Nate and I have some peculiar similarities, which I frankly think is the reason we're able to tolerate each other and our marriage works so well. When you're having a neurotic moment, it's a relief to be able to look across the room and know that there's someone else who so totally gets it.
One of our familiar qualities is attention to detail. Details drive us both batty. When I was a kid I'd go to hotels with my flight attendant mom a lot, and I'd take in every last nook and cranny of every place that we visited. I distinctly remember picking out which ones had the best, fanciest soaps and which had the cutest little pens sitting bedside. Tiny things could make my whole stay.
I watch my kids now when we travel, ogling donut sprinkles or remarking excitedly about mini bottles of honey served with my tea.
They're definitely their parents' children.
This carries into the room, of course. The kids will quickly tear through a hotel room and take note of every single thing from the paper tablets to the laundry bag to the phone, which is why the housekeepers inevitably encounter a scene like this in our closet. If I don't lay down the law and deal with details right off the bat, I'll soon find that those details have been put into play as intricate components of an elaborate bed sheet fort.
It makes for interesting conversation, though. Every chance I get to sit down with my kids and really discuss their observations, my mind is blown. Last time we were visiting sponsor Embassy Suites, Some Boy was lingering at the bathroom vanity. “Mama,” he peered over the counter. “Where does the soap go?”
I followed his eyes to the collection of individually-wrapped guest soaps. “After we leave, if we don't take it, what happens to the soap left here? Do they throw it away? Does someone use it?”
Now, to be clear, I'm not one to hoard drawers full of tiny shampoos at my house. I do, however, keep a jar of soap and talc and sunscreen and other various samples that have made their way here. I set it out when guests stay overnight so they have any toiletries they may need at-hand. I inevitably forget something when I visit friends, and I feel weird rifling through their stuff or bothering them over toothpaste whereabouts, so I figured acquaintances would appreciate the gesture. Some Boy's asked about the jar before, so it makes sense that he made the connection to the little bottles placed before him at our hotel.
Honestly, I didn't know the answer to his question. As always, though, I wanted to foster his curiosity…so we set off to investigate! I emailed my brand contacts at Embassy Suites and it turned out their corporate owner, Hilton, was in the middle of developing a standardized soap and bottle recycling policy across all of its All Suites properties.
As of this moment, every single Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites has partnered with Clean the World to help the global hygiene mission and reduce waste sent to landfills. Clean the World has already provided over 30 million soap bars to 100 countries, furthering efforts for relief organizations in a huge way.
I excitedly told Some Boy and explained to him that this means children like him all over the world have a better chance of staying healthy. He decided that every hotel everywhere should take part in the initiative.
I agreed wholeheartedly.
So next time you're at a hotel, you can ask if they participate in Clean the World. Go on, give them a little nudge! And if they don't, well, in the meantime you have an idea for how to use those extra soaps to make guests more comfortable at-home. You could also ask homeless shelters and other charities in your area if they have use for hotel-sized soaps and sample bottles, which is what Some Boy and I have personally been doing when we visit hotels that don't have a charity donation program already in place.
Tell me, what do YOU do with leftover hotel soap?