Would You Like The Points Or A Tree?

by joeheg

The major hotel chains love to promote how environmentally friendly they are. Some of the ways they can save energy are by using smart building techniques along with not wasting energy in the rooms. Now, some of these energy savings have led to customer annoying trends like hotel thermostats with motion sensors or ones that are programmed to lie about the temperature settings, power outlets that turn off with the light switch and the removal of individual toiletries in favor of larger, refillable containers. Hotels also remind their guests to try and save on the waste of water by rehanging towels instead of asking for new ones every day.

There’s even one hotel chain that will pay you to help the environment.

Starwood hotels offered a “Make a Green Choice” bonus where you’d get 500 Starpoints for every night you opted to skip your housekeeping service.  After the merger with Marriott, the bonus became 500 Marriott Rewards points (a 66% reduction in value since 1 Starpoint = 3 Marriott Rewards). It was a cheap move but it’s still some extra points and maybe you just want to help the environment or you don’t want housekeeping service anyway.

Well, I was updating my Marriott Bonvoy app on my phone today and noticed something I never saw before in the list of things included with the new version.

Opt to have trees planted instead of earning points when you skip housekeeping at hotels in the US and Canada

You now have the choice of earning 500 points or you can have Marriott plant a tree for every night you skip housekeeping.

It’s not a new idea. The Delta Hotel brand has been doing this in Canada since 2015.

The GreenSTAY program, launched in February 2015, gives guests the option to plant one tree for each night they have opted out of housekeeping.


By October 2017, the GreenSTAY program had planted more than 100,000 trees in Alberta, Canada and was expanding to the Niagara Ontario region.

You can now make the selection to Make A Green Choice and skip housekeeping in the Marriott Bonvoy app, which sounds great in principle but how would it work in practice?

Reading online, it seems to be up to how invested the individual hotel is in following up with the program. When you only could receive the points, reports were that the points only were awarded sporadically and often required going back and forth with the hotel to make sure you didn’t actually receive housekeeping and that you were on the list to receive points instead. At least you could, with some work, try to figure out if you received all your points.

How in the heck are you supposed to know if Marriott planted your tree? I guess we’re going to have to trust them. They seem to have everything together right now so I’m sure they’ll plant all the trees they’re supposed to. #sarcasm.

I’m just curious if anyone has seen this option come up on the app when checking in over the last few days. I’d be interested to see what the option looks like and if there are any more details about the program because there sure isn’t anything about it on the Marriott website.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Christian July 3, 2019 - 10:34 pm

If I could plant the tree in Arne’s executive parking space, I’d cheerfully take the tree.

Santosh Itani July 4, 2019 - 3:29 am

I agree with this. Great article worth to read it


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