A Clean World

What’s making us happy today?

Soap with a purpose.
Yes, soap has a very good purpose. But what about the soap left behind in hotel rooms? Does it end up in landfill? Not always. Some bars are about to start a second life sudsing up the world.

Their journey is long but straightforward: housekeeping places the soaps in a designated bin; the bin is picked up by UPS; UPS (carbon-neutral shipments) delivers it to Clean the World distribution facility. Then, the bars are surface-cleaned, sterilized, ground, re-pressed, boxed, packed in pallets, and shipped to countries that lack hygienic products that can help prevent illnesses. In the past five years, the nonprofit has distributed 22 million bars of soap to children and families in 96 countries. Clean the World also bottles up shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. Go on, soap up. It’s for the good of the world.

For those who took a shower this year, and left the bar behind, thank you. The number next to each hotel signifies how many soap bars were made from the recycled bits, and distributed overseas (year to date):

Hotel Kabuki: 1,157
Ventana Inn: 763
The Laurel Inn: 346


A mud bath with payoff. A short drive from downtown Honolulu is a primeval landscape in Manoa Valley. Enter this lush world on a 45-minute hike, each way, on the Manoa Falls Trail. Near the trailhead is the banyan tree from which Jack saved Charlie in the first season of Lost.

Along the way to the falls are ferns, bamboo trees, and the playful shama thrush (this bird loves to tag along). If you think this backdrop is very Jurassic Park, you’re spot on; some of the 1993 movie was filmed in this jungle. Be warned, this trail is the farthest thing from flip-flop friendly. This is a rainforest. Read, M-U-D. Loads of it, in fact, in one of the wettest places on O’ahu. But worth it for a look at the 150-foot cascading falls.


Photo (Manoa Falls) by Coty Gonzales at Exploration: Hawaii