Do you think there’s any connection?
But, of course! Even though some would think that the tourism and hospitality industry here in Central Florida causes only constant traffic congestion, major air pollution, and basic overall mind fog [and yes, I do realize that mind fog is only damaging to oneself, and not the earth in general. Or, is it??] due to the sheer number of water parks, rides, and other brain-and-money-sucking tourist attractions we pride ourselves with [oopsie; did the Hive just admit to those sins???], I’m here to tell you that at least one local organization is a big – make that HUGE – player in the global landscape when in comes to decreasing the carbon footprint of our many central Florida hospitality blessings [there, wasn’t that a better way to refer to all those reasons we welcome tourists here?].
It’s called Clean the World, and wow, does it ever do a great job in that monumental task. Founded in 2009 after Shawn Seipler, who was a frequent traveler for his tech company job, spent a lot of his travel time pondering where the half or barely used soap bars and bottles from his hotel rooms were going. His investigation discovered that it was all going to landfill. “Ugh!” Well, I’m sure his exact words were more intelligent than that, but I think you’re getting the picture here, right? One man. One planet to save. One ingenious and enormous idea. Plus a whole lotta unused soap and shampoo from all the area hotel rooms.
His mission? Not only to recycle, thus saving the environment from unnecessary waste, but to also repurpose all those half used products. You can read further about the amazing story and journey of Clean the World by visiting the link provided. But in short, here is the Mission Statement of this incredible local not for profit:
1] Collect and recycle soap and hygiene products discarded everyday by the hospitality industry and other sectors that generate environmental waste.
2] Through the distribution of these and other donated products to impoverished people [all over the planet], prevent millions of hygiene related deaths each year, reduce the morbidity rate for hygiene related illnesses, and encourage vigorous childhood development.
Or in simpler terms, clean the world, save lives. Give hope with soap. Both tag lines taken from their own vision.
But we all know nothing is as simple as it sounds! It takes a lot of commitment from hotels and other establishments just to participate starting with the housekeepers who have to gather the partially used products and get them to the proper recycling receptacles within their facilities. Then said facility has to get the product to downtown Orlando where Clean the World accepts the products, sorts, recycles, sterilize, and repurpose it all. Then there’s the packaging and distribution to all those needy areas around the world that are currently accepting said products. So you get the picture here, right? The cycle plays out on so many levels, and to date there are over 65 hotels just in Central Florida alone that participate, but multiply that by chain brands known around the world and you’ve got a starter-kit of how large this project has grown since its’ 2009 inception.
Here is a great example of how Hyatt Hotels participates on a global basis:
So, are you excited enough to want to help? They list lots of easy ways on their website including the one that I’ve participated in which is to get thyself down to their headquarters and pitch in! What better way to get involved in Earth Day 2017, or heck just any day of the year.
So, to borrow the excellent tag line you find on the Earth Day Network official website:
Stay connected. The earth needs your help.