Coyle Poll: As Hotels Increase Efforts to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint, Are Travelers Following In Their Steps?

Today’s hotels are working to reduce their carbon footprint in a number of different ways. Kimpton began by recycling trash, phones, and batteries and serving organic foods and beverages. Now, their cleaning staff uses eco-friendly products in every hotel and restaurant. Miami’s Hotel Intercontinental is completely powered by wind energy, and similarly, the cottages at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur rely on solar power. Meanwhile, Hi Hotel in Nice boasts a mineral organic paint exterior and provides guests with vegetable toiletries in addition to offering bicycles as a means to get around town. Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco features soundproof recycled glass windows and bed linens made from recycled materials.

This got us wondering, are the majority of hotel guests as concerned about going “green”? In honor of Earth Month, we decided to ask our network.


According to a recent poll*, we discovered that 74% of travelers take advantage of the linen re-use placard during a stay, at least occasionally, and 31% use it every time.

We were pleased to find that 40% cited a desire to remain eco-friendly while traveling as their motive.

In fact, one enthusiastic traveler recommended, “I think it should be common practice for hotels NOT to change sheets if a stay is less than five days. Perhaps a card should be used if a guest would like the sheets changed.”

The second most popular reason for using the placard conveyed a sense of practicality, with 27% arguing, “I don’t change my sheets that much at home, why should I change them that often when traveling?”

We also learned that 78% of those who chose not to utilize the placard refrained from doing so because they “like fresh sheets when [they] pay for a hotel room.” Not surprisingly, travelers are still concerned with getting the best value for their dollar while away.

In order to please all parties involved – eco-friendly hotels and guests, as well as value-conscious travelers – perhaps the solution is to find a “greener” way to wash linens. As a start, companies can use non-toxic detergents and energy efficient washing machines/dryers. They can also consider developing a landscaping irrigation system using reclaimed water from the laundry room, similar to the Bancroft Hotel in Berkley.

What do you think? Should hotels make it commonplace not to wash sheets every day or should they take additional steps to make the process more eco-efficient?

*Coyle surveyed 125 frequent travelers in our panel

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