COOL STUFF - Who Gives A Crap
I poorly missed the opportunity to write this post on November 19th, which has been declared since 2013 World Toilet Day. While the concept might sound funny or weird, it makes total sense when one realizes that more than 2,4 billion people in the world do not have access to proper sanitation services such as toilets and latrines. Even worse, more than 1,8 billion people use water which is contaminated with fecal matters as drinking source, leading to the spread of epidemics.
The United Nations also estimated that "each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrhoeal diseases". As part of the Sustainable Development Goal nr. 6 "Ensure access to water and sanitation for all", providing access to proper sanitation services along with safe and affordable drinking water sources and facilities by 2030 is the way set by the UN towards global water-related change.
Then, one day, a friend of mine "liked" a page on Facebook that made me smile and think on my toilet seat: Who Gives A Crap "sells toilet paper that builds toilet". After contacting the team based in Australia, here are some information they kindly shared with me regarding their work:
Who Gives A Crap was founded in Melbourne in 2012 by Simon Griffiths, Danny Alexander and Jehan Ratnatunga, after they learnt 2.5 billion people in the world don’t have access to a toilet. Who Gives A Crap launched in July 2012 with a crowdfunding campaign. Simon sat on a toilet in our draughty warehouse and refused to get up until we had raised enough preorders to start production. 50 hours and one cold and sore bum later, we'd raised over $50,000 (see the video here). We delivered our first product in March 2013 and we’ve been on a roll ever since.
We make forest friendly toilet paper, tissues and paper towels. As a business, we donate 50% of profits to our charity partners so they can continue doing the amazing and vital work of building toilets and improving sanitation in developing countries.
To date, Who Gives A Crap has donated a total of $1,175,000 to our charity partners. WaterAid and Sanergy are two of our partners, and both have deep experience and skill in implementing high impact sanitation projects throughout the developing world. The more innovative solutions we have, the quicker we’ll put an end to the billions of people without access to a loo.
It’s also super important to note, our products are not just good for people, but they’re good for the environment too. There are no inks, dyes or scents in our products and we’re tree free. You might not think that means much, but with over 98% of toilet rolls sold in Australia (and closer to 99% in the US) are made from virgin fibres (non recycled and typically from trees) this is a big deal.
By making our toilet paper the way we do, we’ve saved: ● 67,840 trees ● 135,584,299 litres of water (that’s the equivalent of 54 Olympic sized swimming pools) ● 10,802 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions avoided
This is what I love calling "thinking outside the box". From a kickstarter project, you create a relevant organization that not only makes entirely sense as a business model, but also supports a great cause. It allows to re-think primary biological needs into something a lot bigger (toilet joke, boom) and thus beyond your own bathroom. On Facebook you'll also find nice fun ways to re-use your paper rolls along with their latest updates. And good news, you can order your rolls throughout Europe.
All pic from Who Gives A Crap - the organization has kindly allowed me to use them for this post.