It always breaks my heart to leave behind soap and other bathroom amenities that I used only a couple of times, knowing they will be thrown out by housekeeping. I’ve been wishing for years somebody could figure out a way to recycle them. Somebody has.
Non-profit foundation Clean the World has developed a proprietary process to sterilize and repackage unused hygiene products and get them to poor people around the world who cannot afford to buy soap and shampoo. Simply, Clean the World takes unused bathroom amenities from hotels and cruise ship companies and saves lives with them. Of course, it’s more complicated than that.
Each year, millions of people — many of them children — die from communicable illnesses that could be prevented with proper hygiene, which can be as basic as hand washing. So this soap recycling program does several things at once — it saves lives and it saves hundreds of tons of unused soap from piling up at the landfill.
The newest eco-friendly travel company to partner with Clean the World is the luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises. On cruises calling in U.S. ports, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are donating all partially used hygiene products.
Clean the World provides recycled soap to more than a dozen charities best described as ‘boots on the ground’. They include World Vision and Floating Doctors. In 2009, Clean the World distributed more than 230 tons of hygiene products to countries worldwide including Haiti, Mexico, Romania and other countries in Asia and Africa.
A great big green hug to Crystal Cruises for this latest environmental effort. Crystal is one of the few cruise ship companies to achieve certification for ISO 14001, which is awarded only to companies that meet comprehensive and stringent criteria. Most recently, Crystal Serenity was awarded the Venice Blue Flag environmental award and Crystal Symphony was recognized with Stockholm’s Environmental Buoy Diploma for their earth-friendly practices.
It’s always my choice to travel with companies that are eco-friendly. Crystal is that — and more.