Recycling half used soaps and shampoos are just some ways hotels can cut down on their environmental impact.

Recycling half used soaps and shampoos are just some ways hotels can cut down on their environmental impact.

The temptation when people go to hotels is to be decadent, after all for many it is a well-earned break and since it is not they who have to worry about waste then they go wild.
So what can hotels do to cut down on the environmental impact their operations have?

Well, the InterContinental Hotels Group ( IHG) has decided to take the partially used soaps, shampoos and shower gels from hotel rooms and redistribute them to people in greater need of them. As many guests only stay one or two nights it makes sense they will not use an entire bar of soap, not matter how miniature it is.

In order to achieve their goal IHG has teamed up with a specialised organisation which aims to eradicate preventable diseases across the world. Clean the World Foundation Inc is doing this through promoting better hygiene practices and supplying the materials in which to achieve this.

If the idea of sending your guests' half used soaps off to be used again fills you with doubts about hygiene then rest assured that the foundation has a patent method of sterilising them to remove any germs and pathogens.

Through this process the foundation has diverted 1.4 million lbs from going into landfill and used in a more productive manner.

So what else can be done to cut down on wastage in hotels?

Laundry is a huge expense for the hotel industry and sheets and towels are often washed after one use - something which would seem ridiculous in one's own home.

Some hotels have adopted a policy where guests who are staying for more than one night are encouraged to use the same towel more than once. Signs are put up in the en suite bathrooms explaining to guests that if they wish to have their towels laundered they should put them on the floor and staff will take them away. Anyone who is prepared to use their towel again simply hangs it on the rail and it will be left be.

Does this detract from the feeling of luxury? Not at all, customers are becoming more and more aware of environmental issues and many appreciate the efforts that hotels go to in order to be sustainable.

Guests are still given the option of having their towels cleaned, but also the option to realise it isn't necessary to have them done every day.
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