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The Green Life: Nonprofit Recycles Used Hotel Soaps to Send to Poor Countries

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February 17, 2011

Nonprofit Recycles Used Hotel Soaps to Send to Poor Countries

Sudsy soap Ever wonder what happened to that half-used bar of soap you left behind in your hotel room? If your hotel partnered with the nonprofit Clean the World, that sudsy leftover may have helped save a life.

Clean the World collects and sanitizes used hotel toiletries, then sends them to impoverished countries. In the developing world, diarrheal illnesses and respiratory infections — afflictions that can be prevented with proper hand-washing — kill more than 3.5 million children each year.

"When I found out how many children were dying each day because of lack of soap," said Shawn Seipler, the organization's cofounder, "that's the moment I found my mission and purpose."

Clean the World works with hotels in 47 states. Its staffers and volunteers recycle cast-off amenities from more than 178,000 rooms daily. In just about two years, the organization has diverted 390 tons of waste by redistributing more than 6 million bars of soap and 100 tons of bottled toiletries.

Kimberly Button


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