Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hotels Go Green = Saving Green

Hotels are starting to figure out that they can use their green efforts as a marketing feature, but I think the real reasons hotels are making changes is they've learning it can save them money.

Last week we stayed at the Westin Ocean Resort Villas North in Ka'anapali Beach, Hawaii (one of those unplanned school auction purchases!). Upon check-in, we were notified that we would be receiving one "tidy" service during our week, but no daily cleaning. I've seen hotels with the signs about leaving your towels hanging if you don't want them changed or placing a card on the bed if you don't want new linens, but once-a-week "tidy" service was new for me. Basically, after three days, they'll come in to change your sheets and towels and take out your garbage. No cleaning at all while you're there (but they do provide a broom and dustpan should your bathroom start to look as sandy as the beach!)

Actually, it was fine with me because I hate having to vacate a room in the morning because the cleaning people are ready to get to work. The funny thing though is that the hotels are pitching this as this big way they're going green, and I'm thinking... yeah, it's definitely saving some green. It is a HUGE savings in labor, water, electricity, and cleaning products.

Saving money is the best motivator for a corporation to go green so I'm not surprised it's the bottom line that's starting to drive changes. Their restaurants and bars also featured new compostable cups. You can see on the cup it says "Made from Corn." Again, I applaud the hotel for their efforts, but in this case, they're only halfway there. The cups are compostable, but the hotel doesn't actually compost them. They still go off to a landfill somewhere for now. Baby steps...

We did like the fact that the hotel offered recycling centers in several locations around the hotel and we took advantage of those. We also tried to do our part to keep the beach clean by picking up the trash and recyclables we found. We found a large bag of cans which I'm guessing someone just forgot to take them home at the end of their party. We took care of the last step so all those cans didn't end up getting swept back into the ocean.

All in all, Hawaii is a beautiful place and as guests on the island, I think we owe it to them to keep it beautiful!

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  1. Keep Hawaii Green :) It's good that big businesses such as hotels are going into the green lifestyle. It sure will save them a lot of money! :)


  2. Absoutely agree Kristine. While it would be great for everyone to go green because it's the right thing to do, saving money will definitely be a prime motivator!