It will come as no surprise that I would personally love to save the world. But like most folks, well, I just couldn’t figure out how.
When the Women’s March happened, my hopes dwindled. How could I save the world and still be within reach of the bathroom? Ditto all the other spontaneous and planned demonstrations that have taken place since January 21.
But then I learned that Yes. I. Can! Really! I can save the world from climate change single-handedly. Really! Me!
You can’t though. Sorry.
You see, I just read this article that says that the city of Portland, Oregon has come up with a terrific way to produce electricity through poop. And pee.
I can do that. In fact, I often can’t NOT do that.
It’s true! They installed toilet turbines to generate power with every flush.
I volunteer to power the East Coast. Except for the White House and Mara Laga. Because I don’t give a shit about Trump.
You’ve been asking for more poop from me. Be careful what you wish for.
Because today is World Toilet Day!
This morning, I was inspired as shit by my friend Judy when she alerted me to the arrival of World Toilet Day (which I’d somehow forgotten?!?) and to Mr. Toilet himself. And to this article.
Mr. Toilet is my hero. Seriously.
Mr. Toilet was not born with that name. Nope, Mr. Toilet is actually a rich, big-hearted man named Jack Sim who wants to do good in the world with the shitload of money he made in construction. So, being flush with cash, Jack was inspired when he read a statement by his country’s (Singapore) then prime minister:
He said we should measure our graciousness according to the cleanliness of our public toilets.
As a travel lover, let me tell you that nothing, and I do mean nothing, says “welcome” like a clean, accessible toilet. (As a Crohn’s patient, however, I stay home a lot.)
As I said last year on this auspicious occasion,
The point of World Toilet Day is actually pretty important. People without access to hygienic facilities risk illness, many women are preyed upon and attacked as they seek out a place to go. Diseases are transmitted, including infections, cholera, well, here’s a picture.
The “F-diagram” (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing.
Mr. Toilet founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in 2001. As Judy’s article says:
It’s a nonprofit coalition of leaders from more than 40 countries who try to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the world’s sanitation and water problems.
Together these loo lovers started the World Toilet College and SaniShop, initiatives that train entrepreneurs not only to make household toilets but also to maintain them and market them in the developing world. More than 4,000 people have been trained since 2005; the WTO says that up to 10,000 toilets were assembled in 2010 alone.
But it’s the way Mr. Toilet wants to go about increasing toilets that hit me where I live.
So first you have to make owning a toilet not just rational but aspirational. You have to make a toilet come with bragging rights, like a Louis Vuitton handbag.
Aspiration is important, as you can see even rich people have really nice toilets — they go for the highest level all the time. So this is the same as the poor people. They aspire to own products that have bragging rights, like a cellphone or television. The psychology is exactly the same.
He wants to first make owning and using a toilet funny, then sexy, and then normal. He wants to remove the taboo on poo. He wants people to laugh about, talk about and sing about toilets.
Here. I’ll help.
Who knew that World Toilet Day would lead me to find the theme song for my life.