Be Green? Or Be Clean? My Maid-less Experience Tells All!

I like maid service … every day. I like clean towels, a bed that’s made up, empty garbage cans and plenty of coffee.

So why did I hang the “Make a Green Choice” card outside my door on this visit to the Westin? I’d like to say it’s for the sole reason of “being green” and reducing the number of towels and sheets that need to be laundered, but that wouldn’t be the truth.

Here’s why the Green Choice card is dangling on the outside of my hotel room door:

  1. I want to try something different, get out of my comfort zone, and see how long I can deal with an un-maid room, and
  2. I’d like to see my SPG reward points grow a bit faster.

How am I doing?

Well, the sign wasn’t hanging outside my door today. Two days without maid service and I’m waving the white flag. I need my room cleaned!

I’ve been out of my comfortable zone long enough. It’s time to get this room back in ship-shape order.

A messy person I’m not, though I am spreading my stuff around the room more than normal since I’m not doing my morning pre-maid straightening up. When I return to my room in the evening, I feel let down that the hotel took my seriously about my “green choice.” I half-way expected my room to be magically cleaned up anyway.

Instead, here’s what my room looks like: Full garbage cans, no coffee bags and 3-day old towels. (Yes, I could’ve asked for more coffee or clean towels to be brought to my room but I wanted to do the full experiment.)


What have this experiment told me?

I tried something new. I survived. And I did reduce the amount of laundry to be washed. I also learned my limit –2 days of maid-free. And I recognized that I need a respite. Give me one day of maid service and I think I’ll be ready to do it again. I’m part-way through a ten night stay, so this happy medium may work out well – more reward points and more conserving of water – all good things.

What about you? Do you “do green” for green reasons? For points or money? Or do you prefer to not “do green” at all?

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  1. I love this program…..but usually only for one night. Two nights would for sure be my limit as well!

  2. I hang my towels for two days and get them changed on the third. (Same as at home, I change towels after two days and wash a bunch on the weekends).

    I let the maid empty the trash and make the bed. If the hotel has a card that says don’t change the sheets, I use it. I have no problem sleeping on the same sheets for 4-5 nights (usual stay length).

    I see saving on washing as green. I see saving on maid service as a gift to management’s bottom line that isn’t returned to me.

    I haven’t noticed a points bonus on any cards, but I’ll look more carefully next week.

  3. I’ve done the same experiment. Running out of coffee was the biggest problem for me. However, I don’t think this is a generally ‘greener’ way as promoted. In most cases, since hotels like the Westin give you plenty of towels, it’s more likely that guests just use more of those towels. This won’t reduce the laundry. This won’t help the environment. However, it can reduce the hotel’s labor costs. And for that, the guest should be compensated. Points are the cheapest way to do this.

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