Don’t worry about a thing
Being green often means having to make difficult decisions and tradeoffs. This is not what human beings enjoy. Hotels should make green the default option and offer guests the convenience of not having to choose between complex choices. A number of hotels already make limited sheet or towel replacement the default option.
Even for those who live green lifestyles at home, staying in a hotel is the opportunity to escape from the day to day routine and not feel guilty about using fresh towels each day. However, people value the feeling of offsetting guilt with positive things and want to trade off un-green activities with green activities. Your guests have probably been un-green by travelling to your hotel (especially if they travelled by plane), so why not offering them to offset some of that guilt.
For example, hotels should consider:
- Promoting longer stays with price discounts: one long holiday will have a smaller impact than several shorter holidays because of the environmental impact of travel. Less travel means less carbon, lower costs, and less hassle for your guests.
- Promoting your hotels to locals or people who can access your hotel by public transport (e.g. offering package prices with train tickets to your hotel).
Me, me , me
The enormity of the environmental challenge make people feel powerless. Environmentalists often speak about the 3P of people, profit, and planet. OgilvyEarth suggests that the message should instead be personal, positive, and plausible. Hotels should link their green credentials to how the guests personally benefit. For example:
- Energy/ laundry savings help reduce costs and therefore room rates,
- Organic food (no pesticides) is healthier and taste better, and
- Natural soap, lotion and shampoo are better for the skin and hair.