Australia's Who Gives a Crap makes 100% bamboo toilet paper that also claims to be "so soft it'll make your bottom smile."
Remember when bamboo was going to save the world? Or was that hemp? Either way, considering that domestic industrial hemp in the US is still in its infancy and has a lot of legal hurdles to overcome, yet bamboo has never been illegal where it naturally grows, this fast-growing member of the grass family already shows a lot of promise in the short term. Forget bamboo clothing for now, as it's one of those 'not nearly as green as it sounds' products, but when it comes to paper products, bamboo has a lot to offer in the sustainable materials field, especially when it comes to something we literally wipe our behinds with and dispose of afterward.
With trees as the source of most toilet paper production, just taking care of our own personal hygiene in the bathroom is responsible for the logging of millions of trees, as well as the use of billions of gallons of sketchy chemicals (and a whole lot of water) each year. We could go on and on about how having a bidet can drastically reduce the amount of toilet paper used in a household (and the trees that give their lives so you can wipe), but we won't do that here, because hey, freedom of choice and all that jazz. But if you're hooked on TP, as so many of us are, choosing a more environmentally sustainable bathroom tissue can help reduce your carbon buttprint.And
"Tree-free is the way to be. That's why we use only 100% recycled paper fibres, bamboo or sugarcane in our products. It saves water, carbon emissions and trees. Trees are better for hugging than they are for wiping anyway." - Who Gives a Crap
A kinder, gentler toilet paper made from a fast-growing renewable resource isn't the whole story, though, because while the bamboo TP is all well and good and groovy, the real mission of the company is for it to make a difference in the lives of people around the world, by helping to financially support real-world and high impact sanitation solutions where they're most needed.
"We started Who Gives A Crap when we learnt that 2.4 billion people across the world don't have access to a toilet. That's roughly 40% of the global population and means that diarrhea related diseases fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kill 900 children under 5 every day. We thought that was pretty crap."
Although most of us probably take our toilet, and the walls and door that enclose it, along with access to water for washing up, for granted, the statistics above illustrate how radically different -- and risky -- it is in other parts of the world to simply go to the bathroom each day. No matter how many times I read the numbers on global sanitation and clean water issues, it never ceases to astonish me how big the disparity still is in this day and age. But thanks to the efforts of people and organizations that choose to build businesses with a social impact component to them, as this company has, we're not only more aware of these challenges, but are also given an opportunity to support a change for the good.
In 2012, three social entrepreneurs ran a rather cheeky crowdfunding campaign to launch the Who Gives a Crap brand, which pledged 50% of its profits to building toilets in the developing world. Co-founder Simon Griffiths pledged to sit on a toilet in a "draughty warehouse" until the campaign had received enough pre-orders to start production of the product.
Some 50 hours (and one cold behind) later, the campaign had raised more than $50,000 in pre-order funding of the bamboo toilet paper, and the company went on to ship its first product in March of 2013. Since then, the orders have kept coming in, and over time, the company has donated some $1,175,000 in profits to help fund hygiene and sanitation projects around the world. And in addition to this important financial support, Who Gives a Crap is also said to have saved more than 50,000 trees, 98 million liters of water, and avoided some 7,845 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions due to its cleaner production processes and renewable materials.
Find out how you can get some of this 100% bamboo toilet paper that's "so soft it'll make your bottom smile" at Who Gives a Crap. Even if you didn't already know that you need TP that's "as soft as unicorn kisses and as strong as 1000 ponies," or didn't care about having toilet paper that features "1200% more puns in every box," you might enjoy the feeling of knowing that you really can give a crap and make a difference.