In collaboration with hotels, Hotels for Trees motivates guests to opt out of daily housekeeping services. Whenever a guest chooses to skip the cleaning for a night, a tree is planted.
As the General Manager of a sustainability-focused hotel, Floris Licht has long contemplated the idea of creating an independent initiative to help hotels translate conscious savings in room cleaning into an effective environmental contribution.
In late 2020, Floris participated in a workshop hosted by Matthijs Bobeldijk, the author of the book 'Impact.' "Matthijs Bobeldijk encourages entrepreneurs to transform their sustainable ideas into purpose-driven initiatives with real societal impact. During this workshop, participants were tasked with sharing their astonishment. Personally, I've been amazed for quite some time about how, in our own homes, we occasionally wield the vacuum cleaner, while it's perfectly normal for a hotel room to undergo daily cleaning. Of course, this cleaning is part of luxury and the experience, and guests pay for it, but it begs the question of whether everyone genuinely requires it every day? Skipping a day could have a significant impact on the environment and offer numerous opportunities."
Licht continues, "Several hotels have already been encouraging guests to go without daily room cleanings in the name of the environment. Yet, without any incentive in return, I believe this amounts to 'greenwashing.' This is because, in such cases, most of the savings end up in the hotel's coffers, and the reductions in water and chemicals for occupied rooms are minimal. If this choice were to be rewarded, such as with a voucher for the bar or restaurant, it would make the benefits clearer to guests. Unfortunately, without incentives, it contributes little to the planet.”
With the Hotels for Trees foundation, Floris aims to provide hotels and guests with an easy and visible opportunity to make a real contribution to a greener planet. For every skipped cleaning session, a tree is planted on behalf of the respective hotel. "Research indicates that every guest who spends 100 euros in a hotel indirectly generates between 30 to 50 kg of CO2. An adult tree removes 20 kg of CO2 from the air each year. The concept involves hotel guests staying more than one night, who are willing to give up room cleaning for a day, hanging a door hanger shaped like a tree on their door knob.
Housekeeping then refrains from cleaning these rooms and notifies the front desk. At the end of the day, the number of rooms without an extra cleaning session is counted and recorded on the Hotels for Trees website. For each room not cleaned each day, the hotel contributes five euros. Of this amount, four euros are allocated to Trees for All, the reforestation partner for this initiative and the largest certified provider of CO2 compensation projects in the Netherlands. This organisation then plants a tree, with the remaining euro utilised to cover Hotels for Trees' costs and facilitate the further expansion of this initiative throughout Europe."
How it works?
Step 1: Stay your way at The July for multiple nights.
Step 2: When you wake up feeling fresh and believe your bedding can last another night, remember to hang our exclusive Hotels for Trees door hanger on your room door's exterior to opt for the mid-stay cleaning skip.
Step 3: Go about your day and enjoy your time! Our housekeeping team will bypass your room and note your choice for Hotels for Trees.
Step 4: The following day, visit the foundation's website to discover the positive impact your conscious decision has made!
At The July, we're all about accountability and positive impact. We're on a mission to shrink our carbon footprint and save some trees. Through this wonderful initiative, we actively contribute to the fight against deforestation and aim to inspire our hotel guests to embrace environmentally responsible choices. Here's the deal – when you stay with us for a while, why not give our daily room clean a skip, just once? Help us to keep it green.