Today is World Toilet Day. No, we didn’t make it up to have something new on the site this morning. In fact, it is an annual celebration of toilets, happening across the world every year. We have all prayed to the porcelain god once and make a daily trip to the throne, but most of us have done so without much thought or appreciation to the fixture. And that’s where World Toilet Day comes in.
The World Toilet Organization is the main driver of this day, which was developed to create awareness about issues of sanitation that people face across the world, where toilets are not readily available. According to worldtoiletday.org, 1.8 million people die from fecally-transmitted diseases each year, often from people defecating in the open and not having proper facilities. One gram of feces can contain 10 million viruses and one million bacteria, according to the World Toilet Organization.
Last year on this day, protests, parties and exhibits occurred throughout the world to promote this cause. However, one particular happening was much more prevalent than others. It’s called the Big Squat. The event features a group of people who organize in a public place and squat (yes, as if you were about to poop). According to the “Big Squat Toolkit,” (available on the World Toilet Day web site), it is recommended that this event happen in a public place, such as at an office, community center, theatre, street or school. When people ask, participants are told to spread the word about World Toilet Day and the issues of sanitation around the world. In 2009 in the Great Lakes region, the Chicago office of Google held a Big Squat and another was organized in Barrington, Illinois. In Milwaukee, a group from the Seedfolks 4-H Club squatted for one minute to promote awareness.
I’m not sure who will be squatting today in the region, but I guess this gives you some kind of warning if you see a number of people looking like their about to do their business in public.