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.

Team Looloo at AMPLIFY

Earlier this month, Team Looloo was at AMPLIFY festival to talk to the masses more about the importance of sanitation issues and how Looloo Paper could help everyday consumers make a simple but big impact just by switching their usual toilet paper to a Looloo roll.  In this very special (and much anticipated with baited breath no doubt!) blog entry, our Social Media intern Winnie talks to our Ambassador Programme intern Linda about her experience at AMPLIFY festival and running around in Mario plumber costumes.

W: Hi Linda, could you tell us what the AMPLIFY festival was about?

L: In AMPLIFY’s own words, “Amplify Festival 2013 actsas a petri dish for exploring: business innovation, skills, culture, leadership, disruptive technologies and marketplace trends.”  It’s basically a huge interactive showcase between businesses and attendees.

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W: And what was AMPLIFY like for Team Looloo?

L: When I think about AMPLIFY, I remember being very far out of my comfort zone.  It was definitely a great learning experience for all of us – learning to ‘sell’ your product to other people and helping them to understand just what exactly it is that Looloo Paper is all about.  But I do believe that our genuine passion for what wedo and what we stand for helped us most of the way.

W: You were all running around in cute little Mario Luigi costumes!  How did that idea come about?

L: We had a huge brainstorm session in May about props, use of exhibition space and costumes.  There was an idea from the start about dressing up as plumbers and carrying plungers.  Then someone mentioned Mario brothers, albeit as a passing joke, but it stuck!

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W: Did you get a lot of comment on your costumes?

L: We got a lot of attention because of our Luigi outfits, not to mention our awesome toilet smack in the middle of our exhibition space.  We were also walking around with toilet rolls, as you do, of course.  Naturally, that really got people interested in what we were up to and after we had talked to them, they LOVED the concept of Looloo Paper.

W: So what did Team Looloo do at AMPLIFY?  How did you guys go about selling toilet paper?

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L: We had some fun taking photos with people and playing with props, but we also had some serious conversations with people about the issue of diarrhoea and sanitation.  It felt great to actually create awareness about it!  Some people were very surprised to know that diarrhoea in fact kills more people than Malaria, AIDS and HIV combined.

W: Did you face any trouble or hesitation from people when you were selling your toilet paper at AMPLIFY?

L: Well, a lot of people thought that recycled toilet paper is only made from used toilet paper and so they got really grossed out by the idea.  But we were able to put that misconception to rest!  The truth is that recycled toilet paper is just made from recycled paper with no nasty chemicals, which is not just really good for you but it’s also good for the environment.

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The Repurposed Library

The Repurposed Library

Have you got a few musty old books lying around?

You know the ones – you probably got them for Christmas or a birthday one year but never got round to reading them… or at least, you read the back of the dust jacket and decided you never will read it.

Well, if you’re ever in an artsy fartsy mood, you can try Lisa Occhipinti‘s ideas of repurposing old books.  Drawing on her background in traditional bookbinding, she created crafty, easy and sustainable do-it-yourself objects in The Repurposed Library. Occhipinti has even used old books to create shelving, as shown in the picture on the left!  We also love how she has turned a book into a wall clock – you could probably get a mechanical clock hands and motor assembly from the craft shops.

We think that it’s pretty neat (and somewhat poetically ironic), creating new storage space by clearing away old clutter and breathing new life into old things with a sense of humour.

Have you got a great repurposing idea?  We’d love to hear from you!

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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!

Not Your Usual Crafternoon! (Part 2)

Hello hello and welcome back!

Earlier this week we showed you how we kicked off our last Crafternoon, with a lively game of Wizards, Giants and Midgets that you can play too.  How did you go?

After we got pumped up and psyched following our game of Wizards, Giants and Midgets, we got down to business brainstorming for our participation in the upcoming Amplify Festival.  Oh yes, Team Looloo is very pleased to announce that we will be at this year’s Amplify Festival in June!

Held from 3-7 June, the Amplify Festival is our opportunity to showcase Looloo Paper to prospective corporate business executives.  Our challenge is to impress, inspire and educate our audience with a space of only 1.5 x 2m and less than 30 seconds.  Impossible?

Impossible

Come through a toilet seat entrance and a forest of toilet paper trees, and try your hand at throwing the world’s sanitation problems down the loo (literally).  From vanilla sponge cake in the style of a loo roll to a game of Looloo Twister, our creative geniuses are working hard to make this one memorable debut.

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The Looloo Grand Prize for Creativity this Crafternoon went to the very awesome Ben who came up with the idea of a life-size cut out of our mascot (known affectionately around the office as Noodleman), so that anyone can stand behind it, have their photo taken and be a hero too.

Wanna catch our Chief Executive Optimist Avis at Amplify Festival?  Go here!

Not Your Usual Crafternoon! (Part 1)

Last Thursday, Team Looloo had a rather unusual Crafternoon session (What’s this, you ask?  Check out our first ever Crafternoon here!).

Instead of launching straight into our usual Arts and Crafts, we decided to play a game and indulge our inner child as well as prepare us for the brainstorming session to follow.  Move over, rock-paper-scissors… wizards, giants and midgets in the house – oops, office!

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How do you play wizards, giants and midgets?

Split into two teams and choose as a team whether you’d like to be midgets, giants or wizards.  Then stand in two rows facing each other and when your appointed referee says “Go!”, you either:

  • Crouch if you’re a midget
  • Put your hands up if you’re a giant
  • Or stand Harry Potter style with a pretend wand out if you’re a wizard

Now, the game play is broken down like this:

  • Wizards chase giants
  • Giants chase midgets
  • Midgets chase wizards

Let’s say you’re a midget, and the other team are giants, your goal would be to run as quickly as possible to the other side of the room without being caught by the giants!  If you’re caught, you’d have to join the other team.

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Whoever took these photos were probably laughing too hard to take a clear picture, but we do have a much clearer photo courtesy of Kaitlin from one of our adjacent offices.

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I think she caught us at a moment when we all decided to be wizards.  Great minds think alike?  We all ended up the same about 5 times out of 7!  Not sure if epic win or epic fail…

Give this game a go and let us know how you went on our facebook, twitter or instagram.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Not Your Usual Crafternoon, follow us on wordpress today!

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!