Posts Tagged ‘sanitation’

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.