Every time I stay at a bed and breakfast and leave one of those beautiful soaps, shampoos or lotions behind after partial use, I wonder what will become of them. I know they can’t be used again, but it has always been my hope that they might be recycled and put to good use.
Good news! There are a number of B&Bs that agree and are putting their leftover soaps and shampoos to good use to help those less fortunate. I’ve just learned from the Heritage House B&B in Little Washington, VA, they are working with Clean the World, a new non-profit foundation, to recycle shampoos and soaps for use in impoverished countries. According to Michelle Schwartz, innkeeper and co-owner of Heritage House B&B, Clean the World, located in Orlando, Florida, collects the donated soaps, which are then processed by the Central Care Mission, a men’s long-term residential center in Orlando. At their factory, volunteers clean and sterilize the soap using a unique steaming process. The soap is then packaged for distribution. Recently, Clean the World delivered its first load of 2000 pounds of soap to the village of Cap Hatien in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Clean the World works with everyone from large hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott to small B&Bs like Heritage House (the first Virginia B&B to become involved).
The Historic Inns of Kennebunkport, a group of Kennebunkport’s premier inns, has been working with missionaries in Haiti for some time to deliver not only unused soaps, shampoos and lotions but also gently used sheets and towels to impoverished Haitian communities for a few years.
Additionally, Berry Manor Inn and other members of the Historic Inns of Rockland make regular deliveries of gently used towels and sheets to women’s shelters who welcome the high thread count linens. Recycling is just one of the many eco-activities that innkeepers throughout the United States are persuing to support sustainable tourism. I’m so happy to hear about Clean the World’s mission. Next time, I won’t mind leaving behind that shampoo I’ve used once, knowing it may go to help others in need. Help me spread the word!
Read more about eco-friendly inns in BedandBreakfast.com's press room.