If you’ve stayed in a hotel at any time over the last 20 years or so, you will no doubt have seen a notice in the bathroom that looks something like this:
Although I agree this is a commendable move by the hotels, the cynic in me has always believed that many are simply doing this to lower their laundry bills while scoring some easy ‘green’ points at the same time. My real bugbear however is when, literally a few paces away from a notice such as the one above, you find this:
So what are we looking at here (apart from a hotel coffee maker)? Well, to begin with you may notice that there’s no choice but to use a disposable cup, which is also wrapped in that most despised material: polyethylene. Second, the coffee machine that this (apparently environmentally conscious) hotel has purchased for every room employs a single-use plastic tray to put the coffee in. That’s right folks, each and every individual coffee sachet comes in it own disposable plastic tray. Disgraceful.
So as you can see below, the waste created by just one cup of coffee somewhat makes the whole saving resources thing look like a bit of a scam.
The waste created by one cup of hotel coffee.
Unfortunately, my job requires me to stay in quite a few hotels (not very green I know, but I’m working on that) and this is by no means a one off. This scenario is repeated over and over again; in fact it’s what gave me the original idea for the Great Eco-Lie Outbreak.
In contrast, some hotels do get it right. The picture below, for example, shows reusable china mugs that are not wrapped in plastic, plus the coffee machine uses a plastic tray that can be used repeatedly in the coffee machine. That’s much better, don’t you think?
Professing your care for the planet via the obligatory ‘please reuse your towels and save resources’ notice is fine, but these hotels who then use so many disposable components in their coffee machines are just being hypocritical.
So next time you stay in a hotel and witness an Eco-Lie such as this, do have a word, and let the managers know we are on to them.
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Photos courtesy of me.