With the Thanksgiving holiday a little more than a week away, I spent this past weekend laundering linens for the guest bedroom. Old linens and towels that failed quality control were recycled; they made great rags for the other chores!

As I dusted the furniture and polished the silverware, I wondered what Sacramento hotels did with their tired linens. Since waste generation can be as high as 30 pounds per hotel guestroom per day, I also wanted to know what environmentally friendly activities set California Green Lodging Program members apart from hotels in general.

Hotel Linen RecyclingHigh-quality linens from the Sheraton Grand Sacramento, located adjacent to the Sacramento Convention Center, get a second chance from an after-market seller. Value-conscious consumers can enjoy high thread count bedding and high-quality towels, champagne wishes and caviar dreams at a fraction of the full cost.

Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova works with a local organization that periodically picks up discarded sheets and blankets. Ultimate recipients include Loaves and Fishes homeless shelter and people in need.

With its durable and high-quality linens, Hyatt Regency Sacramento maintains rigorous inspection criteria before anything is considered for recycling. (Disposal is the last resort.) When they finally become threadbare, pillow cases optimally clean windows -- leaving no streaks! Towels are cut up and used for rags. Engineering uses sheets as drop cloths for painting.   

Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza donates its gently used linens and beddings to a local charity. The Engineering department at this downtown Sacramento hotel uses the soft goods in worse condition for repair work drop cloths as well.

Although Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade is an international chain, its linen recycling approach reflects its relationship with the local community. Employees can take them home for personal use, saving money and diverting additions to the landfill. Charities are welcome to request them as well. If your group is meeting here, why not designate a local charity to benefit?

For more opportunities to donate or work with local charities while meeting in Sacramento, visit the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau Voluntourism web page.