Writing To Businesses: A Guide

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Living as an environmentalist in a wasteful world can be at worst incredibly frustrating and at best rewarding and full of opportunities for improvement. I am frustrated constantly by the prevalence of single-use plastic and the normalcy of living in a society that creates such excessive waste. Sometimes, this frustration fuels the initiation of a passionate solution-oriented action plan. Other times, the overwhelming wastefulness inspires bitter ranting, long, guilt-filled showers, and binge-eating vegan desserts. On one of the more productive occasions, I turned my rage into a letter to the CEO of Hilton. Due to the fact that my dad is a Hilton Honors member, I realized that Hilton hotels give out two complimentary plastic water bottles to each of their honors guests. Upon noticing this, I pointed the issue out to my dad and began one of my rants about single-use plastic, the horrors of Nestle, etcetera. My dad, as usual, stopped my rant and cleverly redirected my anger toward the idea of writing a letter to Hilton about the issue. Together we brainstormed about alternatives for the plastic water bottles, and after some thought and research, I finished writing this letter to the CEO of Hilton.

Dear Chris Nassetta,

As a loyal Hilton Honors Diamond member, I would like to suggest an improvement to your hotels that would be both economically and environmentally beneficial. While staying in several of your hotels, including the Hilton Garden Inn in Goleta on numerous occasions, I have noticed that you provide two complimentary plastic water bottles to your Hilton Honors Silver, Gold, and Diamond members each time they stay at any of your hotels including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree Hilton, Tapestry Collection Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, and Hilton Grand Vacations hotels.

 

CSR Metrics | Farron Levy

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As a loyal consumer for many years, I understand the convenience of this, but I feel obligated to point out the economic and environmental costs associated with giving plastic water bottles to your guests in hopes that you might consider an alternative way to provide water.
 

Using approximations from the Goleta Hilton Garden Inn, I have found that you are spending about $25 per week on plastic water bottles.

Nestle Pure Life 24 Pack Bottled Water Half Liter Bottle 
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About 60 honors members per week x 2 plastic bottles each = 120 bottles per week.

If you spend $5 on each pack of 24 Nestle water bottles (cheapest at Smart n Final and often what your Goleta location purchases) then you are buying about 5 packs of 24 a week $5(120/24 = 5)  and it is costing you an average of $25 a week

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The more economically and environmentally advantageous option that I am proposing would be investing in 10 reusable glass water bottles (or whatever the average number of Hilton honors guests that visit per day)  and a water refill station. Large, glass swing-top bottles can be purchased for about $3 each and purchasing one water refill station for your main lobby would be a one-time payment of about $1,790 depending on which model you purchase.

Elkay ezH20 bottle-filling station | 2017-07-17 | Plumbing and Mechanical

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10 glass bottles x $3 = $30 $1790 dispenser = $1,820 (one time payment)

After about 18 months the investment would pay itself off and you would be saving an average of $1,300 per year by not having to buy plastic water bottles. By making this switch, you will also be saving about 6,240 single-use plastic water bottles from being used at just one Hilton location.

That means that if you convert all of your 540 hotel locations to this sustainable model, you have the potential to save $702,000 and 3,369,600 single-use plastic water bottles every year.

By installing refillable water dispensers on each floor and encouraging guests to buy reusable bottles in the gift shop or use large refillable jugs/bottles in the fridge of their rooms, you are still making it easy for guests to get water, saving yourself money, and showing that the Hilton brand encourages sustainability.

Hilton eTools

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Your massive contribution to this idea will be a major aid to your brand. I have been a loyal consumer for years and I know that it would appeal to many of your consumers to send a message that you are reducing your carbon footprint and therefore advocating for future generations. This action to stop giving out single-use plastic water bottles and providing customers instead with a sustainable alternative will signify that your business cares about decreasing their waste and being environmentally friendly. After about 18 months the investment in glass reusable bottles and water refill stations will pay itself off and begin to save you money because you will no longer have to pay for restocking plastic water bottles each week.

Sincerely,

Loyal Hilton Diamond Member

Kevin Kuhn
(Written by Emily Kuhn)

Posted by Emily Kuhn on Oct 29, 2018 9:10 AM America/Chicago

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