Many hotels claim they’re interested in saving the planet and they’re demonstrating their commitment by offering to allow travelers to reuse sheets and towels during their multi-day stays.

The lobby of the Bellagio Hotel

The Bellagio Hotel

While this is a small step in the right direction, Yahoo Travel found some other ideas that have been incorporated around the world that could really make a significant impact in the environment.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Staircases that are easy to locate and well-maintained subtly encourage guests to use them. While we can’t move staircases in old hotels (but they can be remodeled), new hotels can have them installed in convenient locations. You may not want to lug your suitcase up three floors, but you might add a few ticks to your Fitbit if you knew where they were located. They can also reduce elevator operating costs and wear and tear.
  2. Community shared biking is exploding in popularity, because it provides an affordable, carbon emission-free way to tour a city. By providing these for guests, hotels encourage healthy living and hassle-free transportation, plus it can eliminate parking hassles in bigger parking fee-hungry cities like Boston, Miami, and Washington DC.
  3. Rather than giving single use containers of shampoo and conditioner, which get landfilled after a guest leaves, hotels could install pump dispensers with large bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Each room can have their own dispenser, which housekeeping fills once a week. This could also save in amenities costs for the hotels.
  4. Hotels could really change their local economies and reduce their impact on the environment if they would source the food for their restaurants from local growers and vendors. The food would be fresher, and it would be a marketable way to connect guests to the community they’re visiting.

What do you think? What environment-saving steps do you think U.S.-based hotels could take? Share your comments and suggestions below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.