What do you do with the toiletries when you stay at a hotel?

Some of us never touch them because we’ve brought our favorites from home, some use what we need and throw them away or leave them behind. Some of us take them with us for our guest bathroom or our next trip out of town. I fall in the “take them” camp. It’s a hold-over from my childhood and my parents’ “waste not, want not” mentality.

I must be in the right place though because Ponte Vineyard Inn and Ponte Winery is always careful not to be wasteful. A few years ago, Ponte Winery became the first California Certified Sustainable Winery in Temecula Wine Country. That certification took a lot of changing and updating our processes to make sure we were not being wasteful of our resources; and that has translated well to Ponte Vineyard Inn  where we use our solar panels, showers rather than baths to save water and are careful to dim or turn off lights when they aren’t being used to conserve energy.

Toiletries are no exception. With all L’Occitane products, it would be a shame to consistently throw out half-bottles of sweet-smelling shampoo, conditioner or soap.

That’s where our wonderful partner, Clean the World comes in. As we were building the hotel, there were so many small details to address and one of those was how not to waste toiletries. Luckily, we found the perfect solution. Here’s how it works: After your stay, we gather the soaps and bottles of shampoo and conditioner and separate them into bins . When they are full, our Warehouse Manger sends them to Clean the World who puts them through a sanitation process (yep, sanitizing soap) and sends them to people in 48 countries who do not have access to proper personal hygiene products. The hope is to save the millions of lives lost each year to acute lower-respiratory infection and other illnesses caused by a lack of hygiene.

Recently, we received our year-end report for products collected in 2012. For the first year of operation, our Temecula hotel collected 66 lbs of soap and 74 lbs of “bottled amenities” this translated to 352 bars of soap to be distributed to children and families world wide!

We will continue to keep you posted on how much product you help us create by leaving your toiletries behind. Until then, enjoy the toiletries along with the views, the food, the wine and those comfy beds!

Amy Landolt

What clever methods do you use to avoid waste?