After travelling to Europe 3 years ago with my family and seeing public drinking fountains throughout the cities we visited, on my return, I couldn't believe that Auckland only has drinking fountains in 5% of its parks. I decided to do something to change this and started a project to campaign for more drinking fountains. I want there to be more drinking fountains in our communities at the moment, for example, Auckland only has 370 fountains, which is very low compared to other cities around the world. 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. Even though I am still at primary school, I decided to create a social enterprise that would sell consumable, regularly used products with at least 50% of its profits going to The Public Water Foundation, a charitable foundation that we established to buy 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 help people to support a charitable cause through their everyday purchases, with these 'micro-donations' combining to have a meaningful impact. I launched Water Us with a PledgeMe campaign in February and presold 50% of our first production run. Water Us sells environmentally friendly, bamboo, premium, 3 ply toilet paper on a one off or subscription basis, direct to consumers through our website. Our toilet paper will also be available from select retailers like GoodFor. Our limited edition launch range, features paper wraps designed by leading New Zealand artist, Reuben Paterson. It is plastic free, tree free, contains no inks, dyes or fragrances and feels great!
I would love to win The People's Choice award for Water Us because it would help my social enterprise get more publicity and hopefully sell more toilet paper! The more toilet paper I sell, the more drinking fountains I can give to the Public Water Foundation to put into parks and playgrouns around New Zealand, so that we can help reduce single use plastic bottles and help kids have lots of opportunity to drink water when they are out instead of buying sugary drinks. I would also like to win this award in order to inspire other children to do things for their community. If other kids see me, an 11 year old Year 6 girl, starting a social enterprise and donating drinking fountains, they might also do something for their community that they are passionate about!