Talking Crap. (Seriously)

I admit it.

Until recently, the only time I really thought about access to adequate sanitation was when faced with the daunting prospect of using portaloos at music festivals.

But a few months back, I found out something that truly shocked me. As Avis Mulhall, founder of Looloo Paper puts it; “Over 1.5 million children die each year from diarrhoea related diseases – that’s more than AIDS, measles and malaria……COMBINED. But here’s the thing, a whopping 94% of each and every case of diarrhoea related disease is completely avoidable. These diseases, these deaths, are avoidable. When you find out statistics like that, you know you need to act.”

Some of you may have made it to the word ‘diarrhoea’ before squirming. That’s because sanitation – crap, poo, shit – whatever you want to call it, remains one of the most damaging taboo topics in our world. But seriously… how can you fix a problem you don’t even want to talk about?

It may seem like this particular problem is a million miles away. So why should we care about this, you may ask?

In the words of our friend Mr. Toilet (Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organisation), disease doesn’t discriminate; “If a rich man is staying next to a poor man, the flies don’t know a rich man from a poor man so the rich man is probably eating the shit of the poor man. You better help them get toilets or you will eat their shit.” So, even if you think this isn’t your problem: it is.

As Australia’s aid budget is increasingly being flushed down the drain, it’s not the time to turn our backs on the 2.5 billion people in the world who do not have access to basic sanitation, a huge obstacle to the development of these communities. It’s time to look at other alternatives.

‘Social enterprise’ is the latest buzz term in development circles and indeed in the business sector. Social enterprises operate in a bit of a grey area between for-profits and not-for-profits. Some call them for-benefit organisations. One particular type of social enterprise sells products and then uses their profits to tackle a particular social issue. This type of enterprise is growing in popularity as they provide a more stable, sustainable and predictable income than the traditional charity fund-raising model.

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Looloo Paper is a one such Sydney based social enterprise. Looloo sells toilet paper and uses its profits to improve sanitation conditions in the developing world. Their profits support Sanishop in Cambodia. Sanishop is not just another NGO; it’s a social business too. Sanishop’s aim is to create new markets for the poor with the idea of empowering local communities to help themselves, instead of becoming dependent on aid. Looloo’s profits are invested in Sanishop who in turn train entrepreneurs to build and sell toilets at an affordable price to their local communities. Access to toilets is the single most effective way of fighting disease – but not only this, Sanishop’s model provides valuable jobs, which helps break the cycle of poverty in these communities.

Looloo Paper was founded by Irish born entrepreneur Avis Mulhall, who has spoken at UTS and BUiLD events, she also has a number of us UTS students working with her, including Visual Communication student Roslyn Coutinho: “At uni, you get sick of doing nothing, not achieving anything in ‘the real world’. Being in this environment, working with Avis’ team, she actually makes change in the world and gets stuff done. It’s a really valuable opportunity to be a part of that while you’re at uni.”

Looloo Paper is currently at a critical point in its development. We have projects ready to support and clients ready to service. The one thing we need is funding to make take this concept to reality.

But in order to launch, the team at Looloo needs your help.
You can help by pledging to support our upcoming crowdfunding campaign – and score yourself a ticket to our launch party!

Or, if this article was enough for you to really fall in love with Looloo, why not join our team and become an Ambassador today?
You too can help change the world…..with toilet paper!

By Jacinta Astles for the University of Technology’s (UTS) student magazine Vertigo.

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OzHarvest at Martin Place

It’s not everyday that you get a free hot lunch.

But yesterday wasn’t everyday; 5000 members of the public were invited to have a free hot lunch in Sydney’s Martin Place in an event by OzHarvest aptly named ‘Feeding the 5000’.  All the food was made from fresh rescued ingredients which would have likely been wasted as landfill just because they were cosmetically imperfect.  The event aimed to highlight how easy it is to reduce the unimaginable level of food wastage both in Australia and internationally, as well as how anyone can help.  It also showed just how people could be fed with the amount of food that would otherwise have been wasted.

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Founded by Ronni Kahn, OzHarvest is a food rescue charity that believes good food should not go to waste.  And why should it, when we consider how much resources are dedicated to produce a kilogram of food?  According to OzHarvest, for every kilogram of food rescued, it is estimated that 2kg of greenhouse gases are avoided and a further 143 litres of water are not consumed.  Astonishing!

OzHarvest is also the only food rescue charity of its kind in Australia, collecting perishable foods and delivering them to those in need of them on a daily basis at no cost.  All of this is of course made possible by a very dedicated and passionate team of volunteers behind OzHarvest.

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The event being just round the corner from Looloo HQ, we decided to go check out the event as a team.  It was certainly food for the stomach and for the soul; it’s very hard to imagine that all of this delicious food we were eating, courtesy of some of the top chefs in Sydney who had volunteered for the event, could have just been thrown away without a second thought.

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If this event has roused your curiosity, you might also like to check out this awesome TED talk by Tristram Stuart.  It might just give you more food for thought!

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P.S.  Psst… Stay tuned to our facebook page for a very special announcement for our upcoming event!

The Butterfly Effect of a Single Roll

In The Sound of Thunder, the demise of a single butterfly in prehistoric times led to subtle but significant changes in the course of human history.  Can something so small and seemingly inconsequential really make such a big and everlasting impact?

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Yes.

When you subscribe to Looloo Paper, the proceeds we receive go straight into investing in NGO’s fight against diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries, and the improvement of sanitation conditions.

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Did you know that for every $1 invested in water, hygiene and sanitation, $8 is returned in increased productivity? Preventing water-related diseases also means preventing the 433 million school days worldwide that will otherwise be lost.

Talk about getting your money’s worth… so let’s feel good and do good today.

Hell yes!

There’s Proof: Doing Good, Feels Good.

The human brain.

 

Did you know that when you do good, you feel good?

It’s true!

The Washington Post reported that in a 2006 study by neuroscientists at the US National Institutes of Health, it was found that unselfishness and generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex.  So it would seem that feeling good about doing good is naturally hard-wired in our brains!

What’s your good deed for the day?

Team Looloo has made it so that it could be as simple as switching your toilet paper to Looloo Paper.  Our toilet paper helps the environment and the developing world!  Do good, feel good.  Everyday.

Sounds good?  Hook me up!

Let’s Talk Crap!

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Let’s talk crap.

Diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid are deadly, killing an estimated two million people each year.  The majority are children under the age of 5, and approximately 94% of all diarrhoeal disease occurrences are preventable, through WASH program intervention.

These diseases are mainly faecal-orally transmitted, through the consumption of contaminated food and water.   And while huge progress has been made to ensure clean water supply for communities in developing countries, sanitation issues are just as important and perhaps more difficult to address.  Changing behaviours such as open defecation help to break a vicious cycle of poverty, violence and disease.

We need to talk crap.

Sanitation is often overshadowed by water campaigns, despite being a critical issue.  Maybe as humans, it’s regarded as a sort of taboo, driven by our natural disgust and aversion towards anything and everything regarding poo?  Still, the statistics don’t lie.  We need to talk crap.  We need to talk sanitation.

Let’s do crap!

Change can begin with awareness and then furthered by taking action.  And it can all be as simple as making a simple switch from choosing regular toilet paper to Looloo Paper – all of our proceeds go straight into investing in better sanitation in developing countries.

Yes, you can wipe out disease with every roll!

Holy crap!  Sign me up now.

It’s just toilet paper… or is it?

Are you wondering if the humble little toilet roll could actually pave the way for great changes in the world? Could it really save lives? More than that, could it really improve the quality of life in developing countries?

Wonder no more, because the short answer is yes.

But well, if you’re a skeptic or you just love the nitty gritty like we do, read on!

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So the next time you run out of toilet paper, why not switch to a toilet paper that actually makes a difference and save some lives today?

Toss me more toilet paper!

P.S. Did we mention we’ll deliver your toilet paper right to your door? That’s right! Never run out again. Eat spicy tacos with complete peace of mind.  Dreams do come true.