You probably wonder why you have to pay hundreds of dollars to just keep your belongings somewhere and sleep for the night, but there's more to it than that.
Most accommodations provide other luxuries that help you travel with ease.
They provide guests with room cleaning services, towels, and toiletries that lessen the burden of packing.
When you're staying somewhere for only a few days, you really rely on these services.
It's nice to know that there will be a complimentary bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion so that you don't have to stuff your bag with the big bottles you have at home.
Some accommodations will even provide you with toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, razors, deodorant, and floss.
But have you noticed that you and your family never finish that bar of soap or bottle of shampoo?
On average, people stay only a couple days at a hotel or motel room.
This means there's practically no time to finish all the complimentary items that are given to you.
So what happens to these half-used items after you finish your stay?
According to The Telegraph, millions of bars of soap and half-used bottles of shampoo are discarded every day, and it's creating a worldwide problem.
Finding A Solution
Research has shown that the less you stay at a hotel or motel, the more harm you're doing to this planet.
In the U.S. alone, one million bars of soap get thrown out in a single day, so you can just imagine how much waste that is in a year.
Luckily, there's someone who has a solution for all this.
The World Health Organization reports that half-used toiletries are accumulating in landfill sites, causing an environmental disaster.
Not only that, we're throwing out these sanitary luxuries while millions of people around the world are living without adequate sanitation.
The organization argues that many people's lives could be saved by just having access to regular soap.
It's estimated that 16,000 children under the age of five die by contracting a disease that could have been prevented by proper sanitation.
In 2009, Shawn Siepler started a company called Clean The World (CTW), which recycles hotel soaps and donates them to countries that would benefit from them.
“We would sit around on upside down pickle buckets with potato peelers and scrape the outside of bars of soap to surface clean them,” Seipler told Telegraph Travel.
“We had meat grinders to grind down the soap, cookers to cook it into a paste and soap moulds, which we poured the paste into.”
The process is simple, once a guest leaves, the toiletries are collected and put into bins to be taken to a factory. The old bars of soap are melted down and formed into new ones.
According to The Telegraph, the company works with hotel chains like Hilton, Disney, and IHG, and so far has distributed more than 40 million bars of soap to 115 countries.
Clean The World is still working hard to make a difference, but you can help too! Here's how:
What You Can Do
Seipler says the best thing a hotel guest can do is to take the complimentary toiletries with them.
I save these travel-sized bottles for when I go camping, or put them in my purse for a time I need a certain product on the go.
The small-sized oral hygiene kits are a life saver!
Sometimes I'll leave these products in the guest bathroom, so family and friends staying over can have a variety of toiletries to choose from.
My daughter keeps these products in her gym bag, because it's better than the dry soap they offer at her gym.
Another way you can reuse these products is to donate them.
I know homeless and domestic violence shelters accept all kinds of donations.
One woman from Sydney has donated tens of thousands of kits filled with in-flight and hotel toiletries to dozens of shelters across Australia. If she can do it, we can too!
Community non-profit charities that help families will also be glad to take these products.
So if your home is overloaded with these toiletries, give them away.
That way you're doing two good deeds: You're saving the environment and helping your local community.
Share this article with your friends to raise awareness about this global issue!