Most major hotel chains now have "environmental policies," but most policies only give lip service to conservation and do not enforce standardized practices across all properties. More often than not, I find hotel housekeepers will replace my used towels even if I leave those towels on the racks in compliance with the little sign in the bathroom. It also makes me crazy when I return to my room to find the soap or shampoo I've used only once replaced by a brand new bar of soap or shampoo bottle. It's nice to know that Kimpton donates those partially used soaps and shampoos to charity.

Environmental problems affect everyone on the planet. But, as the most frequent users of hotels, airplanes and rental cars, ecology must start with us. I was glad to hear that 33% of Kimpton's business travelers considered eco-friendliness an important factor when choosing a hotel. But I was also disappointed to learn from the Orchard Hotel that many business travelers do not place their used towels on the racks.

Locating a convenient green hotel or renting a hybrid may be still difficult on many business trips. But "green" should be the mantra of every business traveler. If we voted with our pocketbooks, perhaps more travel suppliers would be compelled to go green. And if we all take one simple step to place our used towels on the racks or skip the maid service for a day or two, perhaps we can make a difference.

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