Sri Lanka’s diasporized JehanR is the co-founder of this project to sell toilet paper. The interesting part is that 50% of profits go to build toilets in the developing world. Good sanitation has perhaps the biggest affect on health and quality of life. The most important things to living are clean water, decent food, hygiene, and not getting sick. All of these are directly connected to good sanitation, but toilets are not a very sexy topic. Much more money goes to less productive causes, and I think Who Gives A Crap is trying to address this with humor.
As you can see above, this fellow seems like he’s going to sit on a toilet (which doesn’t seem connected to plumbing btw) until they raise the $50,000 they need to get their first bulk order and ship. They’ve already raised over $20,000 via crowdfunding site IndieGoGo. Him and his co-founders in the US are launching this brand which ships apparently nice toilet paper and also gives back to build toilets in the developing world. Nice toilet paper fine, I’ve rarely been in a situation where I could afford to linger over my toilet paper choices. Sanitation for the developing world is, however, an issue that’s close to my heart, and ass I guess.
Let Erika Christakis break it down for you (via Andrew Sullivan):
The impact of poor sanitation — and its economic consequences — is well-known. Diarrhea alone causes at least 800,000 child deaths per year in the developing world. Reductions in infant and maternal deaths are clear when access to sanitation and water is improved, and there are many “spillover” benefits of sanitation that extend beyond a reduction in fecal-borne disease. In other words, providing more toilets reduces illness and death from diseases that are not caused by a lack of toilets. This phenomenon (called the Wills-Reinecke multiplier) was first noticed when deaths from all infectious diseases, and not just typhoid, decreased after the water supply was improved in 19th century Massachusetts, and is probably explained by the body’s improved capacity to fight infection when it’s not under chronic attack by pathogens specifically in dirty water.
Read more: TIME.com
Over 2.5 billion people have shitty toilets and 1 billion have no toilets at all. So these are people defecating and peeing in urban areas and open fields, which has a knock-on effect of polluting water, decreasing health, and generally making life worse for everyone. Intervention on this issue can have the greatest knock-on effect for general health and well-being, but it’s also an issue that makes us uncomfortable to talk about. Hopeful humorous and business-oriented efforts like Who Gives A Crap can make a difference.