Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Does “W” Stand for “Wasteful”?

No, I’m not talking about our current President (although I could be), I’m talking about W Hotels. Mark and I spent a good amount of time in one of the W Hotels in New York City last week and I was disappointed in their lack of green efforts and also in their lack of response to green requests.

Here’s an example: More and more hotels now have signs in the bathroom letting guests know that towels left on the bar won’t be washed, as opposed to those that are tossed on the floor. This always pleases me as I think it’s incredibly wasteful to wash a towel that has only been used for a few minutes to dry my hair.

W Hotel had no such sign, so I did what I always do in that situation: I hang my towel on a hanger along with a hand-written note that says “Please don’t wash.” This has always worked in the past but, this time, the towel (and the note) disappeared.


Hotel chains like Kimpton Hotels and Fairmont Hotels are starting to go green. As a travel writer, I’ve stayed in quite a few. My favorite green attribute might just be the in-room recycling bins. In just a handful of days in New York, Mark and I had amassed quite a collection of recyclables, which we had to haul 48 blocks to a Whole Foods in order to recycle everything properly.

By the way, the Whole Foods at 95 E Houston Street in New York is incredible. It’s several stories, has a big eco-home store-within-a-store, and overlooks Sara D. Roosevelt Park. It’s also just a two-minute walk to several great green stores, like Kaight (http://www.kaightnyc.com/), Moo Shoes (http://www.mooshoes.com/), and Organic Avenue (http://www.organicavenue.com/).

Question of the blog: Do you have a favorite green hotel?

No comments: