Best Western International Partners with Clean the World

Summary: The World’s Biggest Hotel Family® to encourage recycling of guest room soaps and bottled amenities to stop the spread of preventable diseases among children worldwide

 With a healthy number of hotel properties worldwide, Best Western International has pledged to leverage its respected brand to protect our planet and help improve global health and hygiene.

Best Western International, THE WORLD’S BIGGEST HOTEL FAMILY®, has partnered with Clean the World on an agreement to recycle all guest room soaps, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and lotions to help stop the spread of fatal, yet preventable, diseases in communities around the world.

The Phoenix-based hotel chain has the potential to add more than 2,100 hotel properties in North America to Clean the World’s growing list of more than 1,300 hospitality partners that are participating in amenities recycling. The Best Western properties represent more than 175,000 hotel rooms.

The alliance between Clean the World and Best Western International was facilitated by a mutual partner, Marietta Corporation, which supplies amenities to many Best Western properties. Marietta Corporation has made significant donations of hygiene-related products to Clean the World during the past three years, including soap shipments for Haiti before and after the Jan. 2010 earthquake that devastated much of that island nation.

Best Western and Clean the World also have strong ties with World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization serving children and families in more than 100 countries. World Vision serves as Clean the World’s largest global distribution partner for soaps and hygiene-related items, and acts as Best Western’s official charity partner.

With this agreement Clean the World becomes an “Endorsed Supplier” for Best Western International properties, which should pave the way for large numbers of those properties to adopt the soap recycling program at the local level. The partnership becomes effective April 1.

Each day 9,000 children around the world die from diseases such as acute respiratory illness and diarrheal diseases that can be prevented by washing with bar soap. Clean the World has a mission to put soap in the hands of people who need it most to improve hygiene and sanitation conditions and to lessen the impact of disease and promote better hygiene and living conditions worldwide.

Clean the World is an Orlando-based social enterprise committed to saving lives with soap by collecting, recycling and distributing hotel guest room amenities to children and families in the United States, Canada, and more than 45 countries. Additionally, Clean the World has helped divert more than 1.4 million lbs. of hotel waste from local landfills through its sustainability efforts.

“We were impressed by the mission of Clean the World to save lives with soap and to protect the planet by diverting hotel waste,” says Rich Bennett, vice president of supply and design at Best Western International. “Clean the World’s goals are compatible with our corporate emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility, and we hope our guests will feel better about themselves for choosing to stay at a Best Western property that has the potential to improve health and hygiene habits around the world.”

Clean the World recently achieved a major milestone with the global distribution of more than 10 million soap bars in just three years of operation. Earlier this month Clean the World, through a network of global distribution partners, delivered soaps to Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Kenya in addition to frequent domestic distributions to children and families at homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and missions. The soaps are often packaged as part of sustainable hygiene kits, which include recycled bottled amenities and other hygiene-related items collected from Clean the World hotel partners throughout North America.

“Clean the World was founded with the mission of recycling soap and saving lives,” says Shawn Seipler, CEO and co-founder at Clean the World. “We started in a small Orlando kitchen just three years ago and have grown exponentially to collect, recycle and distribute 10 million soap bars to communities in more than 45 countries. The entire experience has been phenomenal, and we welcome the partnership of Best Western International to spread our sustainability message far and wide.”

ABOUT CLEAN THE WORLD FOUNDATION INC.
Clean the World Foundation Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. The Foundation executes its mission of saving millions of lives around the globe by leading a global hygiene revolution to distribute recycled soap and hygiene products to children and families suffering from high death rates due to the top two killers of children worldwide – acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera). For more information visit:
www.cleantheworld.org. Text CLEAN to 20222 to donate $10 to help Clean the World.

ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL INC. 
Best Western International,Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,100* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 66 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 13 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can redeem at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, racecar driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western in 2011 was named AAA’s and CAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year and bestwestern.com was named the 2011 Compuware Best of the Web Gold award winner. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit 
www.bestwestern.com. 

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Community Soap Drives Deliver Success

Clean the World has experienced a surge in soap donations from schools, churches, civic organizations, and individuals interested in providing better hygiene opportunities for families in the United States and foreign countries.

Marti Mosley, Clean the World’s soap drive coordinator, suggests the spike in donations may reflect a growing awareness of how easy it is to save lives with soap.

“People are often amazed at how simple it is to organize a community soap drive, but when they do get one started, it can be so rewarding,” Mosley says. “Each day we receive phone calls and emails from wonderful people who just want to do something to help, and a soap drive is a tangible way for families and organizations to rally in favor of improved health and hygiene.”

Hospital workers, Boys and Girls Scout troops, college sororities, corporations and women’s ministry groups are just some of the recent contributors of new soaps to Clean the World.

Even hotel workers are getting into the act. Recently, The InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel organized a soap drive among its employees, which resulted in 600 lbs. of soaps being donated to Clean the World.

“What a remarkable soap drive,” Mosley said. “And they weren’t even hotel soaps. These were soaps purchased and donated by employees for the benefit of children and famillies around the world. I think that makes it extra special.”

If you or your organization would like to participate in a community soap drive, please visit the soap drive link on the Clean the World website to learn more about it, and contact Marti Mosley directly at mmosley@cleantheworld.org to get started on your way toward soap drive success.

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Elite Meetings Alliance Helps Clean the World

Clean the World has partnered with Elite Meetings International (EMI) to deliver sustainable and socially responsible programs to meeting planner professionals in the hospitality industry.

The partnership, highlighted through a series of exclusive trade shows that feature influential meeting professionals and marketing leaders, helps deliver innovation, best practices, and greater efficiencies for planners aiming to do business with luxury hotels and resorts.

Clean the World CEO and Co-Founder Shawn Seipler is a featured presenter at the upcoming Elite Meetings Alliance gathering, April 22-24 at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Seipler will lead an educational session for meeting professionals on the topic of “How to Engage Attendees Sustainably, Socially, and Clean the World!” It is not to be missed.


If you plan meetings or events for groups of 25 or more with room nights of $200 or above and would like to join us at the EMA, Elite Meetings has a special offer for friends of Clean the World.
A donation of $50 will be made to Clean the World for each meeting professional who registers online for the EMA event by using the promotion code “Clean.”  Space is limited, so register now to secure your place at this exclusive event.


Elite Meetings Alliance
brings together prequalified corporate and association planners with leaders in the luxury hotel industry to cultivate relationships and conduct business. And any opportunity to recycle soaps and bottled amenities during the process is certainly an added benefit. The EMA will be attended by a host of top meeting and incentive planners, as well as hoteliers representing Elite Certified hotels.

This is Seipler’s second time addressing an EMA audience. In January, at the EMA held at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Seipler shared the compelling story of the genesis of Clean the World’s global hygiene revolution, and how meeting planners can help make it a worldwide success.

Also, by virtue of Elite Meetings International’s participation in Clean the World’s Meeting Planner Recycle Program, 151 lbs. of soap and bottled amenities were collected for Clean the World during that three-day event.

The EMA event offers fantastic networking opportunities for meeting professionals, continuing education classes like the one about Clean the World, and chances to earn Certified Meeting Professional credits.

Other presenters at the EMA event include longtime Clean the World supporter and friend Midori Connolly, CEO of Pulse Staging and Events. Midori is an industry expert on green audio visual (AV) staging for live events, a Platinum Speaker for Meeting Professional International (MPI), and Director on the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) International Board of Directors.

Jonathan Bradshaw, founder and CEO of The Meetology Group and “Reboot Your Brain” columnist for MPI’s One+ magazine, will serve as keynote speaker.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to share our story and give meeting professionals a chance to embrace sustainability and socially responsible programs,” Seipler says. “Clean the World has attracted many meeting professionals to our program, and we’ve learned a lot through our interactions with professionals in this industry. It’s exciting to think of the brainpower and innovation that will be displayed at EMA, and I’m looking forward to learning as I recruit others to join our global hygiene revolution.”

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Hotels Step Up Green Initiatives

It seems we’ve hit on a developing trend with sustainability in the hospitality industry.

A recent article in Travel Weekly focuses on the hospitality industry’s embrace of sustainability, including soap and bottled amenities recycling. Clean the World is mentioned in this story.

The article also highlights several Clean the World hospitality partners, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Las Vegas Sands (The Venetian and The Palazzo), Caesars Entertainment, and Mandarin Oriental.

It’s always nice to be part of a positive trend. Even better to be at the front leading the parade.

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Battling Diarrheal Diseases in India

On a recent trip to her native country, India, Clean the World’s Paramita Das shared the gift of soap.

Having traveled around the globe for a family wedding, Das took time to visit some of the communities in India where soap is considered a great commodity, but is often hard to come by for children and families.

According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization (2009), India tops the list of countries in the total number of annual child deaths from diarrheal diseases, such as cholera and dysentery.

These fatal diseases — the top two killers of children younger than 5 worldwide — may be prevented by as much as 60 percent through regular hand washing with bar soap. Here are the sobering figures from that study:

Top 10 Nations – Diarrheal Deaths (Source: WHO, UNICEF, 2009)
Country – Total Number of Annual Child Deaths
1. India – 386,600
2. Nigeria – 151,700
3. Democratic Republic of the Congo – 89,900
4. Afghanistan – 82,100
5. Ethiopia – 73,700
6. Pakistan – 53,300
7. Bangladesh – 50,800
8. China – 40,000
9. Uganda – 29,300
10. Kenya – 27,400

If you’d like to join our global hygiene revolution, please make an online donation to the Clean the World Foundation. Thanks for helping Clean the World. Soap saves lives.

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Clean Relief for Kentucky Tornado Victims

Clean the World, through the generosity of its hotel partners, recently donated soaps and hygiene supplies to victims of tornadoes that ravaged Kentucky in early March.

A series of tornadoes on March 2 damaged several Kentucky communities, destroying homes, churches, and schools and generally uprooting life for thousands of people throughout region.

After filling out an online donation request form, church leaders at Plum Creek Christian Church in Butler, Ky., put the wheels in motion for rapid and necessary disaster relief. Clean the World packaged and shipped roughly 5,400 bars of soap, 200 tote bags, and 50 “family size” bottles of body wash to help bring comfort to people who lost their homes in the storm. The church has helped set up mobile grocery stores in the area for people in need of food, clothing, and hygiene supplies. The items are available free of charge to tornado victims.

Clean the World’s Bethanne Doud, director of the Meeting Planner Recycle Program, was instrumental in guiding this relief donation to Plum Creek Christian Church. Doud was there to help distribute the hygiene items to people in need.

Jared Perkins, pastor at Plum Creek Christian Church, is administering to the needs of his extended congregation by distributing soaps and bottled amenities as needed to cleanse the body and lift the spirits of families in crisis. Roughly 150 families will receive hygiene relief through this effort.

“We’re grateful for the generosity of Clean the World and its hospitality partners in providing hygiene supplies for the tornado victims in our community,” says Pastor Perkins. “When your world is turned topsy-turvy by a tornado, and you’re unsure of where you’ll go next, the simple basics of a bar of soap, shampoo, and a nice shower can really go a long way toward bringing physical and mental recovery.”

It is not uncommon for Clean the World to contribute hygiene supplies following a natural disaster, at home or abroad. Nearly one year ago, Clean the World helped deliver relief supplies to natural disaster victims a world away in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami.

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“Super Soap” Video Released

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that may be true. But what kind of value can you place on a video of Clean the World’s efforts to save lives with soap?

This is no ordinary video. It’s one produced, narrated, and starring one of our hotel partners who recently experienced a soap distribution trip to Honduras.

You’ve read about Kat Coiner-Collier in our last newsletter, and on our blog, but this story is in her own words. In fact, we liked the video so much, we’ve placed it on our Clean the World home page. But we’ll let you be the judge as to whether or not Kat is passionate about her work and where this video will reside in your heart and mind.

Kat is director of housekeeping at Aloft Charlotte Uptown @ TheEpiCentre in North Carolina, a Starwood Hotel property. But her alter ego is “Super Soap”, a hygiene superhero who wowed the children of Honduras during her visit there with Clean the World.

Watch and share this video. It’s well worth your while. And it gets to the hear of the matter about how you can help Clean the World and change history by saving lives with soap, just like “Super Soap” did.


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Las Vegas ROC Opening Event – Photos

In case you missed it — and we’re not sure how you would — Clean the World formally opened its Las Vegas Recycling Operations Center on Feb. 29 in the presence of many valuable partners and supporters.

Here are the photos from that fun and successful event. We’re expecting big things from our Las Vegas operations, which receives soaps and bottled amenities from all participating properties in the Western and Pacific regions of the United States.

If the grand opening event was any indication, we’re off to a flying start! Thanks, again, to Caesars Foundation and all of our valuable Las Vegas hospitality partners for making this event possible.

Enjoy the photos by photographer Tonya Harvey, and thanks for helping Clean the World.

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Volunteers Offering Community Service

Clean the World recycling operations centers are beehives of volunteer activity for community-minded individuals, corporations, school and church organizations, and scout groups interested in lending a helping hand to our hygiene revolution.

At least three times each week in Orlando and Las Vegas volunteers offer their passion, time and talent to our mission to save lives with soap.

Since its founding Clean the World has welcomed more than 5,000 volunteers to our recycling operations centers. These volunteers provide surface cleaning of soaps, help with the construction of hygiene kits, boxing of soaps and supplies for delivery to other non-profit organizations, and distribution of our soaps and bottled amenities to communities in need. They perform a vital community service and develop tools for community building and social interaction that all lead to better understanding and action in the areas of health and hygiene.

It is not uncommon to see the Clean the World recycling facility teeming with 80-100 volunteers happily scraping soaps and learning more about the importance one bar of soap can have in the lives of children.

The establishment of proper hygiene habits at an early age, reinforced through Clean the World’s Serve and Learn Program in the school system and supported by these frequent volunteer efforts, is invaluable and an integral part of our success in determining social impact.

We offer special thanks to the more than 5,000 volunteers who have dedicated their time and talent to make Clean the World a success in such a short period of time.

If you or a group of business associates, family and friends would like to volunteer at Clean the World in Orlando, please contact Rosanna Kingston at rkingston@cleantheworld.org. People and groups interested in volunteering at the Las Vegas location should contact Kevin Williams at kwilliams@cleantheworld.org.

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Soap Distribution: Honduras

[Editor’s Note: Check out Kat’s video of this “Super Soap” adventure in Honduras. Fun stuff!]

The journey to Honduras began with a lot of soap and ended with a soap superhero and a lot of smiles.

Clean the World hosted a soap distribution trip to Honduras in late February that included the talents and passion of two hotel partners — Kat “Super Soap” Coiner of Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the Epicentre (N.C.), and Deb Martin of Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon Point (Ariz.) — and a college student, Anna Menis of University of Central Florida.

Together with Clean the World’s Rosanna Kingston the women brought joy and thousands of bars of recycled soap to children at schools, children’s homes and orphanages throughout Honduras.

They were helped in this endeavor by the gracious hosts at Soto Cano Air Base just south of Comayagua. U.S. military troops now use the air base as a strategic command in the ongoing war on drugs and for humanitarian aid missions throughout Central America.

But this was not a military effort. It was a soap-centered mission to advance Clean the World’s global hygiene revolution.

“We wanted our hotel partners to experience first hand the joy of giving soap to children,” Kingston says. “By participating in this soap distribution trip, our partners were able to connect the dots on the lifesaving journey each bar of soap takes from hotel room to Clean the World and toward a healthier, cleaner life.”

The trip was the first of several soap distribution trips in which Clean the World has invited hotel partners to participate. Two future trips are planned for Guatemala in late March and April.

Clean the World sent more than 10,000 bars of soap into Honduras in advance of the trip. The soaps were included in hygiene kits and school backpacks, which were distributed among a series of locations where children struggle for access to proper hygiene supplies and sanitation.

Coiner became a surprise star of the trip. She donned a purple cape and transformed herself into “Super Soap”, a Spanish-speaking hygiene superhero who sang songs and led interactive efforts to teach proper handwashing with the children at each stop along the way.

“She creative a handwashing song to the tune of ‘La Bamba’ that the children really enjoyed,” Kingston says. “It was really a lot of fun, and it was very well-received by all of the children.”

Kingston details an impressive list of distributions during the short, but efficient, Honduran hygiene adventure:

– 10,000 soap bars were included in string bags along with school notebooks, reusable PeopleTowels, and pencil cases filled with basic school supplies.

– CASAYUDA School and Orphanage, which serves 84 children with special needs (blind, deaf, Down syndrome), received 840 bars of soap and hygiene supplies along with an entertaining exercise about proper handwashing

– Hogar de Niños Jesús de Nazareth orphanage also received 840 bars of soap and bottled amenities (shampoos, body washes, and lotions)

– Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Children’s Home, serving 128 children and single mothers, received 1,280 bars of soap and bottled amenities

– Another Hogar de Niños Jesús de Nazareth orphanage, this one serving 75 boys, some of them with physical disabilities, was on the receiving end of 750 bars of soap and bottled amenities

– Roughly 20 teens at Hogar de San Jose orphanage received 840 bars of soaps and hygiene supplies

– San Antonio Orphanage received 800 bars of soap for 80 boys from K-6 grade

– A one-room classroom known as Escuela Proheco received 270 bars of soap in return for many smiles and lots of laughter throughout the hygiene presentation. Kingston says the children especially enjoyed smelling the soaps.

– Children at Hogar Ninos Tierra Santa, located in the small village of Villa de San Antonio in central Honduras, received 310 bars of soap and lots of hugs.

Time did not allow for all soaps to be distrbuted during this adventure, but they will not go to waste. The remaining hygiene kits and health-related items, including up to 4,500 soap bars, will be distributed by U.S. military medical brigades traveling to Belize and Nicaragua in the next few weeks.

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