Ever wonder what happens to all of those fancy unused and partially used amenities that hotels place in guest bathrooms? That is, if they didn’t manage to sneak out in your luggage at check-out?

In many instances, however, these amenities are being donated to facilitate the critical need of hygiene throughout the world, and the meetings industry is playing a big part by spreading the word and enlisting attendees and staffers in the effort via Clean the World, an Orlando- and Las Vegas-based CSR company that collects, processes and distributes the amenities.

“We’re throwing away a million bars of soap every day, and 9,000 children die per day form pneumonia and diarrheal diseases, so if you just introduce soap you’ll cut that number in half,” said Debi Kinney, vice president of business development for Clean the World, citing statistics from 2009. “Fast forward to today and we’ve cut that death rate by 35 percent.”

Clean the World was launched in Orlando—where it has a processing center—in 2009 by Shawn Seipler, who is the CEO. Kinney, who worked for Harrah’s Entertainment (now Ceasars Entertainment) in 2007, met Seipler at a Harrah’s Diamonds Are Forever meeting planner fam in 2009 where she was speaking on sustainability and called him a couple months later. The relationship between Seipler, Kinney and Caesars proved to be very fortuitous, as Caesars funded an investment to bring Clean the World west via setting up a processing facility in Las Vegas. In a city with more than 125,000 hotel rooms, the idea just made perfect sense.

“Caesars is how I found Clean the World, and Caesars is where I started my career, and Caesars is responsible for Bringing Clean the World west, so there’s a lot of synergies there,” Kinney said.

Meeting planners can join the effort by including a hygiene kit assembly area at their meetings as part of their CSR component. 

“To date we’ve distributed over 41 million bars of soap to 118 countries and done about 1.3 million hygiene kits,” Kinney said. “We have over 4,500 hotel partners around the globe, which means we recycle about a million hotel rooms every single day.”

Kinney said a Clean the World CSR program, which starts at $400 and is based on the total number of room nights booked at a meeting, is one of those rare programs that fosters both social and environmental benefits. Sponsoring hygiene kits start at $4 per kit and go up to $7.25 a kit, depending on kit type, quantity and location of the build.  

Paying it Forward

Here are some organizations making a difference:

Wyndham Hotel Group partnered with Save the Children, a nonprofit organization that aids vulnerable youth throughout the word, for a “You-Stay-We-Give” program that donates $5 to the charity from every qualifying night booked at one of Wyndham’s managed hotels in North America. To qualify, rooms must be booked by March 31, 2018, and the stay must be completed by the end of 2018. For more information and to view participating hotels, visit www.wyndhamhotels.com/save-the-children.

Benchmark Hospitality, based in the Houston area, says it is 75 percent of the way toward its goal of donating $100,000 toward relieve for victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Benchmark is collecting donations from its employees and donating them to Hand in Hand USA. To find out more about this charity, visit http://handinhandusa.org/hurricane-relief.