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.

5 Natural Home Remedies for Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea Cures

While diarrhoea is a serious problem in developing countries, it is also experienced by those living in developed countries be it through the accidental consumption of contaminated water or food, or just an unfortunate bout of the stomach flu.  Although in the developed world, it is nowhere as deadly as dysentery and cholera, having diarrhoea isn’t the best feeling in the world.  Here we’ve gathered 10 natural home remedies for diarrhoea:

  • Warm water:  It’s important to keep hydrated because diarrhoea can cause a person to become quite severely dehydrated.  Hot or cold water tends to irritate the stomach, so reach for a glass of lukewarm water instead.
  • Starchy foods:  Try eating some starchy foods that are gentle on your stomach such as bananas, rice or potatoes.  Rice water is a time-tested favourite traditional folk cure for diarrhoea in many parts of Asia.  Alternatively, 2 spoonfuls of flour in water with a pinch of salt also works.
  • Blueberry Yogurt:  Go for some blueberry yogurt with live cultures.  Swedish doctors have long prescribed blueberries as a remedy to diarrhoea, and yogurt can help to restore the balance in your digestive tract.
  • Clear Soups:  Have some chicken broth or miso soup.  The water content will keep you hydrated and the salt content will replace lost electrolytes.
  • Lemons:  Lemons seem to be a rather popular remedy around the world.  Some remedy suggestions include adding lemon juice to a glass of water with baking soda and drinking it down, as well as adding it to a cup of strong black tea or diluting some lemon juice with some warm water.

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!

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.