1. Mo' money actually means fewer problems.
2. A ridiculous deal on a ridiculously nice bicycle.
3. Daily commutes on said bicycle through Toronto's bucolic (and zombie-free) Prospect Cemetery.
4. A much-needed thinning of the M.A.S.S.
A thinning of the what-now? Let me explain: The Miniature Amenities Storage Shelf (pictured) is where I deposit the tiny toiletry products I collect as I proceed from one hotel to the next. And as a (still-active!) freelance travel writer, I visit a lot of hotels.
I know you know what I’m talking about here. After all, a recent Travelocity survey revealed that 86 per cent of hotel guests snatch toiletries. Three per cent take things a step further by pilfering bathrobes and slippers, which I do not endorse, with 1 per cent taking room-service dishes, cutlery and — believe it or not — bibles.
My new workplace is equipped with shower facilities, so I'm now making use of these tiny toiletries on a regular basis. And it's a good thing too, what with the M.A.S.S. being pushed to its breaking point. Literally: The face scrub I added to the pile recently triggered an avalanche of lavender-scented proportions that nearly buried my five-year-old daughter.
If your own M.A.S.S. is a mess, here are a few environmentally-friendly ways to get it under control:
Donate. Homeless shelters, institutions like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, and even local prisons, will accept unopened toiletries.
Clean the World. This five-year-old Orlando-based organization collects shampoo and soap from private individuals and the hospitality industry for use in third-world countries where improper hygiene plays a role in millions of deaths each year. Because shipping costs to the non-profit group’s collection facilities in Florida and Las Vegas aren’t covered, it encourages donors to organize “soap drives” to make the most of shipments. Finally, a clean reason to go to Vegas…
Gifts. If you’re the kind of person who can craft a charming gift basket out of binder twine, a half-eaten pear and a box of baking soda, then just think what you could do with all those pretty plastic bottles!