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'Green' housekeeping shows returns

May 07, 2010
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NEW YORK — Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.''s Sheraton chain is seeing significant savings from its "Make a Green Choice" program that rewards guests for declining housekeeping services, according to USA Today.
According tot he story, the "Make a Green Choice" program, which was introducted last fall, gives guests who give up housekeeping services to "conserve natural resources" for a day a $5 voucher for food and drinks or 500 Starwood points.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts claims that 200,000 guests in North America participated in the program in its first six months, which helped save 8.2 million gallons of water, 38,000 kilowatts of electricity and 11,000 gallons of cleaning chemicals, the story stated.
While the intentions of the "Make a Green Choice" program may center around sustainability, officials from the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees-Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (UNITE-HERE) say the program is an environmental fraud aimed mainly at cutting labor costs, the story noted.
Brigida Ruiz, a houskeeper at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel for 18 years, said: "From our perspective, these programs are doing virtually nothing for the environment. Instead, what they are really intended do is greatly reduce the number of room attendants employed by the hotel each day. Do you know how dirty a room gets when it hasn''t been cleaned for three days? Normally, I clean a room in 30 minutes. After three days of no service, it takes me almost an hour and half to clean the room and I use just as much cleaning fluid because the bathrooms are filth."
Roughly 35 eight-hour shifts are being lost by housekeepers each week at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, as 70 to 100 guests opt to forgo housekeeping services every night, the story added.
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