Water Us - We sell toilet paper to buy drinking fountains for your parks and playgrounds

By Lilah McDonald

NZ $21,600 pledged


321 people pledged


18 days left


NZ $30,000 minimum target


72 72% Complete

Pledges will only be confirmed if the target is reached by: 21/03/2021 at 8:00 PM (NZDT)

Make a Pledge

About

Water Us - We Sell Toilet Paper To Buy Drinking Fountains For Your Parks And Playgrounds

Project 2021-01-05 10:37:23 +1300

Water Us is a social enterprise founded by 10 year old Lilah McDonald to address the lack of public drinking fountains in our cities and communities.  Purchasing tree free, toilet paper from Water Us will not only feel good but also do good as well, with at least 50% of  profits going to purchase drinking fountains and bottle refill stations for our parks and playgrounds.

What problem will Water Us solve?

Did you know that Auckland only has drinking fountains in 5% of its parks?  Lilah did not know this until she returned from an overseas trip (pre-Covid of course) where she had seen amazing drinking fountains in all the cities she visited - and wondered why she hadn't seen any around her home town.  She did some research on her return and realised that Auckland lags significantly behind other major Australasian cities, with only one third of the drinking fountains per person that Melbourne has, for example.  While Lilah couldn't find the same kind of statistics for other NZ cities and towns, anecdotally the same issue exists throughout New Zealand.

She resolved to do something about this and founded The Public Water Project, an initiative seeking corporate sponsors to fund the purchase of drinking fountains that would then be donated to local boards and councils and installed for public use.

During lockdown last year, Lilah realised that she would need to look for a source of funding that was not dependent on corporate generosity and decided to find a product that she could sell, that was good for the environment and which was needed by consumers on a regular basis - so that she could create a regular income stream from which to donate profits to her Project.

And so Water Us was born. 

What can I do to support?

Lilah has sourced an amazing tree free toilet paper, made from fast regenerating crops of bamboo, manufactured in a totally chlorine free process and without inks, dyes or fragrances.  She's packaging this toilet paper in gorgeously designed, hygienic paper wraps and boxing them in recycled cardboard boxes of 24 or 48 units, sealed with paper tape to ensure that everything is recyclable.

Well known contemporary artist, Reuben Paterson, has jumped on board, designing the limited edition launch range for Water Us - so you can bring beauty and art into your bathrooms and toilets around New Zealand.  Lilah was so excited and grateful for Reuben's support, as he shares the same philosophy as her - believing that it is up to us to protect our oceans and lands from plastic waste.  You may not be able to afford Reuben's artwork to hang on your walls, but now is your opportunity to display his designs in your home while supporting a worthy cause and pre-purchasing Water Us toilet paper through this campaign.

The picture below shows a prototype/mock-up of what the toilet paper will look like when it is produced.  The final product may vary from this picture because of the paper used or the printing process.

Water Us Limited Edition Launch Range

What happens to the funds from my pledge?

The funds from this Pledge Me campaign are going to be used to fund the first bulk production run for Water Us.  Fifty percent of all the profits generated by Water Us will be donated to a charitable foundation currently being established, called The Public Water Project Foundation.  The other 50% of profits will be used to continue to fund more production runs of Water Us toilet paper, so the company can continue to sell toilet paper and generate more profits to donate.  Lilah  hopes to be able to donate enough funds from this first campaign to The Public Water Project Foundation to purchase its first fountain for the community.

Who is behind Water Us?

Water Us is the brainchild of 10 year old schoolgirl, Lilah McDonald.  Lilah lives in a beachside suburb in Auckland and loves spending time in or near the ocean, playing with her rescue cat, Aurora, painting and inventing, and addressing environmental and social issues.

"I feel a very strong connection with the ocean and I think that something needs to be done about the amount of plastic that enters it every day," says Lilah of her motivation to create Water Us.

Lilah McDonald holding Water Us tree free toilet paper

Behind every great kid is a mother, and Lilah's "Girl Friday" is her mum, Kate O'Leary, an experienced entrepreneur, business advisor, investor and independent director.  She's launched consumer goods businesses in Australia and spent several years on the board of NZ's leading mission-led organic food company, Ceres Organics. She's there to help pack boxes, take photos for social media and provide guidance as Lilah grows her business and helps more communities.

What happens after this campaign ends?

Once Water Us has completed its first production run, Lilah will be busy shipping out your orders to you.  She will establish an online store, so that you can continue to #wipeforwater and purchase Water Us tree free toilet paper on an ongoing basis (either by subscription or not).

Lilah will also collect your feedback and use it to refine the Water Us product offering.  The company will also start the process towards becoming carbon neutral as a business, and obtaining B Corporation certification - so you can be sure that everything we do is focused on doing good, and certified by third parties.

Please #wipeforwater and support this campaign!

 

Comments

Updates 4

Can Jesse Mulligan keep up with Lilah in the playground?!

26/02/2021 at 3:26 PM

Jesse Mulligan interviewing Lilah for The Project

Yesterday, Lilah was asked to chat with Jesse Mulligan, of TV3's The Project, about The Public Water Project and Water Us, and her Pledge Me campaign.

They had a great conversation and afterwards, a quick play on Takapuna Beach playground - watch The Project tonight at 7 pm to find out how good Jesse is at playing with a kid!

Kate (Lilah's mum)

HALF WAY there! (Sorry for shouting, I'm excited!)

23/02/2021 at 3:00 PM

Thank you to everyone who has pledged so far - last night I reached 50% of my goal of $30,000 - there's still a long way to go but I am really happy to have got over the half way mark!

I still have 26 days left which means I need to get around $580 of pledges every day from now until the end of my campaign to reach my target, and get funded by Pledge Me.

If you have any friends or family that you can share my campaign with, I would be so grateful!  I promise that you will love the toilet paper - its super soft and strong!  And best of all, your purchase contributes to more drinking fountains for our communities.

Thank you again!
From 

Lilah x

 

Why is Water Us so important?

21/02/2021 at 3:27 PM

Hello!

I thought I would just write an update to tell you a bit more about why a social enterprise like Water Us is so important for NZ.

Did you know:

* Every single minute a rubbish truck load of plastic gets dumped into the oceans. And plastic is predicted to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050!

* Plastic gets broken down in the oceans by sunlight and wave action, but it doesn’t go away. Sea life cannot distinguish plastic from food.

* NZ is one of the most wasteful nations in the world per person. Plastic accounts for around 8% of our waste by weight. Because plastic is so light, it’s estimated it fills 20% of our landfill space.

* Single-use plastic bottles are the most common plastic waste, suggesting the significant consumption of bottled drinks.

* Approximately 3 plastic bottles are thrown away by each Kiwi each week – or 169 bottles a year. This is equivalent  to 165 Olympic swimming pools every year!

* 65% of us wouldn’t buy bottled water if tap water was readily available

 

* 73% of us would like there to be better availability of free tap water

* But 80% of playgrounds in the North Island don't have drinking fountains (and only 16% of playgrounds in Auckland have a drinking fountain)

You can read these statistics here.

These are some of the reasons I decided to launch Water Us.  If you have not pledged, can you please support me so we can together fix this problem?  If you have already pledged, thank you so much - and please tell your friends about my campaign so they can also help us create healthier oceans, environment and communities!

Thank you.
From Lilah x

#wipeforwater

My First Update for Water Us' Pledge Me Campaign!

19/02/2021 at 4:03 PM

Wow! What a busy 10 days it has been for me and my mum! I want to thank everyone who has pledged, whether from $5 or $600, every little bit counts and I am very grateful for your support and kind words.

Over the last ten days, my campaign has featured on Stuff online, and NZBusiness online. I also have been on Instagram with Manaaki, whose experts have also given me some great advice for building my business.  And this afternoon, I was really excited to talk with Jesse Mulligan, on his Radio New Zealand show, Afternoons with Jesse! If you missed it, you can listen to our chat here.

While I am 35% of the way there, I still have a long way to go to be able to say 'go' to the first production run for Water Us, so I would really appreciate it if you could please tell your family and friends about my campaign, in case they would like to also pledge to buy my eco-friendly toilet paper with the limited edition paper wraps by Reuben Paterson!

Thank you again,

from

Lilah x

    Pledgers 321

    Maggie Lam
    2021-03-03 10:42:50 +1300

    "All the best for your campaign Lilah! xx"

    Shani
    2021-03-02 19:29:56 +1300

    "Amazing! This is the kind of change we need in Aotearoa. Well done x"

    Anonymous pledger
    2021-03-02 19:19:01 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2021-03-02 19:16:49 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2021-03-02 13:03:07 +1300

    "Great idea!!"

    Lisa Adams
    2021-03-02 12:07:12 +1300
    Julie Maclean
    2021-03-02 11:22:29 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2021-03-02 10:11:21 +1300
    Angela Fisher
    2021-03-02 08:08:32 +1300
    Sierra Ryland
    2021-03-02 07:38:36 +1300

    "What a wonderful idea. I'd love there to be a drinking fountain Karori Park. Good luck!"

    Ross Barraclough
    2021-03-02 04:30:47 +1300

    "Delighted to see you have a goal and let nothing get in your way "

    Kylie Gunn
    2021-03-01 22:59:26 +1300
    Kelly Carter
    2021-03-01 22:19:30 +1300
    Michelle HOLMES
    2021-03-01 17:14:08 +1300

    "Well done"

    Michelle HOLMES
    2021-03-01 17:08:42 +1300

    "Fantastic initiative, well done from Auckland Radiology Group"

    Joanne Harland
    2021-03-01 16:42:22 +1300

    "Wonderful - this reminds me of the Australia company "who gives a crap" which my sister has used for years. I hope you have similar success!"

    SIMON WATTS
    2021-03-01 15:54:13 +1300

    "All the best Lilah, great example of entrepreneurial spirit on the Shore, Simon Watts, North Shore MP "

    Andrea
    2021-03-01 15:32:29 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2021-03-01 13:17:34 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2021-03-01 13:01:10 +1300
    Bridget Paddon
    2021-03-01 11:40:40 +1300
    Penny
    2021-03-01 11:21:56 +1300
    Claire Baudinet
    2021-03-01 10:58:54 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2021-03-01 10:01:31 +1300
    Matt
    2021-03-01 09:50:23 +1300

    "You go girl. Great work"

    Jana Harrison
    2021-03-01 09:34:59 +1300

    "What a great cause thank you Lilah"

    Angie Lakau
    2021-03-01 09:10:14 +1300

    "Fantastic idea ! I often think this myself “where are the Water Fountains ?!” Clean Green NZ ? not so much ! Well done Lilah for taking these thoughts of many to the Active Phase ! Angie "

    Nicole Matiatos
    2021-03-01 08:53:40 +1300
    Isabelle McMenamin
    2021-03-01 08:15:52 +1300

    "Good luck ! "

    Abby Hirst
    2021-03-01 07:52:17 +1300

    "Hi Lilah, I really like how you’ve taken the time to organise fountains for us around Auckland. From Lilah Fitzgerald. "

    Followers 3

    Followers of Water Us - We sell toilet paper to buy drinking fountains for your parks and playgrounds

    Water Us - We Sell Toilet Paper To Buy Drinking Fountains For Your Parks And Playgrounds

    Project 2021-01-05 10:37:23 +1300

    Water Us is a social enterprise founded by 10 year old Lilah McDonald to address the lack of public drinking fountains in our cities and communities.  Purchasing tree free, toilet paper from Water Us will not only feel good but also do good as well, with at least 50% of  profits going to purchase drinking fountains and bottle refill stations for our parks and playgrounds.

    What problem will Water Us solve?

    Did you know that Auckland only has drinking fountains in 5% of its parks?  Lilah did not know this until she returned from an overseas trip (pre-Covid of course) where she had seen amazing drinking fountains in all the cities she visited - and wondered why she hadn't seen any around her home town.  She did some research on her return and realised that Auckland lags significantly behind other major Australasian cities, with only one third of the drinking fountains per person that Melbourne has, for example.  While Lilah couldn't find the same kind of statistics for other NZ cities and towns, anecdotally the same issue exists throughout New Zealand.

    She resolved to do something about this and founded The Public Water Project, an initiative seeking corporate sponsors to fund the purchase of drinking fountains that would then be donated to local boards and councils and installed for public use.

    During lockdown last year, Lilah realised that she would need to look for a source of funding that was not dependent on corporate generosity and decided to find a product that she could sell, that was good for the environment and which was needed by consumers on a regular basis - so that she could create a regular income stream from which to donate profits to her Project.

    And so Water Us was born. 

    What can I do to support?

    Lilah has sourced an amazing tree free toilet paper, made from fast regenerating crops of bamboo, manufactured in a totally chlorine free process and without inks, dyes or fragrances.  She's packaging this toilet paper in gorgeously designed, hygienic paper wraps and boxing them in recycled cardboard boxes of 24 or 48 units, sealed with paper tape to ensure that everything is recyclable.

    Well known contemporary artist, Reuben Paterson, has jumped on board, designing the limited edition launch range for Water Us - so you can bring beauty and art into your bathrooms and toilets around New Zealand.  Lilah was so excited and grateful for Reuben's support, as he shares the same philosophy as her - believing that it is up to us to protect our oceans and lands from plastic waste.  You may not be able to afford Reuben's artwork to hang on your walls, but now is your opportunity to display his designs in your home while supporting a worthy cause and pre-purchasing Water Us toilet paper through this campaign.

    The picture below shows a prototype/mock-up of what the toilet paper will look like when it is produced.  The final product may vary from this picture because of the paper used or the printing process.

    Water Us Limited Edition Launch Range

    What happens to the funds from my pledge?

    The funds from this Pledge Me campaign are going to be used to fund the first bulk production run for Water Us.  Fifty percent of all the profits generated by Water Us will be donated to a charitable foundation currently being established, called The Public Water Project Foundation.  The other 50% of profits will be used to continue to fund more production runs of Water Us toilet paper, so the company can continue to sell toilet paper and generate more profits to donate.  Lilah  hopes to be able to donate enough funds from this first campaign to The Public Water Project Foundation to purchase its first fountain for the community.

    Who is behind Water Us?

    Water Us is the brainchild of 10 year old schoolgirl, Lilah McDonald.  Lilah lives in a beachside suburb in Auckland and loves spending time in or near the ocean, playing with her rescue cat, Aurora, painting and inventing, and addressing environmental and social issues.

    "I feel a very strong connection with the ocean and I think that something needs to be done about the amount of plastic that enters it every day," says Lilah of her motivation to create Water Us.

    Lilah McDonald holding Water Us tree free toilet paper

    Behind every great kid is a mother, and Lilah's "Girl Friday" is her mum, Kate O'Leary, an experienced entrepreneur, business advisor, investor and independent director.  She's launched consumer goods businesses in Australia and spent several years on the board of NZ's leading mission-led organic food company, Ceres Organics. She's there to help pack boxes, take photos for social media and provide guidance as Lilah grows her business and helps more communities.

    What happens after this campaign ends?

    Once Water Us has completed its first production run, Lilah will be busy shipping out your orders to you.  She will establish an online store, so that you can continue to #wipeforwater and purchase Water Us tree free toilet paper on an ongoing basis (either by subscription or not).

    Lilah will also collect your feedback and use it to refine the Water Us product offering.  The company will also start the process towards becoming carbon neutral as a business, and obtaining B Corporation certification - so you can be sure that everything we do is focused on doing good, and certified by third parties.

    Please #wipeforwater and support this campaign!

     

    Comments

    Can Jesse Mulligan keep up with Lilah in the playground?!

    26/02/2021 at 3:26 PM

    Jesse Mulligan interviewing Lilah for The Project

    Yesterday, Lilah was asked to chat with Jesse Mulligan, of TV3's The Project, about The Public Water Project and Water Us, and her Pledge Me campaign.

    They had a great conversation and afterwards, a quick play on Takapuna Beach playground - watch The Project tonight at 7 pm to find out how good Jesse is at playing with a kid!

    Kate (Lilah's mum)

    HALF WAY there! (Sorry for shouting, I'm excited!)

    23/02/2021 at 3:00 PM

    Thank you to everyone who has pledged so far - last night I reached 50% of my goal of $30,000 - there's still a long way to go but I am really happy to have got over the half way mark!

    I still have 26 days left which means I need to get around $580 of pledges every day from now until the end of my campaign to reach my target, and get funded by Pledge Me.

    If you have any friends or family that you can share my campaign with, I would be so grateful!  I promise that you will love the toilet paper - its super soft and strong!  And best of all, your purchase contributes to more drinking fountains for our communities.

    Thank you again!
    From 

    Lilah x

     

    Why is Water Us so important?

    21/02/2021 at 3:27 PM

    Hello!

    I thought I would just write an update to tell you a bit more about why a social enterprise like Water Us is so important for NZ.

    Did you know:

    * Every single minute a rubbish truck load of plastic gets dumped into the oceans. And plastic is predicted to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050!

    * Plastic gets broken down in the oceans by sunlight and wave action, but it doesn’t go away. Sea life cannot distinguish plastic from food.

    * NZ is one of the most wasteful nations in the world per person. Plastic accounts for around 8% of our waste by weight. Because plastic is so light, it’s estimated it fills 20% of our landfill space.

    * Single-use plastic bottles are the most common plastic waste, suggesting the significant consumption of bottled drinks.

    * Approximately 3 plastic bottles are thrown away by each Kiwi each week – or 169 bottles a year. This is equivalent  to 165 Olympic swimming pools every year!

    * 65% of us wouldn’t buy bottled water if tap water was readily available

     

    * 73% of us would like there to be better availability of free tap water

    * But 80% of playgrounds in the North Island don't have drinking fountains (and only 16% of playgrounds in Auckland have a drinking fountain)

    You can read these statistics here.

    These are some of the reasons I decided to launch Water Us.  If you have not pledged, can you please support me so we can together fix this problem?  If you have already pledged, thank you so much - and please tell your friends about my campaign so they can also help us create healthier oceans, environment and communities!

    Thank you.
    From Lilah x

    #wipeforwater

    My First Update for Water Us' Pledge Me Campaign!

    19/02/2021 at 4:03 PM

    Wow! What a busy 10 days it has been for me and my mum! I want to thank everyone who has pledged, whether from $5 or $600, every little bit counts and I am very grateful for your support and kind words.

    Over the last ten days, my campaign has featured on Stuff online, and NZBusiness online. I also have been on Instagram with Manaaki, whose experts have also given me some great advice for building my business.  And this afternoon, I was really excited to talk with Jesse Mulligan, on his Radio New Zealand show, Afternoons with Jesse! If you missed it, you can listen to our chat here.

    While I am 35% of the way there, I still have a long way to go to be able to say 'go' to the first production run for Water Us, so I would really appreciate it if you could please tell your family and friends about my campaign, in case they would like to also pledge to buy my eco-friendly toilet paper with the limited edition paper wraps by Reuben Paterson!

    Thank you again,

    from

    Lilah x

      Maggie Lam
      2021-03-03 10:42:50 +1300

      "All the best for your campaign Lilah! xx"

      Shani
      2021-03-02 19:29:56 +1300

      "Amazing! This is the kind of change we need in Aotearoa. Well done x"

      Anonymous pledger
      2021-03-02 19:19:01 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2021-03-02 19:16:49 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2021-03-02 13:03:07 +1300

      "Great idea!!"

      Lisa Adams
      2021-03-02 12:07:12 +1300
      Julie Maclean
      2021-03-02 11:22:29 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2021-03-02 10:11:21 +1300
      Angela Fisher
      2021-03-02 08:08:32 +1300
      Sierra Ryland
      2021-03-02 07:38:36 +1300

      "What a wonderful idea. I'd love there to be a drinking fountain Karori Park. Good luck!"

      Ross Barraclough
      2021-03-02 04:30:47 +1300

      "Delighted to see you have a goal and let nothing get in your way "

      Kylie Gunn
      2021-03-01 22:59:26 +1300
      Kelly Carter
      2021-03-01 22:19:30 +1300
      Michelle HOLMES
      2021-03-01 17:14:08 +1300

      "Well done"

      Michelle HOLMES
      2021-03-01 17:08:42 +1300

      "Fantastic initiative, well done from Auckland Radiology Group"

      Joanne Harland
      2021-03-01 16:42:22 +1300

      "Wonderful - this reminds me of the Australia company "who gives a crap" which my sister has used for years. I hope you have similar success!"

      SIMON WATTS
      2021-03-01 15:54:13 +1300

      "All the best Lilah, great example of entrepreneurial spirit on the Shore, Simon Watts, North Shore MP "

      Andrea
      2021-03-01 15:32:29 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2021-03-01 13:17:34 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2021-03-01 13:01:10 +1300
      Bridget Paddon
      2021-03-01 11:40:40 +1300
      Penny
      2021-03-01 11:21:56 +1300
      Claire Baudinet
      2021-03-01 10:58:54 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2021-03-01 10:01:31 +1300
      Matt
      2021-03-01 09:50:23 +1300

      "You go girl. Great work"

      Jana Harrison
      2021-03-01 09:34:59 +1300

      "What a great cause thank you Lilah"

      Angie Lakau
      2021-03-01 09:10:14 +1300

      "Fantastic idea ! I often think this myself “where are the Water Fountains ?!” Clean Green NZ ? not so much ! Well done Lilah for taking these thoughts of many to the Active Phase ! Angie "

      Nicole Matiatos
      2021-03-01 08:53:40 +1300
      Isabelle McMenamin
      2021-03-01 08:15:52 +1300

      "Good luck ! "

      Abby Hirst
      2021-03-01 07:52:17 +1300

      "Hi Lilah, I really like how you’ve taken the time to organise fountains for us around Auckland. From Lilah Fitzgerald. "

      Followers of Water Us - We sell toilet paper to buy drinking fountains for your parks and playgrounds

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