19 June 2017

Doing better on toilet paper

Time to talk toilets. Or more precisely, toilet paper.

We recently converted from using off-the-shelf recycled/ unbleached/ plantation-grown etc toilet paper to ordering from an Aussie business combining environmental sustainability, toilet paper and support for great poverty-reducing aid projects, the cleverly-name 'Who Gives a Crap'.

In addition to being made of either recycled paper, sugarcane or bamboo fibres, and being produced with less water use than most toilet paper, WGAC donates half their profits to build toilets for people don't have access to toilets. Which is 40% of the world's population.

Initial Time: fifteen minutes getting online and placing an order. 

Initial Cost: $48 for a box of 48 'double length' rolls. Orders over $30 are delivered free, and arrived very promptly. Due to a *slight* miscommunication between Tyson and I about who was ordering the toilet paper, we started with 96 rolls. But as you can see, 96 rolls of toilet paper are good for many things besides wiping bums.

Ongoing time or cost commitment: As above, repeat. 

Impact: Five years ago I wrote that Australians use 1.3 billion sheets of toilet paper a day (57 sheets per person), of which 95% was not recycled. I haven't found anything to say this has changed significantly. So the first impact is to continue ensuring we are reducing our consumption impact as much as possible on the toilet paper front.

But the more important reason for supporting WGAC is so that our consumption also contributes to improving health, life expectancy, education, women's safety and quality of life for people less fortunate than us. 

Waterborne disease is a major killer world-wide, especially of children. Every two minutes, a child dies of disease caused by not having access to clean water; every minute a newborn baby dies of infection caused by lack of clean water. Worldwide, 2.3 billion people do not have access to a toilet, and many of these defecate outside, polluting water sources used by the whole community. Women going to the toilet outside are subject to harassment. Children (especially girls) without adequate toilets are more likely to drop out of school - and 34% of the world's schools do not have adequate toilets. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly half the population cannot obtain clean water, 42% of health care facilities also do not have access to clean water; in South-East Asia, a similar percentage of health facilities do not have adequate toilets. (Stats source)

WGAC claims to have donated $478,500 to sanitation projects since they launched in 2012, along with saving 30,797 trees, 74 million litres of water and 5,922 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That's something I am glad to be part of.


https://au.whogivesacrap.org/  - Who Gives A Crap main page, inc online shop and plenty of info on the product, and the way money is used to support the poor. 

http://www.wateraid.org/au - Water Aid, the main agency WGAC supports - their website also has heaps of information and links about the global sanitation crisis.

http://washwatch.org/en/ - updates on improvements in world sanitation and water access, with funky graphics

Note: We are not personally associated in any way with this company and have not been given any incentives to promote them.