It seems every hotel wants to be “green”. I put that in quotes, because while it seems hotels will put cards in each room about helping or saving the planet, they really don’t seem to live up it. They do what is called “greenwashing”.
Now I’m not here to point out a single hotel chain and point the finger at them. It seems pretty much all hotel chains do it and finding a truly green hotel is the exception (the only one I really found is a non-chain hotel called Hotel Marshfield). One dead giveaway is the lack of recycling bins in hotel rooms.
Another dead giveaway is the use of single-use plastics. Even if the plastic is recyclable, it gets thrown in the trash due to the lack of recycling bins.
Don’t get me started on how much waste is generated during a typical breakfast.
So what is this “greenwashing” I talk about? It’s effective advertising and presenting the image that a company is environmentally friendly, yet they don’t walk the walk. It’s easy to be green when it saves you money. While not washing the towels or sheets does indeed save water and energy, it also saves labor costs. Having an additional bin and the labor involved with separating the recycling and garbage and taking them out both cost money. Using reusable glasses and washing them costs money. A hotel can easily advertise they are being green by providing you less service, but are they truly green if they don’t even have a recycle bin? It’s a huge problem and something to really think about.