Recycle - Convert used materials into new products. Figure out what you can recycle and where.Reduce Waste - Anticipate a way to prevent waste before it happens.Reuse - Lengthen the life of a product or material before it is recycled or disposed.



No Soap-on-a-Rope!


We have a boutique hotel and are amassing a significant quantity of shampoo, conditioner, and soaps. Instead of bar soap we changed to a more friendly liquid form in a small bottle that can be recycled. In fact, the shampoo, conditioner, and soap are all in these little containers that we recycle. The problem is that guests either don't use ALL of the soap/shampoo/conditioner or they don't take them home.

While our dog smells really nice and has super soft fur now, she can only tolerate so many baths. What can we do with our leftovers?

Challenge Guidelines

We're open! No guidelines save that we don't want to dump the soap etc. into the water and prefer not to spend a ton of moolah shipping or whatever you might come up with.

What this challenge offers to the winner

Depends on the challenge winner's age and their interest! Could be an overnight stay complete with an amazing breakfast. Might be that a HUGE batch of our chocolate chip cookies is preferred. Always there is super satisfaction of doing a job well. (Intrinsic motivation!) Of course, we would like your mug shot to show off on facebook and in our newsletter. So this would qualify as a guaranteed 15 minutes of fame. Who can beat that?

Which state this challenge is located in


Current Solutions

Comments (9)

Lisa Williams: There are a couple of EcoChallenges that have to do with soap, seems like the solution to this challenge could help solve a lot of similar issues;)

Samantha Irwin: Agreed!! In the meantime, our dog smells oh so nice. I suppose we could donate to a dog washing facility. . . .

Kathy Watson: The Holland America cruise line (known for its quality environmental practices) and a number of hotels I've visited recently have attached a shampoo/conditioner/body wash dispenser in the shower/tub. This completely eliminates the need for individual bottles. The hotel just refills the dispenser when it empties. Here's a link to one I found online:

Samantha Irwin: Great suggestions! I should have given more description to you all. (-: The majority of our bathrooms have clawfoot tubs with a shower overhead. They are wonderfully vintage but cannot hang a dispenser from the curtain. Keep them coming!

Richard Halpern: With the approval of Samantha, we have extended the end date of this EcoChallenge to 8/30/11. The premise behind this (and all our EcoChallenges) is: - there is a solution to every challenge out there some place! Keep the great ideas coming for No Soap-on-a -Rope!!

Richard Halpern: Here are a couple of great suggestions that I copied from the Balch Hotel Blog post from our blog: ____________________________________________ 4/29/11 Laura said: How about switching to shower-mounted dispensers for soap, shampoo and conditioner (although I would skip the conditioner — seems unnecessary in most cases)? Then you can skip the individual sized containers (which are very wasteful because of their size) and just buy large quantities of soap and shampoo. And you can even fill those dispensers with the leftovers from the small containers in the beginning of the transition. > ____________________________________________ 5/11/11 Travis said: I was actually frustrated that this challenge was closed. I get the time-limit for each challenge in order to pick a winner, but why not leave it open for more answers in the future. Note to Richard for a user experience thing here… Anyway, I got a bit sucked in browsing these different challenges and found this website: Basically, the collect used soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc. and recycle for distribution to third-world countries. The downside is, they are located in Orland. I found a similar company, but located in Atlanta (not much better when you’re in Oregon and shipping could be costly). So I dug a little deeper and it appears that have partners in Oregon. Here is a list of hotels in Oregon that are partners: - - - They also have B&B partners in Oregon: So you might be thinking, so what? Well, a couple of these partners are located in Portland which appears to be fairly close to Dufur. Perhaps you could contact them and consolidate your half-used soaps, etc. with theirs for donation. I’m not sure how these partners work with them (whether they ship it on a monthly basis, etc.), but I’m sure that they’d be receptive to including what donations you would have along with theirs. It sounds like a pretty cool solution and it’d be great to give back in this way. Best of luck

Staci Schwarz: I like Richards solution. Another solution would be to donate them to a homeless shelter. Many of them give out these sample sizes of soap to the homeless to take with them. When we use park bathrooms I get one of my soap scraps (I keep them in the van) and leave it in the bathroom for the next person. You can also use shampoo, and soap (grated) for washing laundry. The conditioner is also great in the laundry for scratchy fabrics, it softens them. Another option, as you mentioned with your own dog, why not donate to an animal shelter or rescue? I'm sure that would save them a ton of money! They're helping animals and you can help them.

Staci Schwarz: For the laundry soap, I would grate the bar soap, add to water (about half/half), heat and stir until the soap is dissolved, remove from heat, then add the shampoo. It will gel up to make a lovely concentrated liquid soap.

Samantha Irwin: Staci this is a GREAT idea! Since we don't have much by way of homeless shelters I contacted Tara Koch with Haven. Haven is a safe house for women. They are happy to receive donations of this sort! Tara and I actually connected about other donation needs of theirs. I will also connect with our local animal shelter as well. You are the winner! Let's connect so I can get you your prize!! You are welcome to email me at Congratulations and THANK YOU for participating in this excellent EcoChallenge site.

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