Make the savings without the sermon

March 22, 2010

The preaching of the earth worshippers is getting increasingly strident.

It’s rare to stay anywhere which doesn’t exhort you to save power and water and suggest you could re-use your towels to save your host money the world.

The James Cook in Wellington has gone a step further.

It doesn’t have phone books in its rooms. Most guests probably don’t need one and if you don’t have a computer to search for the number yourself reception will bring you a phone book or look up numbers for you.

But there’s more : a letter on the bed when you check in explains:

* Choosing not to have your room services saves approximately 20 litres of water just in cleaning your bathroom.

* Our laundry can save approximately 15 litres of water by simply not having your towels and linen changed.

* reduction in the use of chemicals such as toilet cleaner, multipurpose cleaner and air freshener used to clean your bathroom.

* Saves power used to operate vacuum cleaners, lights and heating while servicing your room.

Beside the letter is a card (green of course) which you can hang on your door by midnight if you don’t want your rooms serviced.

What do you do if sometime after midnight something happens which makes you change your mind? Go with head bowed in shame and beg for your room to be cleaned or put up with the mess?

Why can’t the cleaning staff just use their eyes and noses to decide if they need to sacrifice any water, cleaning materials, air freshener or power?

And if hotels, motels and other businesses want to save the world why can’t they do it without preaching at me?

I have no objection at all to businesses doing their best to minimise their impact on the earth  – it makes environmental and economic sense to save resources but I don’t like being preached at and  wish they’d make the savings without the sermon.

I’m not paying for a sermon and when I get one I suspect that it’s not so much about being green, it’s more about being seen to be green as a marketing ploy.

Just wondering . . .

December 16, 2009

. . . what happens to the half used bottles of complimentary shampoo and conditioner which are left in hotel rooms?

Are they refilled or is it okay to take them?

And what about the other toiletries? Is it okay to take the bottle if you’ve used the hand cream? Or to take it even if you haven’t used it?

Then there’s the pen.

Is it okay to take it because its a promotional tool for the hotel which reminds you – and whoever else uses the pen – about it?

Or is souveniring of these little things petty theft which adds to the costs for the accommodation provider?

Apropos of this, I was chatting to an airline steward as the plane was coming in to land.

His first stay in a hotel was an overnighter for work.

He was delighted with all the little bottles in the bathroom and took them home for his children.

Then he discovered all the wee bottles in the fridge and took them too. A couple of days later the hotel caught up with him and explained the contents of the mini bar weren’t complimentary.

Let there be light

September 30, 2009

Do hotels and motels provide intimate lighting to promote romance; are they saving power by cutting down on lighting or is it just poor design?

I’ve found myself blundering round in inadequate lighting, peering into semi darkness in every room  I’ve stayed in recently.

None of them had a single light which provided sufficient illumination by itself. The problem is exacerbated when there is no central control for all the lights so each has to be turned on and off individually.

The worst was a hotel in Wellington. The room had a small wall light in the entrance, a lamp either side of the bed, another lamp in the corner, a light in the tea & coffee cubby hole, another over the desk and one in the wardrobe. When I turned all of them on I still couldn’t see to read easily.

It’s possible that low lighting has always been the norm for hotels and motels and I”m just noticing it more now that my eyes require better light for reading than they used to.

There are no doubt times intimate lighting is desirable when you’re staying away from home, but it would be better if that could be a matter of choice and not the default setting.

Memo to people who design hotel showers

July 1, 2009

A good shower is important not just for physical cleanliness but also mental wellbeing.

The factors which contribute to both have escaped or been ignored by many of the people who design hotel bathrooms.

A good shower  needs:

* Taps or mixers placed so you can use them without scalding or freezing yourself .

* Taps or mixers which can be adjusted to the desired temperature easily so minute changes don’t cause scalds or frost bite.

*Adequate water pressure which allows you to wet yourself all over and rinse off soap and shampoo. Water may be a scarce resource but something more than a trickle is required to both clean and revive the showerer.

* An area big enough to allow you to shower yourself without hitting walls or doors.

* A watertight surround – curtain, wall and or/door – which allows you to shower without flooding the floor.

* Hooks or rails close at hand for towels and clothes.

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