How Your Hotel Shower Can Help Change The World: The Global Soap Project

Global Soap Project Green Hotels Philanthropy Recycling NGO Hilton, W Hotel, Intercontinental, Hyatt, Wyndam, Doubletree, Marriot
You’re probably not really thinking about that half used bar of soap you left in the shower of your hotel. Totally cool. It’s a throw away object (to the tune of 2.6 million bars per day in the US). But, as it turns out, it’s one that thousands of hotels have been turning into a way to stave disease and death in places where even the most budget hotel might begin to look like a palace.

Here’s what’s been going on—a NGO called the Global Soap Project has organized to collect the remnants of your hotel soap, melt them down, disinfect them and ship them off to impoverished refugee camps, areas destroyed by natural disasters and places that are teaming with indigent populations. So far they’ve helped in 28 places like Haiti, Congo, Uganda, Afghanistan, Bangladesh (check the full list here).

So it’s just soap, right? What’s the big deal? Staying alive actually. The simple act of washing hands can cut childhood morbidity rates in these destitute areas almost in half.

Thousands of hotels in the US participate, from the big guys at the Intercontinental, W Hotel, Marriot, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Doubletree, Sheraton, Hyatt to smaller local hotels participate (the full list can be found here). And a big congrats to the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill County who, last week clocked in as 2012’s #1 donor — 9,223 pounds worth of soap.

Individuals can get on board by emailing hotels to request they participate, sending financial donations or, if you happen to be in the Atlanta area, volunteering time at the soap recycling center.

Food & Drink

So You Think Your Drinking Water is Clean? Think Again

Microplastics, Chromium-6, lead, bacteria, parasites... mmm refreshing.

How to Choose The Best Carry-On Luggage For Your Travel Style

Carry-on luggage is getting lighter, better, stronger — even smarter. Which suitcase is right for you?

Kickstarter, a Team of Designers, and a Determined Owner Brought the Jennings Hotel Back to Life

The Jennings Hotel is the hotel that isn’t. It doesn’t offer food service. It doesn’t have a lobby. It doesn’t have televisions. And not all of the rooms have private bathrooms.

A List of Essentials to Create Your Own Car Emergency Kit

Having a few essentials in the car can help save your life — or someone else's — if you run into trouble on remote roads.

‘App in the Air’ Could Help Travelers Survive the Next Government Shutdown

It's like an airport survival kit in your pocket. It will be handy long after the government shutdown ends (again).

The Palms Casino’s Newest High-Roller Suites Have a Bowling Alley and Whiskey Room

The Hardwood Suite is a basketball-centric masterpiece, while the Kingpin suite is a bowling bro's paradise.

10 Reasons to Visit Norway in 2019

The picturesque ruggedness of Norway is just part of the appeal of what may arguably be one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.

Celebrate Your Single-ness This Valentine’s Day with a Cheap Vacation

Contiki is looking to make solo celebrations even better with deeply discounted travel packages for Singles Awareness Day.

Win a Private Island Getaway for You and 7 of Your Closest Friends

Bring the entire squad on an ultra-luxe Belizean getaway worthy of a one-percenter.

The Jamaican Villa Where Ian Fleming Created James Bond is for Rent and It Is Amazing

You can vacation at the birthplace of secret agent 007, complete with butlers to make your martinis.

PlugVan Converts Most Vans Into Full-Fledged Campers in 5 Minutes

Your van can be backcountry-ready for the weekend and back to work Monday morning.

Enjoy a Different Kind of Island Life at this Private Scottish Escape

Eilean Shona is a self-described, lakefront “Neverland” where visitors are encouraged to appreciate the lost art of sitting still and doing nothing.

Travel Switzerland Like a Gentleman Aboard the Luxury Glacier Express

You can sip cognac like a sophisticate aboard Europe's most iconic and breathtaking rail journey.

You Can ‘Find Yourself’ on these Ultra-Luxurious, Wellness-Inspired Tours

It's so much easier to "find yourself" amid Egyptian cotton sheets and daily spa treatments.