Are "Green" Consumers Dumb Enought to Buy This? Probably

If it is one thing I have learned after reading "green" sites like this one, most greens don't seem very thoughtful about parsing green claims.  So this fairly outrageous ploy by hotels will probably work:

Guests checking into the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa or Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel can do more than order breakfast or request privacy by hanging a card outside their door.

They can also decline daily housekeeping service.

The hotels are among a small but growing group who have taken their in-room "green" initiatives up a notch, adding the option of no cleaning on top of existing options to reuse towels and forego fresh sheets.

What a great idea!  Redefine green as "not doing the basic job you are paying me to do."   This is amazing chutzpah, and at some level I tip my hat to them.  Spot a market inefficiency -- in this case the incredible gullibility of the greens -- and exploit it.


  1. Kevin R:

    For awhile now I've been seeing hotels spinning the statement "We're not going to wash your towels every day" as being "green", this is just the next logical step.

  2. morganovich:

    imagine the carbon you could save by having airlines not fly you to your destination!

  3. another guy:

    At least they give a choice. I was in a hotel that spiked the air conditioning in the room at 78 and had windows that didn't open - all obstensibly part of their Green campaign. Not conducive to a good noght's sleep, fo me at least. I'm sure all of the money they saved on the energy bill went to purchasing forest land in the Amazon Basin.

  4. Paavo:

    using fresh underwear is a crime against gaia. I Love having an excuse for the lazy.

  5. L Nettles:

    Next lets re-brand algae blooms from phosphate in detergents as carbon sequestration, at least then we can have clean clothes.

  6. J. Wilson:

    I love it. I'll still request daily service of course, but the greens who decline it will let the hotels save money, which may reduce rates a little bit, which means I'll have lower rates for the same service!

  7. Rapid:

    I've found that most hotel housekeepers ignore the "If you hang my towels = reuse" paradigm so not permitting them into the room makes perfect sense.

  8. DrTorch:

    Rapid- I've seen the same thing. I don't think I've ever had housekeeping NOT take my towels, even as I tried to hang them up for my own re-use.

    That's over 10 years now.

  9. DMac:

    The next step is to reset "green" as the basic service level, and to offer an upgraded service packeage, for a 'nominal' fee, which will include clean towels and sheets.

  10. Roy:

    A frequent business traveler, I watched the 'aid green by not washing towels' paradigm grow from inception to ubiquitous presence. Never for a moment believed it had non hypocritical green intent. Transparently obvious ploy. Missed the following: "We'll cut your room cost by x if you will join us in promoting green".

  11. sam:

    I have declined housecleaning service for as long as I've been staying in hotels. Not because I'm trying to save the environment, but simply because it dramatically decreases the odds of my stuff getting lost.

    I can't imagine how messy people must be, that they need housecleaning service every day.

  12. Noumenon:

    It is clever but I wouldn't be cynical about it at all. The market is inefficient if it makes me pay to have my towels washed just because it's not worth adjusting the bill over. It's like an upscale version of the dent-and-bent store -- you might say providing undamaged packaging is part of the can company's "job," but if I don't care about it then finding a way to let them not do that job is much more efficient. Dent-and-bent figured out how to do that through prices, but even though the hotels are doing it through moral suasion instead it's still a net gain for the economy.

  13. Ben:

    Next, for an extra 12$ a night, they'll let me bring my own towels.

  14. Judge Fredd:

    To be honest, I saw a variation of this when I was in Hong Kong several years ago. If you put the towels in the tub, that signaled you wanted fresh towels. Being the male that I am, I never did during my stay, but by God that didn't stop the cleaning staff from giving me fresh ones regardless.