Raise your hand if you have ever taken the soap, shampoo, conditioner and mouthwash from a hotel room you were staying in.
I do. I am, in fact, raising both hands right now. I'm typing this with my toes.
I do this so often, in fact, that Tim doesn't even roll his eyes at me anymore. That's how I know he is used to my antics.
So why do I do it? First of all- we've paid for the room and those items are "complimentary". I am not suggesting that you demand the front desk send up dozens of extra soaps so you never have to buy any- however, I prefer my own shampoo. With curly hair, change throws it for a loop and a harsher shampoo than it is used to makes it frizz out of control. So, I bring my own shampoo and pack away the hotel provided stuff.
What do I do with the items though? Well, I keep a few shampoos and conditioners, as well as soaps, to keep in my guest bathroom. If a guest forgets something, they can just use what we have there and there is no "well I felt bad using your <insert item here even if it isn't that nice>".
I love to send the items overseas to the troops as well. My bank often collects items to send and they ask that you send travel sized things, so that they can get more in the boxes. What are hotel items, but glorified travel sized bottles?
Tim recently spent a week in Haiti. When he traveled, I sent him almost exclusively with hotel bottles. Why? Because you never can tell what customs is going to take from you, they were already in airline-approved sizes and if he forgot them or decided to give them away to the Haitians, it was no big deal!
Sometimes, occasionally, I find a hotel shampoo I love. We stayed somewhere once that had partnered with Pantene to provide shampoo and conditioner to hotel guests. I actually used the items- but wait, the bottle was still half full when we were about to check out! Why have those items tossed out by house-keeping? I took the bottles home and used them at a later date when we stayed in a hotel that did not have a brand-name partner for their shampoos.
You can also donate these items to Homeless Shelters or Women's shelters- even Food Banks! There is always someone that can use them.