You might assume that recycling soap bar remnants is environmentally friendly, but would you have known that recycling soap from hotels could save a life? Me neither.
Ever since last summer when I learned about Caesars Entertainment Group’s CodeGreen initiative, I’ve been reading more and more about hotels, resorts, and other hospitality venues that are utilizing sustainable practices. In the springtime our family stayed at a resort that wasted an enormous amount of food and other products. As much as we enjoyed our vacation, it was difficult to see so much being wasted, not recycled, or just thrown away.
Think about what a positive impact it would make for the environment if every hotel, resort and cruise ship initiated sustainable practices, such as using LED bulbs, reducing unnecessary wash loads, utilizing rainwater, purchasing from eco-friendly suppliers, and recycling whatever (and whenever) possible.
Wouldn’t your stay be just as luxurious if there were LED bulbs in the resort? Of course it would. If rain water were being utilized behind the scenes, would you even notice? Hardly.
What about the soap bar remnants from hotels that you use and then leave behind? If it were being sanitized and given to those who go without, would that make a difference? Not to you, perhaps, but it could save a life.
Shawn Seipler was a businessman who traveled several days every week. After leaving behind too many barely used bars of soap in his hotel rooms, he had an idea that later became a nonprofit organization known as Clean the World.
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By collecting and recycling soap from hotels, as well as hygiene products that are discarded every day by the hospitality industry (and other sectors that generate environmental waste), they can sanitize and distribute the products to impoverished people. In doing so, they help to prevent millions of hygiene-related deaths each year, reducing the morbidity rate for hygiene-related illnesses, and encouraging childhood development.
One person really can change the world.
Once the soap bar remnants are collected and shipped to a Clean the World Recycling Center, they are surface cleaned, then thoroughly sterilized. The sterilized soap is ground, and the soap grounds are inserted into a soap manufacturing line and pressed into new bars. The bars are then boxed for distribution. It may be used in the hygiene kits given to homeless shelters in the United States, or sent to at-risk people in developing regions abroad. Since 2009, Clean the World has distributed 25 million bars of soap in a whopping 99 countries.
Sadly, about every 15 seconds, a child dies from a disease that could have been prevented with proper hygiene. Though an unpleasant word to discuss, it is important to note that diarrhea is the second most common killer of children under five globally. That is higher than the number of deaths caused by AIDS, malaria and measles COMBINED. However, the risk can be reduced substantially through the simple act of hand-washing with soap.
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Want to help? Here’s how you can Clean the World too:
– Start a soap drive. Collecting soap bars is a terrific project for schools, clubs, corporations, organizations, and even individuals. It is easy to do and will help save lives. Here’s more info to help get you started: https://cleantheworld.org/get-involved/donate-soap-start-a-soap-drive/.
– When you book your next hotel reservation, make sure that they are a Clean the World partner. They have hospitality partners in all 50 states, and my Disney vacation fanatic friends will be happy to know that most of their resorts are on the list. You can find all the partners in any state by looking here: https://cleantheworld.org/partners/recycling-partners/.
– For something really, really huge, you can go global and consider being part of a Clean the World mission trip. https://cleantheworld.org/get-involved/go-on-a-global-volunteer-experience-trip/
– And of course, you can always make a donation to the cause, at: https://cleantheworld.org/forms/donation-form/.
Hotels, resorts, and cruise lines generate large volumes waste each and every day. Let’s use our consumer dollars to stay at places that try to reduce their environmental impact.
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Images courtesy of CleantheWorld.org.