Obey the Towel Signs
You’ve seen these in hotel rooms when traveling, haven’t you? Do you have signs like these at your hotel? If you don’t, have one printed up for each room. If you do, make sure it’s being honored by your housekeeping staff.
I’ve stayed at many hotels (including my own, more on that later) that claim to only launder towels when left on the floor or in the tub, yet housekeepers will remove towels that are hung up, and send them to be laundered, leaving fresh, folded towels in their place.
Once, while staying at the more higher-end of my hotels, I hung up my towel after using it, only to find that afternoon that it had been replaced with a fresh one. The first day, I let it pass without comment, though I re-checked to make sure the towel sign was up. The second day, I realized this was probably going to continue throughout the course of my stay, so I reported it to the GM at that time. I suspected it might be some kind of odd special service they were providing me with.
His response? Basically, along the lines of: “Oh yes, since this is the most expensive of the hotels, we change the towels every day.” To which I reminded him that we had eco hotels, which people stayed at because they were concerned about sustainability, and not because they wanted fresh towels each day.
After that, they left my towels hanging up, just as indicated on the sign.
What was the problem here? Lack of staff training and awareness, which leads us back to the importance of staff education and of forming a sustainable company culture. If a sustainable workplace is part of your life, common sense will tell you to obey the towel signs.
Only laundering towels upon request is pretty standard in hotels these days (though I can guarantee you followthrough is not), but I’m going to include all eco-tips here, no matter how basic they may sound to some. Remember, there’s always something you can do to greenify your hotel. If you’ve got signs, then make sure they’re being obeyed by housekeeping.
If you’re on vacation at another hotel, and your housekeeper continually brings you fresh towels, leave her a quick note to remind her that you really don’t need them.