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Reusing your hotel towels: sensible behavior or scam?
Jill Hunter Pellettieri writes in Slate.com about how she hates those notices you now find in all the hotels asking you to re-use your towels in order to "Save Our Planet." Like her, I find them to be disingenuous. The real beneficiaries are the hotels, not the environment, because the hotels save lots of money on laundry costs, and they don't bother to pass those cost-savings along to the customers. [slate.com]
Categories: Business/Finance, Scams
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 07, 2009
Comments (24)
Just because the hotel also recieves a benefit doesn't mean it is not also environmentally beneficial. Chalk that logic up to absurd rebellious ideas.
Posted by RevJSH  in  Iowa  on  Tue Apr 07, 2009  at  12:54 PM
As I wrote there;

Wow, that's just petty and immature. It's just a polite way of them reminding you to be a grown up and not waste shit just because you're in a hotel.

Maybe they aren't really out to get you, maybe it's just a win for everyone.

You can't do the right thing unless you're paid?
Posted by bb  on  Tue Apr 07, 2009  at  01:31 PM
If hotels actually kept towels or anything else clean, I could buy "it's just a win for everyone" argument. Anyone who has worked for a hotel is gagging--unless you're at the Ritz, hotels keep rooms just clean enough to avoid being condemned. That "right thing" you're doing that's "a win for everyone" is going to cause you to dry yourself with bits of mold and fecal matter.

Please talk to someone who has worked at a hotel before replying.
Posted by Mark  in  Cincinnati  on  Tue Apr 07, 2009  at  08:13 PM
>>You can't do the right thing unless you're paid?<<

You have it backwards. In this case, we're actually paying the hotels to NOT provide us with a service.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Apr 07, 2009  at  08:28 PM
Your paying the same amount whether you waste towels or not. There is some sort of false economy logic going on here.

As far as cleanliness, they're not talking about using someone's else's towels, it's your towels and sheets. Maybe some people are misunderstanding this? They're only talking about people who stay multiple nights, asking them to not have the sheets changed every day. I often stay at hotels for weeks at a time and it's a total waste for them to change everything out everyday.
Posted by bb  on  Tue Apr 07, 2009  at  11:24 PM
I don't see the big deal with that. Sure they save money on laundry costs. I travel a lot for work and have spent many a week in the same hotel room. I don't see the need to have my towels washed every day. It is such a waste to have to wash every towel every day.

In fact, I've stayed in several hotels that have those signs and when you put them out they still change the towels. I called down to the front desk to complain and they thought I was crazy for not wanting my towels changed every day. Another thing that gets me is when they give you a fresh packaged soap everyday and thow your previous one out. Ugh...we live in such a wasteful society.
Posted by couchie  in  ontario  on  Wed Apr 08, 2009  at  11:07 AM
Your paying the same amount whether you waste towels or not. There is some sort of false economy logic going on here.


Exactly. So shouldn't you have to pay less if you're helping the hotel save money by not having to wash the towels? The laundry costs must be pre-included in your room cost, so shouldn't that cost be removed?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Apr 08, 2009  at  03:47 PM
The issue is the environment, you know, the world your children will live in even when your cheap selfish ass is gone.
Posted by RevJSH  in  Iowa  on  Wed Apr 08, 2009  at  04:55 PM
If the environment is the issue, don't waste resources by moving around and using hotels.
Posted by Mark  in  Cincinnati  on  Wed Apr 08, 2009  at  07:42 PM
I don't waste resources in said manner, but for those who do (and for anyone who wastes resources in any manner), it may fare the future of humanity better if you consider your impact upon the environment in all situations rather than becoming indignant about doing whatever you please because you paid to. Somehow, most humans seem to think that spending money makes them special and not subject to common sense or decency. As in, I paid for this damn hotel room and ill waste whatever I want. Illogical selfish children with credit cards. Ah, America!
Posted by RevJSH  in  Iowa  on  Thu Apr 09, 2009  at  01:49 PM
Right. . .so suggesting that not being charged for a service that you don't use is the epitome of selfishness and is tantamount to destroying the world for future generations. . .
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Apr 09, 2009  at  05:27 PM
Yes, silly Americans don't like to rub fecal matter in their faces.

Hotels cut laundry costs by using the minimum amount of soap and water to begin with. When towels and linens are left unwashed day after day, the normal build-up of bacteria and mold goes unchecked. Talk to the people who actually clean hotels. The resources they use to clean are not wasteful--they are barely adequate at best.
Posted by Mark  in  Cincinnati  on  Thu Apr 09, 2009  at  07:29 PM
Save the planet, don't wash
Save yourself, wash everything always
Posted by Canadarm  on  Thu Apr 09, 2009  at  09:50 PM
The end of the world will not only be televised, but also justified.
The little actions of six and a half billion people on a planet add up big.
Service with a smile and oblivion or bust.
Posted by RevJSH  on  Fri Apr 10, 2009  at  08:15 AM
if the hotels really are serious, why don't they offer a discount to guests who agree to "no new towels or sheets" during their stay? I recycle a lot, hang laundry outside (even in winter), etc but find this little notice in hotel bathrooms more of a guilt trip than a true offer. The idea is that the guest will make the sacrifice to help their bottom line. Sure the environment benefits but so very incrementally it is a laugh.
Posted by bookwoman  in  behind the shelves  on  Fri Apr 10, 2009  at  09:06 PM
incremental- 6.5 billion people, retard.
Posted by RevJSH  on  Sat Apr 11, 2009  at  01:23 PM
If you really cared about the planet, why do you have an energy-wasting computer? I guess the rules don't apply to you.
Posted by Mark  in  Cincinnati  on  Sat Apr 11, 2009  at  02:49 PM
"incremental- 6.5 billion people"
-- posted by RevJSH


I know that you may find this hard to believe, but not every person out of the 6.5 billion on Earth stays at a hotel. . .

The complaint being made on this topic, RevJSH, is that many of these hotels aren't really all that interested in benefiting the environment. Instead, they're just trying to get their customers to pay for a service without using it, thus making extra profit. You seem intent, though, on warping and twisting that complaint, misrepresenting the attitudes and opinions of people here, and then writing out self-righteous holier-than-thou diatribes addressed to people whom you know absolutely nothing about. Which seems rather silly to me.

A simple question to you: do you think it fair or right that people should be asked to not use a service, but should at the same time be charged for that service by the very people who are asking them not to use it?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat Apr 11, 2009  at  06:01 PM
I don't like mayonnaise. I tell them to hold the mayonnaise on my hamburger. I should be charged a nickel less. I will complain loudly until everyone knows I'm right because I complained so loud!
Posted by fuzzfoot  on  Sat Apr 11, 2009  at  11:43 PM
Fuzzfoot, hamburgers are usually cheaper than cheeseburgers. But you seem to be suggesting that the price of the hamburger should be raised to the cheeseburger price, even though the customer isn't getting any cheese.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Apr 13, 2009  at  01:11 PM
Sorry Alex, this is a great website and I normally agree with you, but I'm giong to have to say that this arguement is about as pointless as re-using towels is helpful to the environmental cause.
The cost of laundering the towels is but a small percent of the operating cost that is included in your room charge.
More infuriating is the fact that on any given night at any hotel identical rooms for any rate the hotel wants to charge. You may have paid $100 for the same room that I advance purchased for $75, and the guy that walk in off the street that day and got it for $50.
If you are really concerned with the environmental impact of your hotel, do some research into green hotels.
Posted by a former hotel employee  in  somewhere in TX  on  Tue Apr 14, 2009  at  05:41 PM
What concerns me more than how often the hotel linen is changed, is how it is cleaned before it is put into the room I am going to occupy. Once, in India, I asked for a clean pillow slip because the one on the supposedly freshly made bed, was obviously greasy and dirty from the previous guest. The pillow slip was taken away, ironed and brought back to me and purported to be clean. I am sure the people in Australia heard me scream the house down. So it's not so much about "you or me" but about the total cleanliness of the establishment and it's impact on the environment which includes people.
Posted by Kiki Anders  in  Australia  on  Sat May 09, 2009  at  07:38 PM
You have paid for the service. Use it if you like or be considerate and conserve the resources out of simple respect, it is up to you. No harm in the hotel asking. Still rather than site the enviroment they could just ask you to help keep their costs lower to better serve you.
Posted by Steve  in  United States  on  Fri Jul 09, 2010  at  06:27 PM
its been quite interesting.
Posted by Milind  in  http://www.photoshopgurus.com/  on  Tue Jul 13, 2010  at  04:29 PM
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