Give Hope with Soap

Fr Eddie O’Connor, SMA House Leader of our Blackrock Road residence, is a great friend of the SMA Communications Office. It is common to arrive in the morning to find links to articles he has come across and which he thinks our wider community might find of interest.

One such email was in the inbox this week, with a link to an article in the Irish Independent about all those small bars of soap and shampoo containers we partially use in various hotels and B&Bs around the world.

Hotel clients might use them once and leave behind an entire bar of soap, but for the rubbing of the first use. Some hotels insist on changing the bars after each use, even if being used by the same clients who are staying more than one night.

But then what happens?

Well, look at the figures below and you will see how the world’s most privileged people – those who can afford to stay in hotels and those who manage them – are damaging the environment through unnecessary waste and neglect:

2 million – amount of partially used bars of soap thrown away every day in the US

1.8 billion – number of people globally who don’t have access to adequate sanitation

35 per cent – of developing world that has nowhere for healthcare professionals or hospital patients to wash their hands

Lack of sanitation is a killer

But all is not lost. Sir Issac Newton’s famous law: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, might just be finding equilibrium as conscientious human beings begin to awaken to the urgent need to stop lavish and unnecessary habits of waste and the damage we do, through our actions and omissions, to the environment.

The article sent by Fr. Eddie tells the story of one man in the USA who, following a eureka moment, and a hasty calculation done on the back of a cigarette box, has started what is set to become a worldwide movement. Shawn Seipler is the man and he is on a mission to clean up the environment and to make the wasted soap and toiletries available to the poor. His organisation, Clean the World, is spearheading the way. Here are some figures that show how his movement is trying to rectify the situation:

40 million – bars of soap distributed by Clean the World to date

14 million – lbs of waste diverted from landfill by Clean the World

115 – countries that Clean the World operates in

This is a fascinating article and we encourage you to read it by clicking here.

You can learn more about Shawn Seipler’s movement by clicking here.