Home Publisher's Point of View Clean the World Getting Bigger is Good for Us All

Clean the World Getting Bigger is Good for Us All

Glenn Hasek

I really don’t think I will ever look at a bar of soap the same again, or a plastic amenity bottle. Much of that has to do with Clean the World and all of the incredible work it has done the last eight years repurposing those items—ultimately saving lives. I spoke with Shawn Seipler, Founder and CEO of the Orlando, Fla.-based nonprofit this past week and he gave me an update on the progress of Clean the World and all of the innovative work it is doing. (See my article.)

Many of you send your partially used soap and amenities to Clean the World. Today there are 4,500 hotels representing 820,000 rooms doing that. Sixteen percent of the rooms in the United States now participate in the donation program. Those of you still not participating should consider doing so. The reprocessed soap and other items gets in the hands of those who really need them—the homeless, victims of natural disasters, children, women, etc.

Increasingly, Clean the World is becoming much more of a total corporate social responsibility (CSR) organization. Several years back it began a Hygiene Kit program for meetings attendees and other volunteers. The idea of course is to pack together items in one bag for those in need. Earlier this month, for example, Clean the World launched new Veteran Hygiene Kits. The kits feature resealable bags, two bars of new soap, bottles of repurposed shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razor and shaving cream, comb, socks, deodorant, and inspirational note cards.

“Many of our veterans lack the basic hygiene amenities needed to keep them safe and healthy,” Seipler says. “It is our duty to support these veterans. Putting these specialized kits in the hands of our veterans is a great way to honor and thank them for their service.” Incredibly, there are more than 39,000 veterans that are homeless in the United States on any given night.

Expansion Around the Globe

Expansion of the Hygiene Kits program is just one of the areas of growth for Clean the World. Clean the World now has 70 employees and recycling operations centers and/or offices in Orlando, Las Vegas, India, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Canada. “We are very focused on getting Mainland China opened up,” Seipler says, adding that there should be offices there and in the Middle East by the end of 2018. Clean the World is in discussions with investors about additional expansion of the organization.

Clean the World recently moved its headquarters from downtown Orlando to closer to the Orlando airport and hotels in the International Drive area. “We were in two separate locations in downtown Orlando,” Seipler says. “We were able to bring those two together. We are closer to the airport and the Orange County Convention Center. It is a much larger facility and allows us to bring in more volunteers and manufacture more.” Seipler says a soap recycling line to be donated by Guest Supply will dramatically increase Clean the World’s production capacity.

One of the most innovative things Clean the World is currently working on is what to do with the millions of plastic amenity bottles it receives. Seipler told me Clean the World has partnered with an engineering and science organization to figure out a way to recycle those bottles and convert that material into usable products. While not creating these bottles in the first place is one way to address the waste problem, figuring out what to do with these bottles would be huge for our industry…and the planet.

It would be easy just to sit back and do what has been done for years—send partially used soap and amenities to the landfill to sit for years upon years. Thankfully, an organization like Clean the World exists to work on problems we all share. Support it any way you can.

Green Lodging Trends Report Survey

The survey that is the basis for the second annual Green Lodging Trends Report has launched and will close on June 15. Click here to participate in the survey that focuses on green innovation, best practices, and awareness regarding the state of sustainability across hotels worldwide. The Green Lodging Trends Report 2016, which summarizes the results of the first annual Green Lodging Survey, is available by clicking here.

How to Search on Our Website

Similar to other search engines you find online, a search using one word will produce articles with that word included. If you would like to search for something that is more than one word long—ozone laundry, for example—you will need to put quotation marks around the words or phrase. Ozone laundry would then be “ozone laundry” in the search.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Planning Advertising for 2017?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2017. Many excellent spots are available on our new website, in the weekly e-mail newsletter, and Green Lodging Survey. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2017 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all of those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 9,500. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail editor@greenlodgingnews.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,745 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 847 Facebook followers.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.