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5 Ways To Conserve When You’re In A Hotel

A sign from a hotel talking about the hotel's conservation policies with the words "5 Ways To Conserve When You're In A Hotel" digitally written on top.

When you stay in a hotel, there’s a tendency to leave the lights on and have your linens washed daily. You don’t live there, so you’re not paying the electric bill. And that means you may not actually be thinking about it. When you go away, though, you still should be thinking of the environment. I always do. There are ways to conserve when you’re in a hotel that you may not even think about … but you will after reading this post.

5 Ways To Conserve When You’re In A Hotel

Two women in a hotel room with a couch and lamp behind them.

Turn off the lights

This is an easy one. When you leave your hotel room, turn off the lights behind you. I don’t know why people don’t do this, but I’ve often come into hotel rooms where the lights have been left on while we’ve been out exploring a new city.

Maybe you have your reasons for wanting to leave the lights on, but if you’re thinking about conserving electricity, you’ll want to turn the lights off.

While you’re in your room, if you’re only on one side of the room, maybe only use one desk lamp. Or open a window to let in some natural light. You might not need all of the lights — or any of them at all — on all of the time.

And let this extend to other electronics too. If you’re taking a shower, you don’t need the television on. And if you’re going out for the day, turn the television off too. That background noise is using a lot of electricity that you can conserve instead.

Don’t have your linens washed every day

Be honest: How often do you wash your bedsheets at home? You probably make your bed every day, but I highly doubt you are washing your sheets every night. So why do you need them washed every day when you’re in a hotel?

You don’t, but it feels like a luxury.

There are hotels that will actually incentivize not having your linens changed.

One hotel we stayed at offered us a resort credit for food or drinks if we didn’t have our sheet washed. So if you’re cheap like me, and you don’t mind sleeping in the same sheets a few times, you can get a treat on the house — and save a bunch of water in the process.

A casino hotel once offered us free play in the casino for not having your sheets washed daily, so that’s a great incentive.

If you don’t want your linens washed, but you do run out of fresh towels, you can always head down to the front desk or call housekeeping to ask for a couple more. They will most likely offer to remove the dirty ones for you at that time as well.

Use one trash can

Housekeeping is great. The staff will come in and clean up after you. They’ll do a great job too. A really great job.

Like, if you only have one bottle cap in your trash can, the staff will come in, tie up that bag, take it out, and replace it with a new bag. Which is what they’re meant to do, but it really is a waste of plastic.

So when you’re staying at a hotel, be conscious of where you’re throwing out your trash.

Decide if you’re going to use the garbage pail in the room or the one in the bathroom. Then, when the staff comes to clean your room, they’ll only take one garbage out and you’ll save a plastic bag.

Even better, if you come back from a restaurant with leftovers, and those leftovers came in a bag, use that bag for your trash and leave the hotel room’s garbage pails empty. That way, you’re not wasting any plastic.

Just a quick note about housekeeping. Even if you’re only using one garbage pail, or, better yet, none at all, you still want to tip them for coming in and cleaning. Don’t skimp on a tip just because you’re conserving garbage bags.

For tips on who to tip at a hotel, check out our post here.

Be conscious of the thermostat

If you’re going to be out all day, exploring the city and picking up souvenirs, you don’t need to have the air conditioning on while you’re out. You’re cooling the room down for no one.

The same goes for the heat in the winter. If you turn it off when you aren’t in the room, you’ll save a bunch of electricity.

And the thermostats in hotels aren’t like the ones you have at home. They cool and heat a room a lot quicker than a home thermostat does. So you don’t have to worry about sweating or freezing for hours when you get back to your room. In just a couple minutes, your hotel room will be at its optimal temperature.

Reuse your towels

When you first walk in the hotel room, the towels are always folded so nicely. And there are always an abundance of them. You could use a different towel ever time you washed your hands if you wanted. But do you need to?

Instead, reuse your hand towel. If you take a second shower, use your same towel.

The hotel staff will come in, collect the ones off the floor, and replace the ones that aren’t folded so nicely. The ones that aren’t used don’t get washed, and that saved water will add up over time.

Kitchen in a hotel.

More hotel tips:

If you’re planning a trip on a budget, you really want to make the most of your money. Start by booking at a discount site like Then, follow the other tips in our posts below:

What other methods do you have to conserve when you’re in a hotel? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add the best ones to the post.