Guests expect certain amenities like soap and shampoo. Picking the "right" line is an exercise in futility for me. The product line choices are mind boggling! Do guests really want olive oil in their soaps? Lanolin in their lotions? Green tea in their shampoo? Do people actually pay attention to the fancy packaging or think about where all those partially used items end up? Do most guests recognize the higher end product lines or do innkeepers over-think the issue?
11 years ago, overwhelmed by all the questions, we chose basics. We offer shampoo in large refillable bottles instead of the tiny ones that have to go to the landfill. In the "green" lodging world some innkeepers go to wall mounted soap dispensers to reduce the waste going to the landfill. We still offer bar soap as neither Dave or I like using dispenser soaps or dealing with the drips dispensers tend to produce. Which means we have a lot of barely used soaps to trash. This always bothered me but who in the world would want used soap??
Clean the World wants the soap. This organization takes donations of used soap from lodging properties, reprocesses it and produces large bars of absolutely sanitary soap to donate to communities in need. Clean the World was one of the first organizations on the scene after the Haitian earth quake.
So this year I saved every scrap of soap left in the bathrooms. Our first donation of 20 pounds has been shipped. It isn't much compared to what the Hilton will be sending but it is a contribution that helps others and helps the landfill.