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Making Your Hotel Stay as Green as Possible

Whether your travels take you to hotels for business or pleasure, you might want to consider making your stay there as green, or environmentally friendly, as possible. Although we take for granted the many wonderful services offered to hotel guests, those combined services come at quite an environmental cost. 

This article will explore ways that you can simply and easily increase "greenness" in out of town accommodations to help reduce your carbon footprint, improve the world, and make you feel virtuous in the process.


The amount of laundry that is required to keep hotels functioning to stay clean is staggering. At home, most people will use a towel more than once in the bathroom, so why not when staying in a hotel? Just leave your towels on the rack or hooks, rather than on the floor or in the tub. In today's world, that's a clear signal to the housekeeping staff that you plan to use the towels again.

Reusing towels in your hotel is a great way to be a green traveler!

Steer Clear of Disposables

Another action you can take to make your next stay in a hotel greener is to consider bringing your own coffee cup. Many hotels will provide Styrofoam coffee cups in your room, as well as in food service areas. Electing to use a reusable coffee cup you bring from home, instead of cups that will be thrown away after they are used, is an easy option. Travel mugs are light and easy to pack and can also be used for cold beverages.

Control Water Use

Hotels are places that tend to use large amounts of water, and many guests are tempted to use more shower water than they would at home. However, if you want to save natural resources the next time you stay in a hotel, taking shorter showers might be worth considering as well as turning off water while you are brushing your teeth.

Turn Off Lights When Leaving Your Room

The amount of electricity that gets used in hotels is also substantial. People staying in hotels sometimes use more electricity than they would if they were at home, because they are not afraid of the extra electrical use showing up on their electric bill in a hotel. However, this extra burden on the power grid comes at an environmental cost. The conscientious hotel guest should turn off all lights when leaving their room and shut the bathroom lights when not using them.

Avoid Those Cute Little Amenity Bottles

The cute little bottles of shampoo, mouthwash, and body lotion are a poor way to deliver products to the world. The amount of packaging is exponentially increased over the larger-sized products, draining natural resources. By bringing your own supplies from home, you'll also be sure to also have your favorite, tried and true products.

Packaging of small toiletries is hardly green!

As a final note, many people who collect those little toiletries while on the road will find they accumulate them at home. A great use of these small sizes is to donate them to a homeless shelter. The homeless can't be carrying around large bottles, so these are the perfect size for their needs. This group will get far more use from them than you will, and it's a good deed to boot.

Sarah Boisvert has written on a wide range of topics including travel, home improvement and roofing repair, business management, and social media. She has logged almost two million miles in business travel and now tries to avoid airplanes.

Photo #1 Credit: "Bath Time" by winnond via
Photo #2 Credit: "Amenities Kit" by zirconicusso via