In honor of World Toilet Day, we celebrate toilets and raise awareness of the 3+ billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. When some people in a community do not have safe toilets, everyone’s health is threatened. Poor sanitation contaminates drinking-water sources, rivers, beaches and food crops, spreading deadly diseases among the wider population.
Contaminated water contributes to over 1 million deaths per year. And without a loo, waste ends up in local waterways - the same place people collect water for drinking, cleaning, and bathing. 2.3 billion people across the world don't have access to a toilet, and around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes. And that's pretty crap.
Their Bold Solution
Toilets have saved more lives than any other modern invention. That's why toilets are an integral part of a bigger health initiative called WASH, which stands for water, sanitation, and hygiene. Together, these three elements strengthen communities and save millions of lives.
Who Gives a Crap allocates 50% of its profits to ensure access to clean water and toilets within our lifetime. "We succeed when communities take the lead." It's not just a fun rhyme. Creating the infrastructure for property toilets can look a lot different depending on geography, climate, culture, and history. That's why they partner with communities to take innovative, local approaches to tackle the sanitation crisis.
Sure, they love puppies and sunny days and walks on the beach. But their real love is toilet paper. Why, you ask? First of all, it's funny. Lots of room for toilet jokes, which they love. But really, these guys love toilet paper because for them, it's their way of making a difference.
Simon, Jehan, and Danny started Who Gives a Crap when they learned that 2.4 billion people don't have access to a toilet (now 2 billion – yay for progress!). That's roughly 40% of the global population and means that around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes.
They thought that was pretty crap. So in July 2012, these three launched Who Gives A Crap with a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. Simon sat on a toilet in their draughty warehouse and refused to move until they had raised enough pre-orders to start production. 50 hours and one cold bottom later, we'd raised over $50,000. (see the video here!)
They delivered their first product in March 2013 and have been thrilled to keep growing ever since. Not just because their toilet paper is gracing bathrooms and bottoms across the country, but also because they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation across the globe.
Though they're still growing, and now make more than just toilet paper, they always want to stay true to their roots: toilet humor and making the world a better place.