Laundry is a never ending chore at Enviro Girl’s house — a family of five generates many, many loads of wash — especially during certain seasons of the year (mud season, baseball season, fall cleaning season). Since Enviro Girl is always willing to cut a corner (especially low-impact corners that make her feel virtuous about saving the planet), she’s taken a tip from hotel chains all over the planet.
No doubt the last time you traveled you noticed a sign that read something like this:
We are doing our part to preserve the beautiful desert environment and invite you to help us conserve water by using your towels more than once. Doing so will also reduce the amount of detergent waste that is recycled in our community.
Please hang your towels up if you wish to participate in this water conservation program… if you choose not to participate, simply leave your towels on the floor.
If hotels catering to everyone from business class to luxury class can ask people to reuse a towel, why can’t Enviro Girl ask her family to do the same? A bath towel is typically used to dry off a clean body. The towel should then be clean itself and hung to dry for another use. If Enviro Girl washed each family member’s towel twice a week instead of daily, she saves herself four loads of laundry! That’s a lot of water, detergent, labor, energy and time. All around the world hotels have posted signs asking guests to reuse their towels — it’s a token “Green Gesture” that saves them loads (pun intended) of time and money. Hotels estimate they save $1.50/guest room/ day through towel and sheet reuse programs — money they’d otherwise spend on electricity, detergents, housekeeping, labor and wear & tear on their linens. Those savings really add up — to tens of thousands of dollars in energy and detergent costs annually according to Economically Sound.
Enviro Girl has one caveat for her family, however: they are never permitted to leave their towels on the floor when they’d like them laundered. Enviro Girl will go around the house twice a week and collect them off the towel racks for washing up. Soggy towels wadded up on the floor get moldy and icky — but that’s an environmental issue for another day.