September 2, 2016

How handwashing saves rainforest

Forest is only safe when local people are strong and healthy enough to protect it.

That’s why this year Cool Earth is doing everything we can to improve the health of our rainforest partners.

We’re starting with something most of us take for granted. Handwashing.

Why it matters

tippytap hand wash closeup in Cool Earth's Peru Partnership Handwashing with soap before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet can reduce diarrhoea rates by more than 40 per cent. Diarrhoea remains the second most common cause of childhood death worldwide. Diarrhoea kills
Group of School Children in Cool Earth's PNG Partnership Handwashing can reduce absences from school. In China, distribution of soap in primary schools resulted in 54% fewer sick days. Time off school
Standing water in Gadaisu village in Cool Earth's PNG Partnership 80% of communicable diseases are transferred by touch. This includes nasties like Salmonella, E. Coli, and diarrheal infection as well as pneumonia and the flu. 80% of diseases
How handwashing saves rainforest The recommended washing time is 15 seconds. The ideal washing time is 30 seconds. For every 15 seconds spent washing hands, 10 times more bacteria is removed. 15 seconds is all it takes

The Solution

A 'tippytap' is an ingenious way to wash your hands that is perfect for use in remote rainforest areas.

You only need a few basic materials and it uses minimal water. As it’s operated by a foot lever, there’s less chance of transferring germs.

tippytap 600

With your help, Cool Earth will invest in training practitioners to help households build tippy taps, and educate people about hand-washing with soap.

It only costs a few dollars for the materials to make a tippytap. And we think it’s money well spent.

Find Out More

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