Hotels Donate Used Towels and Linens to Animal Shelters
Where do old hotel towels and linens go? Usually they’re dumped in the trash. But now, in a win-win for both hotels and animal shelters, the nonprofit H.I.P. (Hospitality Industry Partnership) for Pets has set up a program where hotels can donate these used items to make shelter animals more comfortable.
H.I.P. for Pets was founded earlier this year by Scott Chapman, a 20-year veteran of the hotel business. Its mission is “to help hospitality organizations donate worn linens, towels and other items to animal organizations to help reduce hotel waste-removal costs by an estimated 7 percent, and produce a green boost to hotels’ bottom lines and sustainability initiatives,” according to its website. “Animal organizations benefit from receiving much-needed linens, towels and other items that help make homeless pets more comfortable—and thus more adoptable.”
According to a blog post by Chapman, a 500-room hotel could have an inventory of 6,000 bath towels. Towels are typically replaced four times a year, which means a whopping 24,000 towels could be dumped in the landfill each year by that hotel.
“Keeping these items out of the trash saves waste-removal costs and landfill space, while putting useable items into the hands of animal shelter personnel for the care and comfort of homeless pets,” Chapman wrote.
He noted in a press release that shelters are a frightening environment for animals.
“By donating used materials, hotels can provide what shelters cannot always afford: soft bedding and towels to dry animals after their baths,” he said. “This can alleviate some of the stress that animals experience when confined to a shelter and make them more adoptable.”
Donating these items enables shelters to spend their limited budgets on other important essentials, such as food and veterinary services.
Along with towels and linens, hotels can donate leftover cleaning supplies, hand soap, shampoo and conditioner, wine corks, newspapers, blankets and even empty toilet-paper rolls.
It’s easy to donate items. H.I.P. for Pets has a searchable online database with more than 8,200 prescreened animal shelters to choose from.
H.I.P. for Pets is also working to research and define “pet-friendly” hospitality policies and best practices.
PHOTO: Hendricks Photos