Monday, 26 September 2011 09:56
Soaping Up and Saving Lives Goes Hand in HandWritten by Linda Kelly
Each year more than 5 million people, mainly children, die in impoverished areas of the world due to respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases. These diseases kill more people in a year than HIV and malaria combined. The majority of these illnesses are caused by the lack of proper hygiene and clean water. Studies have shown that hand washing with soap can reduce nearly half of these infections that ultimately lead to death. Prevention is the key. Simply put, a bar of soap can save a life. And now Hand in Hand Soap helps save lives with its "buy a bar, give a bar" donation program. For millions of people all over the world, a single bar of soap is unobtainable. This drastically increases their risk of fatal illness that could have easily been prevented. Hand in Hand Soap was conceived in 2011 by two social entrepreneurs who believe that business can do so much more than just make money. Understanding the difficulty that most non-profits face trying to obtain funding, Courtney and Bill set out to start a business based on sustainable giving. By directly tying charitable donations to the sale of an everyday product, Hand in Hand is able to give soap to those in need and save lives without depending on a single donation. For every bar purchased, Hand in Hand will donate the same bar to save a life. "The goal was to come up with a household product people use every day; that had the power to save lives. After 3 years of brainstorming, we came across an article reporting that each year over 5 million people die of diseases caused by poor water quality and lack of proper hygiene. After further research, we discovered that half of those deaths could be prevented with just a single bar of soap. It was at that moment that Hand in Hand was conceived" explained Courtney. All Hand in Hand soap is shipped using eco-friendly packaging, and a portion of all proceeds is used to save 50 square feet of rainforest for every bar sold. And, after each order is placed, Hand in Hand Soap will purchase the corresponding carbon offsets so that each shipment becomes carbon neutral. Carbon offsetting is a way to counterbalance or compensate for the greenhouse gases produced during shipment. Hand in Hand Soap helps reduce the carbon footprint by supporting projects which remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through Carbonfund.org. While the primary mission of Hand in Hand is saving lives, they immediately realized the environmental responsibility that goes along with creating and selling soap. "Understanding our environmental impact, we set out from day one to create a soap that was as eco-friendly as possible. We wanted to be proud of our soap and develop a product that was made with sustainable resources, and harvested ethically," Bill said. As such, Hand in Hand Soap is 100% vegetable based, vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free, petrochemical-free, biodegradable, palm-free & cruelty-free, and it is certified by both the Natural Products Association and Fair Trade USA. "To have a product that is truly eco-friendly means more than just having natural ingredients. We have found that many natural soaps use ingredients that ultimately come from intentionally cleared rainforests, which was something that we wanted no part in. Every ingredient in our soap is not only natural, but it is harvested and grown in an environmentally friendly way," explained Bill. So help save lives and start soaping up with sustainable suds™ from Hand in Hand.
Published in carbonfree blog