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BYOB (of Shampoo)

BYOB (of Shampoo)

Ah, the joys of traveling. And more importantly, the excitement of a brand-spanking-new hotel room. (What can I say? I have a bizarre fascination with hotels.) Used to be, the first thing I always did after checking out the view and jumping on the bed was go into the bathroom and see what kinds of toiletries they had. Tiny bottles of lotion and shampoo, and soaps in miniature all mine for the taking! So cute! It would practically make me swoon.

Now, after having stayed in enough hotel rooms that the bloom is off the rose, my reaction to those tiny bottles has become one of horror. When I think of my naivete, I am more than a little embarrassed. I have always considered myself an environmentalist, a lover of the Earth. I mean, talk about obvious! Just look at one of those teeny-tiny bottles, the amount of plastic it would have taken to make it and the manufacturing, and jeez! All just for one use? So wasteful!

If I lined up every tiny bottle of shampoo and conditioner and lotion I have ever used, well, let’s just say it would take a while to line up all those bottles. I could beat myself up for my folly, but I choose to move forward. (If you’d like to berate me, feel free to do so in the comment section below.) Resolved to do better, I assembled a travel kit from the collection of small bottles already taking up space on my bathroom shelves, and I use it faithfully. Just think, if everyone did this, the hotels would stop putting the tiny bottles in the rooms and then the companies would have to stop manufacturing them.

Bonus: I can control what kind of shampoo I am using. Those tiny bottles are too small for labels that give you a list of ingredients, so who knows what chemical horrors are in them. I bring my own, so I know exactly what is going in my hair and onto my skin.

I know those mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner are convenient, but when you consider how much plastic and processing it takes to make those tiny bottles, putting some of your shampoo from home into a little refillable bottle doesn’t seem like such a hassle after all.

Saving the world one tiny shampoo bottle at a time.

Read more: Blogs, Shades of Green

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Jana Ballinger

Jana Ballinger has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and copy editor for daily newspapers. She lives in a vintage house in Northern California with her husband and an orange cat.

22 comments

+ add your own
10:51AM PST on Feb 15, 2013

Thanks for the info.

2:15AM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

interesting

12:25AM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:47AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

I have a travel pack of four small bottles in their own case, great to take on holiday when filled with my tried and trusted brands of shampoo and conditioner, etc.

11:30AM PDT on May 16, 2011

"soap should not be left behind or one shall lose there piece of mind "
Is an old superstiton that I travel by and I think really proves true here , don't lose your ethics and your piece of mind by bringing your own soap and shampoo and save the earth

1:59PM PDT on Apr 16, 2011

Good information.

6:48PM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

Sodium lauryl sulfate is derived from palm oil. Tropical rainforest is cut down so that palm trees can be planted to produce palm oil. SLS and other palm oil ingredients are found in many products, including shampoo, detergent, toothpaste and margarine. If you want to save the rainforest, you should avoid all palm oil ingredients.

7:58PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

i just bring along a bottle of bronners, it does every job! really, its so true, and a lot of people have commented about it, there are so many chemicals in the shampoos and products they provide in hotel rooms that you are contributing to the Earth's demise but also reversing any non-chemical bathing you have done. I like how this author put out this article because not a lot of people think about this type of thing. Traveling is fun, and I also love seeing all the cute little bottles (especially in disney hotels), but i never ever use them!

4:57AM PST on Feb 10, 2011

Thanks for the info.

12:01PM PDT on Jul 6, 2010

SLS's make my head break out...oh they clog pores. I guess that's why. I take my stuff whenever I can. I'm more likely to slurge at a store at my travel destination than use the little bottles unless I am in the swankiest of places.If I take the lotion or whatever I have a tendency to keep it forever. Reusing the bottles with stuff I will actually use is a great idea.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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