About half of hotel guests reuse towels to save water, energy

When hotels ask guests to reuse towels to conserve water and energy, about half say they comply, with another 39% saying they sometimes reuse towels.

Those results, from a survey of 2,700 travelers nationwide, suggest most travelers have accepted some conservation efforts by the hotel industry, said Patricia Griffin, president and founder of the Green Hotel Assn., a global environmental group.

“It is the one thing across the board that hotels are doing to conserve,” she said.

The survey found that 11% of guests ignore conservation efforts and instead throw used towels on the floor, according to the survey by Travel Leaders Group, a Minneapolis-based travel company.


Still, Griffin said, travelers and hotel owners have made much progress in conserving water and energy since hotels began in the early 1990s to urge guests to reuse towels.

Business travelers and college students are most likely to reuse towels, she said.

Who is least likely?

“It’s mostly families on vacation,” Griffin said. “They just throw towels all around.”