Reusing Hotel Towels: Going Green or just Saving them Green?

When traveling for business or pleasure, everyone loves to enjoy a bit of luxury when staying in a hotel: the washing, housekeeping, even the turndown service with the ever-popular chocolate-on-the-pillow gives everyone a sense of comfort and pampering: It’s great not have to worry about making sure your towels are clean, or that your sheets are freshly laundered — and why should you expect anything less? You’re paying for someone else to take care of the all the regular toils of housework so you can enjoy your stay with optimum comfort.

You might have noticed during your most recent hotel stay that signage has been added to your bathroom in the form of tags, counter-top signs, or door-hangers, giving you instructions to “save our planet” — hotels are making an effort to cut down on laundry loads by encouraging people to reuse their towels instead of expecting a freshly washed towel every day. While reusing towels isn’t a radical concept, this system is not just helping the planet, but saving the hotels considerable expenses when it comes to processing their daily laundry — a savings that often times doesn’t get passed on to you! Some hotels sometimes do offer something for the green-thinking lodger, like Sheraton Hotels who offer a $5 food and drink voucher for every day a guest declines housekeeping service, but most of the time the only benefit to you is the reward of “thinking green”.

Hotel bathrooms are often windowless, enclosed spaces with little air circulation — this makes air-drying towels more problematic, even when hung on standard towel rails: No one wants to return to their room in the evening and find that their towel is still damp from their morning shower, especially if they are foregoing the luxury of a fresh towel daily. One solution to this problem is to incorporate Heated Towel Warmers or “Racks” into hotel bathrooms as an incentive for guests to rehang their towels — not only are they thinking green by saving soap and water, but the drying power of the racks will keep towels toasty and warm, a luxury in itself!