Posts Tagged ‘Clean the World’

Clean the World–A Global Hygiene Revolution

731884_85910193I guess I have to somehow find the motivation for spring cleaning, as the pollen around here is turning me into a sneezing beast, and even though it has been cloudy for way too many days, I’m over-anxious to throw open the windows and doors to let in fresh air.

With a mind toward cleaning, I recently discovered Clean the World, an organization saving millions of children from diarrheal infection and respiratory disease (the two leading killers, worldwide, of children under five years old). It is estimated that 3,000 children die EVERY DAY from preventable infection and disease–and most of that can be fought with a change in hygiene and cleanliness…to put it simply, soap can save lives. Populations around the world simply don’t have access to soap or clean water options to fight off deadly disease and infection…so Clean the World is getting the soap we throw away every day (think about every hotel room in the world, where when a guest checks out, the soap and shampoo they’ve used, possibly only once, goes straight into the trash) into–and ONTO–the hands of communities that need it for sustaining and radically bettering health. Just washing your hands with soap reduces the impact of diarrhea by 50% and dramatically cuts the impact of pneumonia as well.

In the United States, there are about five million hotel guest rooms, and the lodging industry discards more than a million bars of soap every day. What if we recycled all of that? (And conditioner, shampoo, and moisturizing lotion as well?). That is what is happening with Clean the World–they have partnered with thousands of hotels and hotel chains, to have housekeeping recycle the hygiene amenities provided in guest rooms–then they bundle and deliver them to more than 65 countries around the world where hygiene is a crisis issue. This is life-saving recycling, and it diverts about 750 tons of waste from our landfills each year, too. They have also launched the One Project here in the US, providing hygiene kits to homeless shelters and aid centers around the country. Disease is exponentially higher in homeless populations, and much of it can be minimized with hygiene.

Volunteers work with the organization in collection, education of housekeeping staffs, creating hygiene kits, even international soap drops (delivery trips), and doing local “soap drives” to collect donations. Jump in with your support and effort, and be part of the life-saving Hygiene Revolution.

Clean the World

Clean the World-Haiti

When was the last time you stayed at a hotel? (I’m in one right now as I type this) Whether you are a guest for one night or many, you know that those little shampoo and body wash and conditioner bottles never get used up. You leave 70% or more in each bottle when you check out, a bar of soap on the side of the sink that only saw water a few times, and then housekeeping swoops in to ready the room for the next guest, and tosses the products, as well as all that plastic packaging, into the trash. Every day in North America, thousands of hotels discard millions of pounds of soap and shampoo. These products often end up in already overflowing landfills and contaminate fragile groundwater systems.

Clean the World gets soap to the people around the world who really need it, who do not have access, who would see a significant shift in health and disease if it were introduced into daily life. It is such a simple idea–recycling at its most basic. “Impoverished people around the world die every day from acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease because they have no soap. The death toll is staggering. Each year more than five million lives are lost to these diseases with the majority of deaths being among children less than five years old. Studies have shown that simple hand washing substantially reduces the spread of these diseases. Unfortunately, the essential items for proper hand washing are unobtainable for millions of people worldwide.”

Clean the World has a list of participating partner hotels that may be worth consulting as you weigh all the factors that go into choosing one hotel property over the next. The list is growing, and I look forward to when the practice is ubiquitous. Nobody loses in this equation–it is actually MORE difficult to be wasteful and pollute the earth than it is to make the larger world a better place.