I've been doing a lot of traveling and staying at hotels lately. When I wrote my last blog entry, I had just returned from the ISES (International Special Events Society) Northeast Regional Education Conference in Providence, Rhode Island where I was a speaker. My topic was Green Events: A Standard, Not a Trend. I'm just trying to do my part about spreading the gospel of green and received lots of positive feedback. The movement is picking up momentum! Halleluiah! Praise the Lord!
Since then, I've traveled to Silver Thorne, Colorado, Dover, Delaware and New Orleans, Louisiana and I've experienced how different hotels are either diving in or merely dipping their toes into the green movement. Two properties featured compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) in their sleeping rooms, but one – a nice hotel -- had plastic cups instead of glass. Talk about a contradiction!
One of the properties was where I was producing a conference. It had a re-use your bed linen and towel program. Unfortunately, the housekeeping staff didn't seem to be towing the party line. For bed linens, I had to place a sign on my bed if I DIDN'T want my sheets changed. Wouldn't the more eco friendly alternative be to place the sign if I DID want my sheets changed? I surely don't need new sheets each day and since I'm usually in a hurry, remembering to place the sign on my bed to prevent the house keeping staff from removing my sheets can be a lot to ask! At home, I wash my sheets weekly (and on some occasions, less frequently depending on how chaotic my life is!).
The game plan for towels was that IF you wanted to reuse your towel, you should hang it on the rack. Others left in a heap on the floor would be changed. I dutifully hung up my towels, but they still took them away. The next day, I left a note indicating that I wanted to participate in the re-use your towel program. The morning housekeeper honored this request, but the staffer who handled the turn down service later that night didn't get the memo and took my towel away. I mentioned this to the sales director and she promised to speak with the house keeping staff.
From now on, I'm making a pledge to only stay at eco friendly hotels. And if I'm forced to stay at a semi-green or non-green hotel, I'll write a letter encouraging them to hop on the green band wagon.
Environmentally Friendly Hotels
To locate an environmentally friendly hotel, go to www.environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com or www.greenhotels.com.