Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Hotels: Greenwash?

I’ve been away for a week for my work, staying in a fancy hotel to boot.

As an environmentally aware person, hotels really grate against my principals.

They’re just environmentally decadent. I’m not a ranting person when I write this blog but my room had five lights and lamps in the sleeping area, four in the bathroom and two telephones; one by the bed and one at the desk at the foot of the bed!

The location of these two lamps took the biscuit!


It wasn’t this particular hotel as on the rare occasions when I have to stay in one this is very common.

So what damage limitation do I do when I have to be in this non-green nightmare?

Top Tip 1
First I turn off all the lights. Just like at home I use one that’s in the place where I’m sitting instead. And if possible I open the curtains to use natural light. I’ve found that many hotel room lighting is poor anyway. All those dim lamps don’t give enough light.

The next problem for me is the toiletries. Those crazy little bottles and packets that are meant to be taken home that seem to have the highest plastic to lowest content ratio possible.


Top Tip 2

Don’t use them! And don’t take them! I bring my own but what I bring is a bar of soap. This is the least packaged item of cleaning product for personal hygiene there is. Which means I might also use the bar of soap provided too. It comes in paper wrapping in many cases. Then I take that home as it will be thrown away by the hotel when I leave.

20140603-080328-29008864.jpg my room had three bars of soap and two sets of shampoos, shower gels and lotions!

Now that I’m not using shampoo anymore that part was easy!

So then there’s the big towel conspiracy!
(I cropped this to omit the hotel name as I’ve seen this message in many places!)


So good ole hotel it’s green right? It cares about the planet, right?


As on so many other occasions I followed the instructions after my shower!

But next day the towel had been replaced!

I tried again, hooking the pictured label into the towel.

But next day the towel had been replaced!

So I spoke to housekeeping! (Potentially staff hadn’t been trained to understand the meaning of this sign. 😦 or worse still so few guests ever keep the same towel it’s not expected in the room change.)

Finally I was successful; no new towel!

Top Tip 3
I try not to shower everyday. Alongside the little utilised soap is a trusty flannel. It does the important jobs when you need to wash in the sink!

I tried very hard to avoid all the other non green temptations that were on offer during my stay but was frustrated by the TV and entertainment system on standby. (Which is also a fire risk!) and the free newspaper in a plastic bag that kept appearing on my room door!


12 comments on “Hotels: Greenwash?

  1. lindaswildlifegarden
    June 3, 2014

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Lovely post and thank you for sharing Liz


  2. Expat Eye
    June 3, 2014

    It must have been fancy – I haven’t seen those little bottles in ages! It’s normally the bottle screwed to the wall in some awkward position so you whack your elbow off something every time you try to squeeze it πŸ˜‰ Or maybe that’s just me πŸ˜‰


    • lizard100
      June 3, 2014

      The screwed to the walk ones in budget hotels are much better for the planet but figuring out how to get the soap out is a serious challenge! I love it when they’re in a really weird place and you can hardly get the soap out before it’s washed away.


      • Expat Eye
        June 3, 2014

        Yeah, that happens to me a lot! πŸ™‚


      • lizard100
        June 3, 2014

        But maybe I should write again when I stay in a budget hotel as they are probably greener.


      • Expat Eye
        June 3, 2014

        Yeah, mine in Daugavpils wasn’t cleaned for 3 days πŸ˜‰


      • lizard100
        June 3, 2014



  3. Anne Lene
    June 3, 2014

    I just had a week in London with same towel trouble! They had permanent bottles they refilled with shampoo, soap and stuff, so the are trying… But the towel stuff bothered me no ends!


    • lizard100
      June 3, 2014

      It’s very frustrating. I’m not sure they are trying. If a towel isn’t washed daily it cuts the costs. Nothing more.


      • Anne Lene
        June 3, 2014

        You would think they would be better at letting you keep your towel rather than change everyday, since it cut their cost! But noooooo…


      • lizard100
        June 3, 2014

        It just looks as if they care.


  4. Rambling Woods
    June 6, 2014

    Wow..that is fancy and wasteful


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