Ten year old launches social enterprise
Water Us Limited, the brainchild of 10 year old Auckland student Lilah McDonald, is launching its first product range on crowdfunding platform Pledge Me. After travelling to Europe three years ago with her family and seeing public drinking fountains throughout the cities they visited, on her return Lilah was horrified to discover that Auckland only […]
Water Us Limited, the brainchild of 10 year old Auckland student Lilah McDonald, is launching its first product range on crowdfunding platform Pledge Me.
After travelling to Europe three years ago with her family and seeing public drinking fountains throughout the cities they visited, on her return Lilah was horrified to discover that Auckland only has drinking fountains in five percent of its parks.
She resolved to do something to change this and Water Us was born.
“I want there to be more drinking fountains in our communities – at the moment, Auckland only has 370 fountains, which is very low compared to other cities around the world,” says Lilah (pictured below).
“If people have easy access to water fountains and refill stations, it will encourage them to avoid buying single-use plastic bottles which end up in our oceans and landfill. I’ve also noticed that soft drinks are often cheaper than bottled water, so if people can get free water instead of buying sugary drinks, it will be better for their health.”
Lilah decided to create a social enterprise that would sell consumable, regularly used products with at least 50 percent of its profits going to The Public Water Project, a charitable foundation being established to fund the purchase of accessible drinking fountains and bottle refill stations, which will be gifted to local boards and councils for installation in community parks and other high traffic locations.
Social enterprises like Water Us enable consumers to support a charitable cause through their everyday purchases, with these ‘micro-donations’ combining to have a meaningful impact.
Once launched, Water Us will sell environmentally friendly toilet paper on a one off or subscription basis, direct to consumers. Its limited edition launch range, available on Pledge Me, features paper wraps designed by leading New Zealand artist, Reuben Paterson.
With a variety of rewards available to its pledgers, Water Us plans to cover the cost of its first container of tree free toilet paper and donate enough funds to The Public Water Project to purchase its first drinking fountain.
“I’m asking people to #wipeforwater and support the launch of my social enterprise by switching their toilet paper brand to Water Us” says Lilah.
Limited edition mask promotion
Lilah approached NZ owned-and-operated face mask company, MEO, with a proposal for joint investment in the Public Water Project. Being impressed with Lilah’s determination to solve this important public need, MEO has agreed to produce and sell a limited-edition, reusable children’s face mask, with 100% of profits donated to the cause.
MEO’s face mask promotion is expected to raise more than $10,000 for the Water Fountain Project, which Lilah says will provide enough money to purchase the first water fountain, as well as run a local art competition for kids living in communities who will receive a new fountain. She is hopeful that the fountain purchased with MEO’s donation will be positioned at her local playground in Takapuna Beach, which was built in 2016 and is one of several playgrounds in Auckland with no public water supply. The limited edition mask print (pictured below) will be available to purchase from early March.
Water Us launched on Pledge Me on 8 February, at https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/6777-water-us-toilet-paperthat-installs-community-drinking-fountains