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Great Debate: Why Using Your Towel Only Once Kind of Makes Sense

Where: Various Locations
June 3, 2013 at 1:56 PM | by | ()

Whether you travel frequently or once a year, you've no doubt seen this sign in your hotel room. It was one of the first initiatives put forth by hotels in an attempt to save money conserve resources, giving guests a guilt trip when it comes to whether or not they reuse their towels.

Given the growing green movement and the passionate people behind it, this is typically a tough one to talk about over happy hour. But we have a confession: Sometimes, we like to use our towel just once, throw it on the ground, and ask for new towels in the morning.

Before you throw stones, hear us out - it's really not that absurd.

Leisure travelers stay at hotels for a variety of equally valid reasons, one being to experience a sense of luxury that they are not privileged to at home. The argument we so often hear regarding the towel debate is that "you wouldn't use a towel only once at home." Right, and we wouldn't pay $200 a night to stay home, either. We're staying at a hotel because we want to escape, because we want to treat ourselves, not because we want to feel like we're at home. There's a big difference between "feeling at home" and "feeling like you're at home," you know?

So why is it such a crime for us to treat ourselves to a fresh towel when we shower or soak? You do know that a fresh towel feels infinitely different than a previously used one, right? And, yes, when we're at home, we use and reuse that sucker, so is it really that bad for us to indulge a few times a year?

Let he among us who has never fallen asleep with the television on cast the first stone!

[Photo: gogreenhk.wordpress.com]

Archived Comments:

Tough call!

I just stayed in a hotel that had four big fluffy towels and lots of little washcloths. So since it was just me in the room, I didn't need to request new towels because there was already a big supply.

But usually I don't mind reusing once. If I have to reuse twice, that's ok too but even if you hang up the towel it doesn't get all the way dry in a hotel room. So you kinda need to ask for new ones otherwise you'll be "drying" off with a dampish towel.

I'm a cynic on this one

Although the purported environmental stand is admirable, I believe it is more rooted in cost savings for the hotel and points-greed for the guest.  Inevitably, whenever I take Westin's green option, it is because I want the extra points more than any environmental guilt I may be feeling asa result of their pitch.  

Nope, not gonna do it

I agree with the author of the article in that I paid for the room, I'm going to use the towels: and throw them on the floor.  

More galling is when I travel solo on a cruise and I have to pay double fare because I'm alone. By god, I use every towel every day.

Where are you toweling off?

If you're coming out the shower and  drying your bits, you're going to reuse that towel again? Ew. You might have missed a spot while hosing down. And if I dried off in between my toes...i mean..it just goes on and on. New washcloth daily, new towel. Reusing sheets I can deal with. There's my compromise.

Anything that offers a choice is a win.

You feel like using a towel once that is just fine. If you travel like Charlie Sheen by all accords have the sheets changed daily as well. I only take issue when a property tries to get away with the Spirit Airlines way of business by charging for every incidental possible. The older the property the more it costs to operate. A washer made 20 years ago is substantially less efficient then one available today. If giving guests choices like whether or not to use a towel more than once gives the operator the justification to make a capital expense request like a new washer great. The issue becomes whether or no the property owner and the operator are vested in the property for the long hall or not to whether the request is granted.