It appeared to emerge overnight in every hotel bathroom worldwide: a small cardboard sign, carefully positioned next to the sink and printed in green, begging, “HELP US SAVE THE PLANET!” Under the heading: a statistical summary of how much water the hotel consumes each year to wash linens. And finally, you can see how much water and power you may save by hanging up your towel rather than leaving it in a soggy pile on the floor. One thing is clear: hotels worldwide are embarking on the green journey, and you should too. After all, you don’t use new towels when at home, right? So, in this article, we will answer the burning question of the travel industry: Can reusing hotel towels really help the planet? Let’s see the slightly longer answer!
Hotel Industry & Water Conservation
If you booked a hotel at random, there’s a pretty good chance your room would have a brief note or pamphlet advising that you reuse your bath towel if possible. What is the motive behind this trend, and why does it appear that virtually every hotel is participating? Here are a few reasons!
Water is one of the natural resources, and its costs are continuously rising due to inflation and other circumstances. Everyone will eventually have to start thinking about how to be more efficient in order to keep administrative expenses down while utility bills grow. Now, imagine how much water hotels consume just to wash thousands of towels every day instead of setting the rule for reusing hotel towels.
The goal to create a brighter tomorrow for future generations is at the heart of many energy and water-efficiency initiatives. From cleaner oceans to better drinking water, there are several reasons to reduce waste and outflow for the long-term benefit of humanity. Many hotels may add verbiage in their marketing materials to encourage visitors to reuse towels that correspond to these goals.
While saving money and protecting the environment are obviously crucial to government agencies, 40 out of 50 state water administrators foresee water shortages in some areas of their states over the next ten years. To suggest eco-friendly alternatives for safeguarding the American people, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched water-saving initiatives, which many businesses and households have adopted.
You may still have reservations at this point. Are these motivators sufficient to effect actual change? Even while the sample size is still modest, there is an indication that hotels’ hard conservation efforts are paying off across the country.
Hotels & National Water Usage
According to the EPA, the commercial and institutional sector accounts for 17 percent of total water use in the United States. Believe it or not, hotels and similar types of accommodation account for 15% of water usage.
The EPA’s purpose is to assist hotels in gaining a competitive advantage in the more eco-friendly industry while also decreasing their impact on climate change. A significant role here is playing a program called WaterSense. So far, it has helped Americans save 2.1 trillion gallons of water since 2006. Furthermore, 284 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity were saved as well. The best part is they don’t show any signs of slowing down in the future!
Benefits of Reusing Hotels Towels
Let’s think about those water savings and what they can entail for hotels. Washing the towels and linens less frequently can have a number of effects on your business. Some of them are the following:
- Fewer loads of laundry correlate to lesser water use.
- With a smaller overall laundry pile, you may be able to run smaller towel laundry loads for a far more efficient clean.
- Less laundry to do also implies smaller sewage, energy, and labor expenses, resulting in long-term savings.
- Taking environmentally responsible initiatives toward waste reduction appears enticing to potential customers; thus, the shift in thinking might provide a competitive advantage, leading to increased guest return rates and new business.
- It’s not simply about doing fewer washings. Towels can sustain significant wear and tear throughout the hamper-stuffing, drying, folding, storage, and repositioning processes that they must endure each time they are rewashed. Bath towels only need to be washed after three uses for hygiene reasons, and you may choose to impose laundry after three days of your stay, but even then, you are reducing two-thirds of the frequent usage your towels are undergoing.
As you can see, saving the planet also means saving a lot of money. And this is a massive plus for the hotel industry.
Efficient & Eco-Friendly Way To Wash Hotel Towels
Now that you know the eco-friendly benefits of reusing hotel towels, let’s see some ways to make your hotel towels more green and efficient:
- Efficient washing process. Wash and dry your towels separately from other linens to get the most excellent clean. To save energy, avoid washing laundry with hot water, as heat can harm your towels and significantly increase your power bill. In addition, white vinegar may be your greatest friend for giving your towels more fluff and avoiding odors or discoloration as a low-cost alternative to pricey fabric softeners.
- Avoid over-drying. Drying towels for too long can damage the fibers while also increasing energy usage. In addition, we suggest always drying towels on low heat. If you can line-dry your clothes, you can eliminate energy usage altogether, and drying them out can keep mildew at bay.
- Get 100% cotton towels. 100% cotton towels are an ideal choice for hotel use. Hotels may save a lot of time and money by using low-maintenance towels. Cotton towels offer a soft, plush feel that lasts even after several cycles of washing. They are extremely durable and cheap for any budget. Hotel cotton towels may provide all of the benefits of high-quality towels without incurring additional fees, allowing hotels to save money and lower their ecological footprint.
Encouraging Guests To Reuse Hotel Towels
Reusing towels can benefit both the environment and hotel owners. Therefore, it’s crucial to communicate this change with hotel guests.
There are several ways to promote the towel reuse system to guests in a way that excites and inspires them to participate. Here are three of the most popular methods:
- Provide literature emphasizing the hotel’s goal for a lower environmental impact.
- Indicate that it is hotel policy and that guests must follow it.
- Tell the guests that everyone else is doing it; therefore, they should also!
Believe it or not, the third one is proven to work the best and, ultimately, lead to an increased desire for sustainable travel in the future.
Can Reusing Hotel Towels Really Help The Planet: The Final Verdict
As you can see, the facts about hotels’ enormous water usage are pretty clear. There is no doubt that we have to do something about this. Fortunately, reusing hotel towels is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to make a difference. Not emptying the pools but simply using towels for more days than one. This step won’t only help with the environmental issues we’re all facing, but it will also help hotel owners save a bunch of money. Reusing the towels implies both less water usage and lower electricity bills. Therefore, it’s a win-win solution for everybody!
Cover image: photo by Teona Swift via Pexels
Author’s bio: Tammy Ballard is an active environmentalist currently employed at bestlongdistancemovers.com. She is trying to make her community and the world greener every day. When she’s not at the office or blogging about green initiatives, she enjoys painting and watching old movies. Tammy also loves hiking and camping on weekends.