Sustainable Business Practices: The Global Soap Project

Global Soap project photo

By Jocelyn Criswell

Have you ever wondered what happens to the soap you leave behind at hotels? Maybe, maybe not? That’s why there’s the Global Soap Project.

It’s not like you have ever experienced a soap shortage, or even thought about what life would be like without soap. Some people don’t even have to think about life without soap, because they already know. Soap is a luxury that doesn’t come easily to many who live in vulnerable populations. Some people have never even held a bar of soap. Why does this even matter? Two words: global health. Try to imagine what it would be like never being able to wash your hands of the bacteria they gather. It is a very underrated and unknown problem to many who lack access to cleaning products around the world. Diseases that could be prevented by the use of soap are the leading causes of the deaths of about 2.4 million children every year. I believe you are probably beginning to realize the value of soap and why it matters.

Who would’ve thought that a product we use so liberally and discard so easily could save lives? The Global Soap Project, that’s who. Did you know there are around 4.7 million hotel rooms in the United States? Collectively, those hotel rooms throw away about 2.6 million bars of partially used soap per day. The Global Soap Project aims to transform this waste into usable soap for those in need, while also reducing the amount of discarded soap going into landfills.

There are more than 1,100 hotels throughout America that are participating in the Global Soap Project. Kiawah Island Golf Resort is an active participant in this project, with our Sustainability Coordinator Brogin Van Skoik leading the Resort in this mission.

Thanks to the hard work of the Sanctuary and Villa Housekeeping staff, we just shipped off another 500 pounds of soap. GSP takes the old soap collected by our Housekeeping staff and breaks it down to turn it into fresh new soap. Sounds unsanitary? Hardly. The purpose of soap as an antibacterial agent is to kill any and all germs, which means bacteria cannot grow on soap. On top of that, the process used by GSP includes sorting, cleaning and processing the soap to ensure the safety of each product. Once GSP has finished the process, the soap is sent to third world countries and people in need.

The gift of soap may seem minuscule but it actually saves lives. Hand washing is the most effective way to cut down on disease and illnesses in children. We are happy to be a part of the Global Soap Project and continue to support their efforts.