Randal Savage, corporate director, rooms, at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, White Plains, N.Y., has seen and heard it all. Empty hotel rooms with the lights on, the television blaring, and on some occasions, the shower running!
The truth is, most travelers don't practice good "eco-etiquette" at hotels. A new survey commissioned by Element Hotels, a new Starwood brand slated to open in 2008, finds that 60 percent of travelers drop their "green routines" on the road. Only 18 percent think about conserving water while staying at a hotel compared to 70 percent at home, and 63 percent admit they are more likely to leave a light on in a hotel room than they are at home.
"I don't think anyone is intentionally wasteful on the road, but it can be hard to stay on the straight and narrow when your routine is disrupted by travel," said Savage, in a news release. To help travelers be more environmentally conscious on the road, Savage, who will head up housekeeping for the new Element brand, offers the following tips.
Get unplugged: Many people don't realize that their cellphone charger, laptop cable and other electrical plugs drain power while they are plugged in, even if they are not in use. In fact, only 5 percent of the power used by an average cellphone charger is used to charge the phone--the other 95 percent is wasted energy.
Seize the day: Take advantage of natural light as much as possible--it is as renewing for your spirits as it is for the planet.
Chill out: Hotels are often climate-controlled, but many will let you adjust the room temperature. Always set the temperature around 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer to maximize both energy efficiency and personal comfort.
Lights out: Keeping the bathroom light off overnight makes a big impact and will help you to sleep better. Traveling with a night light is an easy, eco-friendly alternative.
Conserve while you sleep: The survey confirmed that only a small percentage of people change their linens every day at home, so why should a hotel be any different? Taking advantage of a hotel's linen reuse policy is a smart choice.
Use common sense: Be sure to turn off the lights and TV and make sure faucets are closed before leaving your room.