According to The Wall Street Journal, some hotels are looking to cut costs, increase green initiatives and provide financial benefits to hotel guests who agree to forgo housekeeping during their stay.

As stated in a recent article, hotels are offering room discounts or other rewards to guests who agree to make do with less housekeeping. As part of their "Make A Green Choice" program, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. offers hotel credit or points in its reward program. At the majority of their Westin and Sheraton brand hotels, guests can earn a $5 credit at any of the hotel's restaurants, or 500 Starpoints, for every night they opt out of housekeeping—for up to three consecutive nights.

At the Marmara Manhattan, a luxury hotel and residence on New York's Upper East Side, guests who forgo housekeeping for three days receive a $20 discount for each night they stayed without the service.

About 8.5% of guests who stay at a participating Starwood hotel take advantage of the offer, says Stacy Trevino, a spokeswoman for Starwood.

Beyond the reduction in soap, water, and energy used for washing linens and towels, it's unclear how much additional environmental benefits there might be in not cleaning a room (i.e., not emptying the wastebasket, making the bed, vacuuming, etc.). But for hotels, there is a clear financial benefit in cutting back on housekeeping.

At a high-end or luxury hotel, the estimated cost of cleaning a single hotel room is about $22 a day, including labor, laundering and wear and tear on linens, according to Bjorn Hanson, an associate professor at New York University's Tisch Center for Hospitality.

"If they [don't clean] it a third of the time, they save that $22 a third of the time," Prof. Hanson says.