6 Habits to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Your Hotel Stays

In your home, you take a lot of steps to reduce your environmental impact. But you can’t take your composter and recycling bins with you when you take a vacation or leave for a business trip.

So how do you make your travel plans fit your sustainable lifestyle? Start by developing these six eco-conscious habits to make your hotel stays greener.

1. Book a Room Near Travel and Entertainment

Much of the waste that occurs on trips actually comes from the travel rather than the hotel stay itself. But choosing the right hotel can help you minimize your environmental impact, regardless of the purpose of your stay. As you plan your next trip, look for a hotel that’s within a short distance of your most important landmarks, such as an airport or sightseeing venue. If possible, look for a hotel with in-house entertainment and dining so you don’t have to drive to extra destinations.

2. Choose a Hotel That Prioritizes Sustainability

When deciding on a hotel, look for characteristics that indicate that the hotel prioritizes sustainability the same way you do. For example, hotels with an emphasis on green hospitality may specify that they offer eco-friendly toiletries.

If you aren’t sure about a hotel’s environmental policies, consider calling the front desk staff to ask any questions you have before making your reservation.

3. Have the Housekeeping Staff Leave Your Lightly Used Linens

Once you’ve checked in, it’s up to you to take steps that reduce your environmental impact. Start by checking the housekeeping laundry policy. Many hotels offer the option to have your linens washed every three to seven days instead of every day.

Be sure to hang your towels and washcloths back up if you plan to use them again. Generally, the housekeeping staff will assume that your bathroom linens need laundering if they’re left on the floor or counters.

4. Minimize Your Appliance and Water Usage

While it may be tempting to treat your hotel stay like a luxury getaway, you should practice many of the same energy and resource-conserving habits that you would at home.

Use your in-room appliances, like the coffee machine and climate control system, sparingly. Additionally, take normal length showers instead of running the hot water excessively.

Whenever you leave the hotel room, check that the lights and appliances are turned off to reduce the amount of energy being used while you’re away.

5. Take Advantage of Onsite Amenities

Pay attention to which amenities are offered at your hotel in addition to dining or entertainment options. These amenities can help you address your trip needs without excess travel.

For example, many hotels have a business center, fitness center, and onsite laundry. Use these facilities rather than driving to a copy shop, gym, or laundromat.

When possible, also take advantage of the hotel’s onsite complimentary meals rather than shopping for and keeping food in your hotel room. This step can reduce the amount of food waste produced on your trip.

6. Write Positive Feedback for Eco-Friendly Hotels

When you leave your hotel, write a quick review encouraging the eco-friendly policies already in place and recommending any changes you’d like to see. Be as specific as possible. For example, let the hotel know which of their green initiatives were most accessible and easiest to use during your stay.

Hotels function by offering what travelers want most. By drawing attention to eco-friendly accommodations, you encourage your hotel to implement more sustainable practices in the future.


Use these guidelines to ensure that you practice sustainable habits, even when you travel away from the comfort and eco-friendly efforts of your own home.