Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hotel Recycling...Or Better Yet, Lack Thereof

While visiting Pete in Missouri last week we stayed in a great hotel with all kinds of amenities and services and signs all around boasting about their transition toward greener living. Energy efficient light bulbs lit each light, guests are encouraged to reuse towels for more than one day and if you're staying the week, your sheets will only be changed twice, rather than daily to help the hotel reduce water use and energy consumption.

All of this was impressive, yet one major factor was missing... recycling. I can understand that it just may not be all that practical for them to place recycling baskets in each of their hotel suites, but I was more stunned to learn that as a business, especially one of their size, they do not recycle any of the waste they accumulate on a daily basis...I mean, all of those mini shampoo bottles alone!

I decided to broach the subject with the general manager, a really down to earth woman, who told me plain and simple that they just don't have the space outside of the building to accommodate the large bins they would need for recycling. I found this hard to believe however, after taking my kids for a walk around the entire outside of the building one day and saw many, many different places that would accommodate such bins with no problems.
I think when it really comes down to it the reasons for not doing it revolve more around the effort it would take to begin and remain involved with the process. It takes time and knowledge to educate the staff about the procedures and of course the hotel having to budget funds to pay a company to come and haul away the materials. Or maybe they can sell them, therefore increasing their revenue. In this day and age, I just can't even fathom how they couldn't even try.

Have you had the opportunity to stay at any Eco-friendly hotels? If so, was recycling among it's top priorities?


Lizzie said...

i noticed the same thing while staying with joe last week. they encouraged water conservation up the wazoo but nothing about recycling. i too find it odd. of all the things one can do to help, recycling is by far one of the easiest, at least i think so.

i love that we now have a recycling pick up weekly in our neighborhood, it makes it easier. but like you, i still recycled when i had to separate and haul it off 30 miles to the one dump that took recycling.

i will seriously consider paying more to stay on a eco-friendly hotel sometime.

hey, why don't you me and the kids take a vacation to one, just the girls... you know, for "educational" purposes and to evaluate how they are helping the planet, it's all about research!! :)

kate said...

I think that sounds great Liz! Or better yet, why don't you and I take the vacation and the kids stay with the guys for a long weekend! Hope you are well.

Lizzie said...

hey miss Kate! Yeah I like your plan better :) OK so Joe did a guest post on my blog about cleaner energy. you may or may not agree with all he has to say, but i thought it was quite an interesting topic you might find good to read!

~K said...

Hi Kate~
I've come across your blog once or twice now and would like to invite you to post on our site
You are welcome to have any of your blog posts link back to your own site 1/2 way through. FYI- we will "feature" blog posts that have a tie to or mention Columbia and the Midlands. Thanks and hope you'll join us! -Kacey

the vacuum lady said...

Here is an idea. My husband travels a lot and always brings the full bottles back We "recycle" them by sending them over-seas to our ladies in uniform. It is a special treat for them. They especially like the body creams!

Green Chick said...

the idea from the_vacuum_lady is a great one!

found your blog through blogher and i love it. especially all the lovely green links for cola, as i spend about half my time down there.

would you mind if i linked you on my blog??

keep up the good work!!