Around 20 per cent of items found in hotel rooms after guests have checked out, are intentionally left behind.
With these figures in mind, two students from Cornell Centre for Hospitality Research designed ‘The Giving Bag’, the winning entry in the third annual Cornell student sustainability competition, sponsored by Schneider Electric.
The Giving Bag is designed to save hotels expenses involved the treatment of left behind items, by redirecting those items to charity.
The competition’s first place winners Quinn Cox and Lilia Karimi, received $2000 in prize money for their concept of providing a sole purpose bag for guests to place unwanted items, for donation to charity at the end of their stay.
Other sustainability concepts developed by the students involved the feedback from guests regarding dining portions in an effort to reduce food waste, and a ‘glocalisation’ concept that addresses the integration of local customs and practices into international hotel operation, with the aim of consolidating the hotel within the local environment.
The Cornell sustainability competition was run simultaneously with the school’s Sustainability Roundtable, where researchers and hotel practitioners present and discuss sustainability ideas and trends.