Maybe one hook on the back of a door, or a rail inside the shower. News flash: towels don't become dry if hung inside the shower cubicle! Oh, and in many cases the cleaning staff ignore my signals and replace the towels anyway, no matter how carefully I've hung them on the (inadequate) hooks or rails. So, what's the point? Why do you send such mixed signals and screw with well meaning guests' heads?

Yours faithfully,
The Guest

P.S. I know some people (more cynical than me) say that when hotels ask guests to reuse linen it's about their financial bottom line, not about saving the planet. I don't actually care what your reason for wanting to reduce waste is  reducing waste is an admirable idea, and I'm happy to participate if you'll let me.

P.P.S. Maybe this sounds like a first world problem. That is, I'm lucky enough to live in a developed country, and wealthy enough to occasionally stay in hotels. Well, yes. But surely it is everyone's responsibility  especially those of us who live in developed countries  to reduce, reuse and recycle?

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