Friday, February 26, 2010

A warm place in my heart for Intercontinental Hotel Group...

About 11 months ago, I arrived back to Orlando International Airport after another long business trip. I was flying back from Minneapolis, a city I visited frequently during my past business life. When I arrived back on this trip, I did something a bit different compared to my normal arrival routine. I was determined to walk into a nearby hotel to present the very first version of Clean the World’s recycling program.

I eyed a hotel that was very familiar to me. As a platinum Priority Club member, 90% of my hotel visits were at various Intercontinental Hotel Group hotels such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza’s and Hotel Indigo’s. I garnered up enough “guts”, and confidently walked into the Holiday Inn Select- Orlando Airport. I asked for the General Manager. Peter came from around the back of the desk and gave me his time. We spoke for about 15 minutes and the rest, as they say, is history!

So I get a special warming in my heart when an IHG hotel joins our recycling program. In addition to staying with them so frequently over the last 6 years, it was also a lot of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza bar soap that was used in my kitchen to experiment with our first recycling processes. (a story for another blog is how I actually got that soap… and I didn’t steal it!)

We are welcoming three new Intercontinental Hotel Group properties, representing three distinct IHG brands to our family:

Lets start our IHG- Clean the World tour in Abingdon, Virginia with the Holiday Inn Express, found here: http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en/hotel/abnex. In addition to being environmentally friendly, the Holiday Inn Express in Abingdon features a pet friendly property nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With all of the clean and fresh features Holiday Inn Expresses are known for, our recycling program is a great fit for this 80 room property. If you are traveling on I-81 be sure to stop by and say "Thank you" to George and Angel for their participation in our Life Saving and Planet Saving recycling program!

Now southward to the beautiful Treasure Coast of Florida… Lets welcome the Holiday Inn Port St. Lucie to Clean the World Recycling Family. Their web presence is located here: http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/en/hotel/PSLFL.  Located on the historic US 1, the Holiday Inn Port St. Lucie is buzzing now as the New York Mets spring training camp, only minutes away, is ready to go into full swing. In addition, championship golf, deep sea fishing, Jensen Beach, and Hutchinson Beach are right around the corner. The Treasure Coast is rightly named and with four properties in the area now on our recycling program, it is incredibly clear that they are very committed to protecting their beautiful environment, adding to your vacation pleasure. Make sure to book with Lisa on your next visit to Port St. Lucie.

And now to come full circle, just one light up the road from where our Clean the World journey began 11 months ago, is our newest IHG hotel- one of my favorite brands, the Crowne Plaza- Orlando International Airport. http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hotel/mcohn?&stopredirect=true.  A truly beautiful and complete property located minutes from the airport and right in the middle of the Central Florida action is one of our newest partners. With a newly renovated fitness center, gorgeous outdoor pool perfect for catching Central Florida rays, restaurants and lounges both on the property and within walking distance, you will no doubt enjoy the Crowne Plaza experience the hotel brand is kown for. Special thanks to Shawn and Mark for implementing our recycling program and offering your guest yet another quality feature that makes the Crowne Plaza the special hotel that it is!

And from a special place in my heart for taking care of me for so many years- Thank you Intercontinental Hotel Group properties that are joining Clean the World’s Hospitality Recycling Program!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Canebrake Philosophy...

As we blog to draw attention to the wonderful properties that have committed to Clean the World’s unique recycling program, we seek to find the characteristics and traits that define the property. With the Canebrake, found here: http://www.thecanebrake.com/index.html it is very clear: they are full and whole heartedly committed the beauty and preservation of our environment and total wellness of life.

From their web site, here is the Canebrake’s Philosophy:
“The Canebrake staff aspires to get the most out of life and to share that same desire with our guests. We are dedicated stewards of the earth’s abundance, obligated to enjoying all of it and committed to sharing our passion with our guests. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff provides personal service and attention to every detail, allowing you to participate as much or as little as you like.”

Located in northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country, The Canebrake is focused on their guest‘s ability to regroup and rejuvenate. With beautifully decorated rooms and cottages, that include spa tubs and fireplaces, the Canebrake is incredibly cozy and sets a relaxing atmosphere to regroup. And with incredible massage and spa experiences and a full slate of yoga activities, rejuvenation is clearly defined.

The Canebrake is also incredibly committed to their environment. They follow a very clear environmental policy which seeks to “lessen their impact on local and global environment conserving energy, water, and other natural resources; reducing waste generation; recycling and purchasing recycled products; and reducing our use of toxic materials.” How do we know this to be true? Well, they have now incorporated Clean the World’s recycling program into their environmental initiatives as a way to not only protect their beautiful Oklahoma land, but also to provide a life saving necessity to those in need across our globe.

As a clear testament to their stated philosophy, we thank The Canebrake for joining Clean the World’s Hospitality Partnership Program.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Walt Disney World Resort Joins Clean the World in an Innovative Program to Recycle Soap

Orlando, FL. — February 20, 2010 — Walt Disney World Resort hotels are working with Clean the World to recycle all the partially used amenities from their nearly 28,000 Central Florida hotel rooms Clean the World sanitizes the soap and shampoo that would be discarded and distributes these amenities to people in need around the world.

“With the support of with Walt Disney World, even more supplies will reach those in desperate need,” said Paul Till, co-founder and managing director of Clean the World, who is responsible for recruiting new hotels to join the “Clean the World Hospitality Recycling Program.” Through this program, hotels financially contribute a tax-deductible recycling fee in exchange for collection, recycling and free redistribution of partially-used amenities to those suffering due to a lack of available hygiene products. In 2009, Clean the World distributed more than 230 tons of hygiene products to countries worldwide including Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Uganda, Mali, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mongolia and Romania.

By participating in this program, Walt Disney World Resort hotels are showing a committment to saving lives and protecting the environment.

Clean the World in Haiti
In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Clean the World has stepped up its commitment to provide basic necessities to the impoverished people of the island nation, and has included medical supplies, food, water and other essentials as well. Since January 2010, Clean the World has delivered over 150 tons of supplies directly to Haiti.

In 2009, Clean the World delivered 200,000 bars of soap to schools, orphanages, clinics and churches in Cap Haitien, Haiti. Though its Haitian partnerships and distribution network, Clean the World is providing free soap to people desperate in desperate need for proper hygiene. In Haiti alone, 8,000 children die annually from diarrheal disease, which is preventable by up to 62 % with proper hand washing.

About Clean the World, Inc.
An Orlando-based charitable organization, Clean the World, Inc. is committed to the prevention of illness and death caused by acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease in countries across the globe. In an effort to prevent these needless deaths from occurring, Clean the World collects discarded soap and shampoo from hotels to be recycled and distributed these soap products along with appropriate educational materials to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries worldwide. In 2009, Clean the World collected, recycled and distributed over 230 tons of soap and other bathroom amenities to impoverished people worldwide. With the donations of these discarded soap and shampoo products, Clean the World Foundation is a step closer to reaching their goal of preventing the millions of lives lost each year — and they’re doing it one bar of soap at a time. Clean the World Foundation, Inc is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina joins the Clean the World family!

About as far away as a property in the continental US can get from Haiti, by participating in Clean the World’s bar soap and bottled amenity recycling program, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina is helping those in desperate need in Haiti. Still greatly suffering from the effects of the recent devastating earthquake, this property is committed to helping them and so many others. This stunning 1,053 guest room, 2 tower property, located on beautiful Harbor Island Drive, is committed to Saving our Planet and Saving Lives.

As the partially used items are collected by housekeepers, they quickly make their way to reusable Clean the World bins. Once delivered to Orlando, Clean the World’s recycling experts and volunteers carefully surface clean, sanitize and sterilize the bars and bottles with an environmentally and hygienically friendly process. After being recycled, bars of soap and amenity bottles are “naked” packaged in an eco friendly way, palletized, and shipped directly to Haiti and other impoverished countries.

The concept is simply beautiful: A beautiful property, sitting on one of the world’s most beautiful marinas in one of the United State’s most beautiful cities caring so much about their hurting neighbors in need and their local environment that they would take the initiative to adopt and implement the program.
Ladies and gentleman, this is what it is all about. Take a look at what the Sheraton San Diego has to offer here: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=127.
 
120,000 square feet of meeting space and only minutes from the San Diego Zoo, Old Town and Balboa Park. And when you lay your head down at night after a long day of fun activities, you will rest on Sheraton Sweet SleeperSM Bed.

Thank them by booking your next meeting, convention or family vacation at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina.

And a special thanks to Ann and the entire green team for your true commitment to our planet and her precious and beautiful inhabitants.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Westgate Resorts Joins the Clean the World Recycling Program

Orlando, FL. — February 16, 2010 — Westgate Resorts has partnered with Clean the World to recycle all the partially used amenities from their Central Florida hotel rooms. Clean the World sanitizes the soap and shampoo that would have been discarded, ending up in landfills, and distributes these amenities to needy people around the world.

“By joining our Hospitality Recycling Program Westgate Resorts will help provide even more supplies for those in desperate need,” said Shawn Seipler, co-founder and executive director of Clean the World. Through the Clean the World Hospitality Recycling Program hotels donate a tax-deductible fee in exchange for the collection, recycling and redistribution of partially used amenities to those suffering due to a lack of available hygiene products.

“We were looking for a way to recycle these products,” said Mark Waltrip, Chief Operating Officer of Westgate Resorts, “When we realized we could also save lives, it became a simple decision to participate in the program.”

The Westgate Resorts participating properties include:
  • Westgate Blue Tree- Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa- Orlando, FL
  • Westgate Leisure Resort- Orlando, FL
  • Westgate Palace- Orlando, FL
  • Westgate Towers- Kissimmee, FL
  • Westgate Vacation Villas- Kissimmee, FL.

Haiti Relief Efforts
In response the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010 Westgate Resorts also donated approximately 6000 pounds of amenities prior to their formal participation in the Clean the World program. Clean the World has stepped up its commitment to provide basic necessities to the impoverished people of the island nation, and has included medical supplies, food, water and other essentials as well. Since January 2010 Clean the World has delivered over 150 tons of supplies directly to Haiti.

In 2009 Clean the World distributed over 230 tons of hygiene products to countries worldwide. This year they have distributed to even more countries including: Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, Bahamas, Cook Islands Zimbabwe, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Swaziland, Mali, Mongolia, Honduras, Romania, Uganda, and Lesotho, Africa.


About Clean the World, Inc.
An Orlando-based charitable organization, Clean the World Foundation, Inc. is committed to the prevention of illness and death caused by acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease in countries across the globe. In an effort to prevent these needless deaths from occurring, Clean the World collects discarded soap and shampoo from hotels and other sources to be recycled and distributed along with appropriate educational materials to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries worldwide. In 2009, Clean the World collected, recycled and distributed over 230 tons of soap and other bathroom amenities to impoverished people worldwide. With the donations of these discarded soap and shampoo products, Clean the World is one step closer to reaching their goal of preventing the millions of lives lost each year — and they’re doing it one bar of soap at a time. Clean the World Foundation, Inc is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Drop a Pebble in the Water


This post is from Jeremy Chambers of Clean the World:


Drop a Pebble in the Water
Poet: James W. Foley
Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Recently, a pebble was dropped in the water by Lisa Chambers of Wilmington, NC.  Lisa is a nursing student at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and my sister.  Having been to Haiti on a medical missions trip this past spring, Lisa has developed a deep compassion for the people of Haiti.  When the disaster hit, she asked me how she could help.  We discussed a few different options; a soap drive, financial fund raising, but we finally settled on a bottled water drive.  We realized that water was going to be an absolute necessity for the people of Haiti, second only to medical supplies.

Lisa set out planning, making signs, and recruiting help.  Within a couple days she secured the use of two garages for storage at the Reserves at Forest Hills, a Penske Truck for shipping, and boxes for packaging loose supplies.  She planned a two-day water drive, from 3-10 pm.  Lisa and her roommate Rachel Smith began putting up signs, and had invited over 4000 area people via Facebook, of those, over 650 people confirmed their intent to participate.

The first day Lisa arrived to find cases of water that people had dropped off early.  Throughout the course of the next two days, they collected nearly 800 cases of bottled water, 100 gallons, and countless loose items from food to formula to medical supplies.  They estimate a value of nearly $10,000.00 in goods collected, as well as cash donations to help cover the cost of shipping.

Initially Clean the World had planned for one delivery truck to be driven down by one of our volunteers, with Allegiant Air flying them to Wilmington at no cost.  We however quickly realized this would not be enough; there was simply too much water for one truck.

Enter in Jacqui Leiblein. Lisa takes care of Jacqui’s child.  Jacqui also runs a Culligan water facility in Wilmington.  Jacqui donated two pallets of bottled water from her facility. She also arranged a second truck, drivers, and fuel to transport the supplies to Orlando. Jacqui was so moved by Clean the World’s disaster relief efforts that she spread the word to the International Bottled Water Association.  Suddenly there was a deluge of support for the devastated island nation.

Soon, Clean the World was being contacted by bottling facilities all over the country.  Within a week over 50,000 bottles of water arrived at our Orlando warehouse.  Close to that same number had been redirected straight to Miami to be loaded on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship bound for Haiti.  The water continues to flow in, and we in turn are sending it directly to those in Haiti who desperately need it. 

The amazing part for me is that this outpouring of generosity is all due to Lisa dropping a pebble in the water in Wilmington. This is living proof that one person can make a difference.  While there will always be those who doubt efforts such as these, I know that if we were to ask the people of Haiti “Are Lisa’s efforts are making a difference in your life”, they would respond with a resounding yes!  Lisa’s one simple act, the pebble dropped in the water, has certainly saved the lives of countless people who, without access to clean drinking water, would have surely died.

When you drop a pebble in the water, you never know how far those ripples will reach.