Hotels want you to re-use towels, not have your sheets changed, and even decline housekeeping entirely. They tell you it’s for the environment, but their primary interest is saving costs.
I never minded so much when Starwood would offer 500 points for a night without housekeeping, they called it “Make a Green Choice.” That’s equivalent to 1500 Marriott points. The new Marriott program doesn’t award more than 500 points for a night without housekeeping, a two-thirds cut.
Housekeeping staff complain about the programs. More guests opting out means fewer rooms to clean and less work. But they have to do more cleaning after a guest has gone without for several days. And they say work scheduling becomes more erratic.
Marriott housekeeping staff represented by union Unite Here are considering strikes in Boston, San Francisco, Waikiki, and Maui. With contracts up around the same time Detroit, Oakland, Seattle, San Jose, and San Diego may consider strikes as well.
Guests at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco and possibly elsewhere are being leafleted in their rooms by housekeepers.
Marriott encourages you to fly out and visit their hotels, eat beef in the restaurant, extend your stay by flying your family out too, but what you’re really doing that’s harming the environment is having your room tidied. I’ve always found it odd that a hotel chain promotes the idea that their housekeepers are bad for the environment.
Still it’s one thing to have striking workers picket outside of a hotel. It’s quite another for worker disputes to enter the guest room, for housekeepers to use their access to the hotel, and possibly their work hours, in this way.
However given this activism I’d be somewhat worried about opting into Marriott’s devalued Green Choice program, concerned that some housekeeping staff might decide to retaliate against guests who use it — doing a less than sanitary job, perhaps, on the day(s) they do clean an opt-out guest’s room.
You probably leave your toothbrush on the counter by the bathroom sink. And don’t drink out of those glasses that are left in the room if you’re Making a Green Choice.
Marriott, though, doesn’t see my germaphobia as a risk. I reached out to them, and they shared:
We have the most incredible team of housekeepers in the industry and they care deeply about ensuring great stays for our guests. The Make a Green Choice program has been in place for a decade at SPG hotels and Marriott’s Your Choice program launched in 2015. Our housekeepers work hard and do an amazing job. We disagree with any suggestion that these hardworking associates would intentionally not meet our cleaning standards because of these programs.
Make a Green Choice is just one part of an overall effort by the company to address pressing environmental issues. From reducing our environmental footprint to setting sustainability goals for development and our supply chain, we are focused on reducing our environmental footprint across our operations. Make A Green Choice, along with initiatives like doing away with plastic straws and stirrers are some of the efforts where our guests are able to participate with us in having a positive environmental impact.