Saturday, October 31, 2009

Is Virginia's Hotel Floyd the GREENEST hotel you have ever seen?

Up early, working on a great opportunity to deliver soap to those that need it most, and figured I would catch up on a blog. This early morning treat is sponsored by and for our good friend, Jeremy! :-)

Now here is a great addition to the Clean the World family of Hotel Partners- The Hotel Floyd located in downtown Floyd, Virginia. From reviewing the site, this quaint, beautifully decorated hotel has all the accomoations and receives rave reviews from its guest. Seems "standard" at first....
But a deeper review and you realize, this may be THE GREENEST hotel we have in our family. Hotel Floyd is not only committed to a great stay, but they have built a property around the notions of Sustainability and Eco-Friendly.

This excerpt was taken from their home page: "Built in 2007 employing the latest green technologies, along with sustainable building materials and furnishings, Hotel Floyd is a designated “Virginia Green Lodging” establishment, adhering to its core values and beyond. From state-of-the-art Geothermal heating & cooling, to eco-friendly paints, fabrics, and renewable bamboo floors; each aspect reflecting our commitment to thoughtful choices for a sustainable future. But these are just the bones..."

Want some more, you must visit this Green Design page on their site: http://hotelfloyd.com/virginiawineries.aspx. From bamboo flooring, to eco friendly paints and a Onity energy management solutions energy system that incorporates efficiency and ENERGY STAR appliances and so much more, I can confidently make this claim and challenge:

The Hotel Floyd is the most Green and Energy Efficient hotel I have ever seen... Visit the above page, read all the details, and then I challenge you to find a more Green and Sustainable hotel!

Close to our heart, Hotel Floyd also uses eco-friendly soaps and shampoos. But guess what they did as soon as they heard about Clean the World on the CBS evening news: they contacted us and signed up for our soap and shampoo recycling program. So now all the slightly used soap and bathroom amenities will be sent to Orlando where Clean the World will completely sterilize, recycle, sanitize and re-package the soaps and shampoos for delivery to homeless shelters and impoverished people abroad suffering high mortality rates from a lack of hygiene.

Think about this- the Hotel Floyd already features soap and shampoo that is eco-friendly. Even the packaging is safe for the environment. But their commitment and dedication to re-purposing these amenities as a life saving necessity speaks volumes about their heart. That is Awesome! And for that, speaking on behalf of the entire CTW family, we are very grateful!

Thank you Hotel Floyd for your true commitment to a truly Green, Sustainable, and Eco- Friendly hotel. And Thank you for your true commitment to Saving Lives!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How much has Clean the World received and where's it all going?

On a regular basis, I want to ensure that our entire Clean the World community of partners, supporters, volunteers, and well wishers know exactly how much soap and bottled amenities (shampoo, conditioner, lotion and bath gel) we have received, collected, processed and re-distributed.

Since our inception in February, 2009, our first hotel pickup in March, 2009 and our first delivery to the Central Care Mission in April, 2009, we have received and donated the following:

- Over 9,400 pounds of bar soap has been collected from hotel partners. That's approximately 100,266 bars of soap (1.5 oz bars) donated, sterlized or re-batched, and recycled. Pretty cool, eh?

- Over 4,500 pounds of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and bath gel has been collected and recycled from hotel partners

***And with the recent increase of CTW hotel partners, 10,425 pounds or 5 TONS of the above that has been collected, processed and recycled over the last 60 days alone!!***

- Soap makers and manufacturers have donated over 440,000 pounds of soap and other hotel amenities... sorry, what did I say?!?... Oh Yes, that's correct- Our soap maker community and soap manufacturers, led by Marietta Corp, one of the hotel industries leading hygiene and hotel amenity providers (found here: http://www.mariettacorp.com/ ), have stepped up to the plate BIG TIME with donations of crucial items needed by those less fortunate.

Here’s something else that you may not have known- Clean the World also collects and distributes other hotel amenities such as sewing kits, shoe shine kits, shoe mitts, pens, pads, laundry bags, shower caps, and vanity kits. Think about how valuable a sewing kit is to someone who only has tattered clothes. Or how a shoe shine kit may give a homeless man or woman a psychological boost before heading into a potentially life altering job interview. It all matters and it all helps!

May we take a moment to thank Marietta Corp, soap makers, and amenity providers for their commitment to SAVING LIVES. It makes a lot of sense actually- As soap makers and amenity providers, they know the value that cleansing oneself and proper care has to an individual’s body, mind and spirit. From disease prevention to the psychological impact of a good, thorough cleaning, they are in the business of providing simple necessities that I dare some of us may take for granted.

And on the lighter side, but the absolute truth- Representing the best soap maker name category, Thank you to the “Naked Soap Maker” of Montpelier, ID, who donated 18 pounds of soap to Clean the World… The naked truth is- every little bit helps! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself)

Ok- Back to the numbers….

Guess what the value of all that soap and other amenities is: Over $475,000 !!!! It is only because of the commitment and dedication of the entire Clean the World family of partners and supports that this little soap collecting and recycling charity from Orlando Florida has been able to receive so much valuable soap, amenities and hygiene products!!!

To date, Clean the World has processed or recycled, and distributed over 90% of all of the soap, bottled products and other hotel amenities received. That’s over 409,000 pounds of goods that have been donated.

Domestic groups and organizations receiving goods include the following: Central Care Mission, STAR Family Center, Salvation Army Adult Re-hab Center, Salvation Army Men’s and Woman’s Shelter, Christian Service Center, Covenant House, Help Now of Osceola, Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless, First Baptist Church of Bastrop, TX, and Operation Christmas Child Gift Box by Crossroads Community Church in Sparks, MD.

International groups and organizations receiving goods include the following: Clean the World’s Direct Haiti Distribution, Cap Haitien Health Network, World Vision, Harvest Time International (domestic and international), Floating Doctors, Sanctuary of Praise Ministry sending to Freeport, Bahamas, and a medical mission sending Lesotho, South Africa.

Your financial and gifts in kind donations of soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and other hotel amenities are LIFE SAVING and Clean the World is making sure they are getting into the hands of the organizations, groups, missions and, most importantly, PEOPLE who need them most.

You keep it coming and we'll stay focused on the cause and continuing telling you all about it!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

International House New Orleans ON BOARD with a Busy Clean the World !!

My apologies for being absent the past few days... Keeping up with the Clean the World blog on a frequent, even daily basis is indeed challenging. The time to blog is one major component of course but the biggest challenge at Clean the World revolves around how much we have going on!

It is amazing how much is happening right now. Individuals continue to email with support and inquiries on how they can help. We have new hotel partners joining the program every day and countless inquiring on a weekly basis. We are in a number of partnership discussions with great organizations and corporations that want to help be a part of changing history- one soap bar and bottle of shampoo at a time!
Stay tuned as have a number of exciting announcements to make over the next few weeks.
In the middle of so much happening, I thought it is a great time to spotlight one of our newest Hospitality Partners: International House in New Orleans, LA.

In the spirit of so much happening, International House fits perfectly. A quick review of their web site at http://www.ihhotel.com/index.html describes an incredibly beautiful and eventful property in the heart of New Orleans, just blocks from the French Quarter. You must take a moment to visit their home page and checkout the wonderful pictures of their property.

One of the most unique features of the International House is their commitment to honoring and showcasing the incredible history and diversity of New Orleans. Within the properties decor and in an open celebration with their guest, International House describes the various and unique rituals you will find throughout the year here: http://www.ihhotel.com/rituals.html

And now they can add another unique feature. They are 1 of 100 properties across the United States Saving Lives and Saving our Planet through the recycling of the partially used, slightly reduced bars of soap and bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion. They are the first in New Orleans! In addition to honoring the history and culture of New Orleans, which has a large Haitian community, International House is also support the country of Haiti which is in desperate need of these life saving amenities.

Do me a favor- the next time you visit New Orleans. Stop by or stay at the International House and thank them for their commitment to Clean the World and Saving Lives.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hard Rock Hotel- Chicago becomes First Windy City Soap Recycler!

Standing 40 stories tall on Chicago's historic Michigan Avenue, the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago has joined Clean the World's Hospitality Recycling Progam.

It is fitting that this stylish, innovative hotel that really embodies the American spririt has become the first hotel in Chicago to use Clean the World to reycle their bathroom amenities, preventing needless land fill waste and instead enuring that United States homeless shelters and impoverished people around the word are receiving these life saving necessities.

Benjamin, Hard Rock's Director of Operations, quickly understood the benefits to the Hard Rock Hotel, the Chicagoland environment and those being helped after speaking to Calum Maclean from Clean the World. He championed our cause and led the way for more properties in our favorite Windy City to join.

During my annual trek to the historic Wrigley Field next year (and home to my favorite basebal team), I can't wait to visit Benjamin and the Hard Rock Hotel staff to personally thank them for their commitment to Saving our Planet and SAVING LIVES!

Check out their very cool web site here: http://www.hardrockhotelchicago.com/

Thank you Hard Rock Chicago for joining Clean the World's cause!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ocean Reef Club becomes Flagship Key Largo Partner!

What an incredibly beautiful property!

Paul Till and I had the pleasure of staying an evening last week at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, FL. Ocean Reef, located just south of Homestead, Florida, features EVERYTHING- from golf, fitness centers, multiple pools, and a private lagoon to shopping, a movie theatre, private living and fabulous hotel accomdations. The spacioius rooms we stayed in were spectacular with roman tubs, marble showers, very comfortable beds, work areas and private balconies. The rooms were truly beautiful. We even dined with our great friend and champion Fayth (she spearheaded our recycling programs adoption at Ocean Reef), at the Islander and enjoyed everything from sushi to prime rib with "blood orange" tea to help it all go down... wow!

And now the Ocean Reef Club can tout another very important feature to add to their robust portfolio- they recycle soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion amenities to SAVE LIVES! By joining our program, Ocean Reef becomes the southern most property in the United States to work with Clean the World and the first and flagship property in Key Largo, FL.

We had the pleasure of meeting the entire Ocean Reef green team and many other staff members. They are wonderful people committed to the environment and doing their part by reducing landfill waste, recycling and preventing the spread of diseases domestically and abroad through soap distribution.

Paul Astbury, the President of the Ocean Reef Club, runs a beautiful establishment in Key Largo and should be very proud of his people, property, and contributions to social responsibility initiatives and corporate sustainability!

Visit their site today: http://oceanreef.com/and be sure to book your next stay in Key Largo at Ocean Reef!

Can't wait to go back...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2 Palm Beach County Hotels Join Clean the World's Recycling Program!

We are incredibly happy to announce the newest hotel additions to the Clean the World recycling partnership program.

In Palm Beach County, two truly spectacular properties, The Breakers and Hotel Biba have signed up and are now collecting soap, bath gel, shampoo, conditioner and lotions that would have otherwise been discarded. Committed to reducing unneccesary land fill waste in the Palm Beach County area and recycling, The Breakers and Hotel Biba are helping Clean the World SAVE LIVES! The recycled and sterlized products will be distributed to Palm Beach County homeless shelters and impoverished people worldwide!

Please visit their web sites for more information and book your next stay in Palm Beach at either The Breakers: http://www.thebreakers.com/ or Hotel Biba: http://www.hotelbiba.com/

Have a great day!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Welcome The Colcord Hotel in Oklahoma City, OK

We are extremely pleased to announce our newest hotel partner, the beautiful Colcord Hotel located in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The Colcord Hotel is the first Oklahoma hotel to partner with Clean the World after the state of Oklahoma became the first state to officially partner with Clean the World. Oklahoma's ECO (Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma) program was "created to promote, encourage and develop sustainable travel practices in Oklahoma. Through a dynamic partnership between the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the ECO program offers the education, certification and marketing support businesses need to provide effective sustainable travel practices economically." For more information, please see the entire program here: http://travelok.com/eco/index.asp

Clean the World is an ECO Advocate within the program. Through the partnership, spearheaded by our dear friend and champion Jessica Blackstock, Clean the World will continue to add hotel partners from the great and beautiful state of Oklahoma to our vital, planet and life saving recycling program!

I had the pleasure of staying a night at the Colcord Hotel while visiting the Oklahoma Tourism and ECO team immediately following my last visit to Haiti. This one of kind, boutique hotel, was originally built in 1910 and was previously a commercial building prior to its $16 million renovation and transformation to a hotel 3 years ago. When it was built, its 12 stories made it the first skyscraper in Oklahoma City.

I can personally attest to its elegance and beauty. The food is wonderful and the staff is extremely friendly. I had the pleasure of personally meeting Jeff Erwin, the Colcord Hotel's General Manager. The hotel takes on the personality of its GM, as he is a vibrant, energetic, and professional hotelier, committed to Oklahoma's environment and, as a member of the Clean the World hotel partner program, Saving Lives!

If you have a chance to visit Oklahoma City, we encourage you to book your hotel stay at the Colcord Hotel: http://www.colcordhotel.com/

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thank you for the tremendous response!

Thank you so much for the incredible response following the CBS Evening news story presented by Katie Couric. If you haven't seen it yet, please visit this link: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/12/eveningnews/main5380413.shtml?tag=cbsnewsTwoColUpperPromoArea

We would like to extend a very special thanks to the two CBS reporters that covered and traveled with Clean the World, Seth and Jack. We are extremely grateful for the wonderful journalism and attention to detail. Seth, Jack and the entire CBS Evening news team are incredibly professsional.

And a special note to Katie Couric- thank you so much for featuring Clean the World. You are an amazing journalist and have a special place in our hearts. We are forever grateful that you gave Clean the World our our first national exposure.

We hope and pray that this piece will expose our great opportunity: 3.5 million children under the age of 5 die annually to acute respiratory illness and diarrheal disease. That's approximately 9,000 children a day. Clinical studies, posted on our site, show that these deaths can be reduced by 40 - 60% with simple hand washing with bar soap.

Every day in the United States alone, approximately 1.5 million bars of soap are discarded into landfills, harming our beautiful land and precious water systems. And millions of bottles of soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion do the same.

The answer is simple.... the results are real... Together, we can save lives!

Over the past 48 hours, we have received an incredible number of emails and phone calls. Thank you so much for your support. Many, like you, are asking “How can I help?” Well, Here’s how:

1) We are supported by the generous contributions of individuals and corporations. For every $1 donated to Clean the World, we can completely recycle and redistribute 30 days worth of soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion from 2 hotel rooms. That equates to ~40 bars of soap and ~40 bottles of shampoo that will not fill our landfills, but instead supply 5 needy families in an impoverished country or here in the US with life saving necessities for one month. If you or somebody you know can help contribute financially to our cause, please do so here: http://www.cleantheworld.org/donate-money.asp. Or mail a check to Clean the World, 3564 Avalon Park Blvd East, Suite #1- 210, Orlando, FL 32828. Whether it is $5 or $500, every single dollar helps!

2) Today, Clean the World has 71 hotels in the state Florida and 9 across the country participating in our program. Recently, the great and beautiful state of Oklahoma partnered with Clean the World as part of their state’s sustainability program. Our goal is to ensure that all 4.6 million hotel rooms in the US are recycling their partially used soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and bath gel. We need every hotel in the US to hear and know about the recycling option with Clean the World. We need every local and state official to know about the recycling option with Clean the World.

*Please contact hotels in your area.
*Please tell hotels that you stay in, especially the hotel’s General Manager, about the Clean the World recycling program.
*Please contact your local and state officials and advise them of the Clean the World recycling program, asking for their support within your local and state hospitality community.
*Please contact your local hotel and lodging association about Clean the World.
*Please contact your congressmen and congresswomen about our program. We need their support and grants available to charities like ours that are both saving our planet and saving lives!


3) Many have asked about sending in your soap and shampoo to Clean the World directly. We accept soap and shampoo from individuals. Additionally, if you are a school that would like to conduct a soap drive, we are happy to support you through the many studies and detailed information on our web site. At this time, we have very limited funds so we are unable to assist financially, but we would gladly receive your soap and shampoo and ensure the items are given to those that need it most. Please mail them to the following address:

 Clean the World c/o Threads of Compassion, 4625 Old Winter Garden Road, #B 7, Orlando, FL 32811

4) Many have asked about buying soap and sending it to Clean the World. Remember, every $1 donated recycles two hotel rooms for an entire month and produces ~40 bars of soap. While we are truly appreciative that you are compelled to purchase for our cause, we ask that instead you donate to Clean the World so that we may also recycle a hotel room in the process and prevent needless landfill waste.

5) Many have offered volunteer help and support. We thank you for your desire and STRONGLY encourage you to volunteer and support charities whenever possible. At this time, we only have 1 recycling facility open in Orlando. We are accepting volunteers in Orlando, but, unfortunately, at this time are not anywhere else. That said we have a national recycling plan in place. As soon as we are able to attain a certain number of hotel rooms in major cities such as Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc , we may open up a collection or recycling facility. At that time, we will notify our entire individual database for potential job and volunteer opportunities. Until then, we need to increase the number of hotel rooms in our system and, again, phone calls to hotels are a great way to help now!

6) Many have asked for soap for various missions and organizations helping the needy. Yes, we would like to support you. We have limited finances so assistance with the shipping would be greatly appreciated, but we can most likely satisfy your request. Please email your request to scooper@cleantheworld.org.

Once again, thank you so much for your support, kind words, prayers and well wishes. We are extremely blessed to live in the United States and to have basic necessities at our finger tips. There is a very simple, yet profound phrase that fits Clean the World perfectly- “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”!

Thank you all for your support!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Back from Haiti...

 What an incredible journey! Last week, Clean the World's leadership team traveled on a Missionary Flights Inernational (MFI) DC-3 cargo plane to Cap Haitien, Haiti. It was our second major soap distribution to the impoverished island.

The non-pressurized, non-air conditioned flight path took us directly over the Bermuda triangle. Nothing to fear though as the MFI crew took good care of us. One quick re-fueling descent in the Bahamas and we are back  in the thin air, on our way again to the northern region of Haiti.

Upon landing, the fun really began. After an hour of negotiating with customs, we finally struck a deal. Half the originally requested customs fee and a Disney World vacation turned our favorite customs gal, affectionately called "The Big Man" by her Haitien peers, into a Clean the World supporter.

While I attempt to describe the actual conditions on teh ground in Cap Haitien, please realize that even though the conditions were described to me time and time again, it is extremely hard to comprehend unless you actually experience it. there is chaos, depression, and desperation. Sewage and filth abound within eyes view during almost every moment. We witnessed an elderly woman defecating in a sewage troth in front of her home and countless individuals urinating. This very same troth overfllowed on our last evening as a flash flood rain came down and flooded the streets of Cap Haitien.

Yet, within this chaos, they are a beautiful and proud people. A culture that has learned to not only exist, but live life to their fullest given the conditions they have been born into. I witnessed the newest born babies and two funerals. They are born like we are, and they honor death in a similar fasion. It just so happens that in between those two extremely similar events, they have learned to function in a society that is much different than ours in the United States. And one that demands the basic necessity of soap and hygiene even more!

While the conditions were overwhelming at times, the smiles that we continued to receive from the people, young and old, as we drove through the streets of Cap Haitien, were absolutely priceless. Smiles represent hope and joy. Take time today to give somebody you know a smile from a Haitian as we recieved a ton to pass along. :-)

We visited two orphanages, two schools and another large church service where approximately 8,000 gathered in the middle of the day's heat to worship. Our soap, YOUR SOAP, was incredibly well received. In total, 45,000 bars were distributed on this trip.

We also visited with a group, the Cap Haitien Health Network, organized by Dr. Ted Caplen and his wife Elisabeth, based out of Altamonte Springs, FL. Ted and Elisabeth were in Haiti for the week doing clincals and organizing a group of approximately 30 clinics. One item on their agenda: the new supplies of soap that are arriving from Clean the World. Another arm of our distribution network was established.

One specific moment mush be shared: One the last day as we were leaving the last school we visited, I handed a young Haitian boy, maybe 4 years old, a bundle of soap. He looked at the bundle with a quizzical look. So I smelled another bundle that was in my hands and motioned for him to do the same. He then smelled his bundle and gave a half smile, beginning to understand. Then he took his bundle and began rubbing it on his arm in a cleaning motion, looking at me for a confirmation. I said "YES" with a big smile. He then grinned from ear to ear, one of the biggest smiles of the trip, turned around, and walked back to his desk, holding his bundle of soap with pride. He understood what he recieved and he was incredibly happy and proud! In that very moment, any lingering feelings that our mission may be too much for us to handle completely swept away. Clean the World is not only bringing hygiene but we are bringing hope!

The very last clinic we visited, operated by a Cap Haitien Health Network partner, S.O.I.L., had roughtly 30 sick children waiting to see the doctor. The clinic sees patients only once a week as supplies are low. I asked the doctor why the sick were there. A one word answer said it all- "Hygiene". Incredible!

Our cargo boat finally left Miami this past weekend with another 175,000 bars. (remember the one we loaded several weeks ago. Well, it only just now left, displaying the shipping difficulties into Haiti.) This boat will arrive this weekend to begin another flow of soap that we are committed to sustaining for many years to come. These clinics, schools, and orphanages will all receive another distribution in the coming days and weeks.

One last note, CBS traveled with Clean the World on this distribution. Stay tuned for an alert from us as we expect the story to air during Katie Couric's evening news sometime very soon.

Thank you all for your support. And remember to pass a smile to someone today.