Wandering Thoughts

December 8, 2009


Filed under: Going Places,Ramblings and Musings — terence @ 7:59 pm
Tags: ,

Robert Fisk has Paul Litterick reaching for the Losartan. The issue isn’t the Middle East though. Rather it’s the hitherto uncontroversial terrain of towels.


The latest tomfoolery to come my way – all travelling readers will have come across the same nonsense – is the little card that lies upon my hotel pillow, exhorting me to spare the relevant spa, hostelry or caravanserai the cost and bother of cleaning my sheets, pillowcases or towels…

…None of this, you understand, has anything to do with saving the costs of cleaning and detergents. Oh no, indeed. It is we – who pay the bills – who are helping them, the five-star hotels, to look after the environment. Of course, if they really cared about all that green stuff, they’d hang a notice above the bathroom saying “Use Less Bloody Water!” But then again, I suspect that water charges are a fixed price – and the environment can be thrown out with the bath water.

Paul thinks otherwise:

(Note to Robert Fisk: shut up. Really. Just shut up. We really do not care, at all, that the world’s luxury hôtels are now asking you to use your towels more than once.).

None of my business. But I’ve always pondered the psychology of those little signs (they have them in cheap hotels too). Like Fisk I think it very unlikely the hotels are motivated by concern for the environment. If they were, there’d be a few other items higher on the list. Much more likely it’s the bottom line. Of course, if you ever had a sign that said, “Help us maximise the profits of our share holders, please reuse your towels”, people almost certainly wouldn’t.

And so we get the plea to please consider the environment. Which, judging by the proliferation of the signs, seems to work. I know I follow the request, framed as it is. Despite my cynicism. Funny how it works.


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