World Toilet Day is celebrated on November 19th each year. It is celebrated to make awareness of the importance of sanitation issues. More than 2.6 billion people in the world do not have access to toilets. The lack of sanitation kills 1.8 million people a year, most of whom are children. Diarrhea kills more children each day than HIV and AIDS. Illnesses caused by fecal matter kill more children than malaria. It stunts growth and causes millions of children and adults to take time off work and school. One gram of feces contains ten million viruses, one million bacteria and a thousand parasite cysts. Safe disposal of feces can reduce 40% of diarrhea in children.
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History of the Toilet
Modern day toilets and plumbing systems are often taken for granted. Most people cannot image living without toilets but once upon a time, people did live without toilets and plumbing and it was very unsanitary. In ancient Rome, people would take a tinkle or a number two in public, right on the street while talking to their friends. Modern Day toilets have totally changed the world in a good way.
Toilets were supposedly invented by a man with an unfortunate name - Sir Thomas Crapper. He did not actually invent the toilet or "crapper" but he did make improvements to the toilet and plumbing system. In the Victorian era, people wanted a flushing water closet that would move the waste easily and in a sanitary way but they were baffled. In 1596, Sir John Harrington built the first flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth I. While this toilet worked fine for the Queen, it was not built to work effectively for the public. Lots of improvements had to be made. It was difficult to make a flushing toilet that was actually sanitary. A disease outbreak in London was connected to the unsanitary conditions due to the buildup of waste and fecal matter. Something had to be done to remove this waste and it had to be done quickly.
In 1775, Alexander Cummings improved the flushing toilet built in the 1500's. Alexander's flushing water closet consisted of a lower water level in the bowl and water stayed in the bowl after every flush. These improvements helped immensely to clean the toilet bowl but there were still improvements that needed to be made to make the toilet work correctly. Alexander's design leaked at the bottom of the toilet and it emitted disgusting sewer gas into the house. No one realized that these sewer gasses could be toxic.
This is where Sir Thomas Crapper came into the picture. Sir Crapper opened a shop in 1861 and called it "The Marlboro Works of Thomas Crapper and Company". He began to test toilets and, as his experience improved, he fixed them based on his findings. A two hundred gallon water tank was installed on top of Crapper's building. A few of the things Crapper improved on include adding a pull-chain system for flushing the toilet and adding an air tight seal at the base of the toilet to prevent leaking. He also invented many different venting systems to vent the sewer gas out of the building through a pipe placed into the roof. In essence, toilets of today would not exist as they do without the help of Sir Thomas Crapper.
We are extremely lucky to have toilets and plumbing systems to remove waste from the home. Even today, many people in the world do not have toilets or plumbing systems. These people need our help to bring modern plumbing to their region of the world.
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What Can You Do?
There are many ways you can help spread the awareness of World Toilet Day and help bring modern plumbing and sanitary conditions to those who need it. The easiest thing you can do is spread the world. Email your friends information about World Toilet Day. Link them to this article, to the World Toilet Day website or to the World Toilet Organization. Make a post on your Facebook page or Tweet about it. The World Toilet Day website has a picture you can use as your profile picture on Facebook, Twitter or on a forum. Becoming a fan of World Toilet Day on Facebook or on Twitter is also a good way to show support for the cause. Another way to spread the world is by posting it on your blog. If you aren't into social profiles, blogs or email, you can put up posters around town. Put up posters at laundry mats, in grocery stores or on bulletin boards at the local college campus.
A wonderful way to support the cause is by throwing a World Toilet Day event. A World Toilet Day event is a public place where people gather to spread the world about World Toilet Day. Some events consist of passing out brochures and talking with the public about the need for toilets. Other events include visiting local politicians to make them aware of the problem. In Australia, they threw a fundraising event called "Surf for Toilets". Grab some friends today and get the word out.
If you do not want to plan an event, you can attend an event. There are World Toilet Day events happening all over the world. There will surely be an event located near you. The official World Toilet Day website lists all the events that are occurring. If you cannot find an event near you, you might be able to volunteer at an organization that help fights sanitary issues such as the Red Cross.
Finally, the best thing you can do is to donate money to an organization that helps fight sanitary issues around the world. These organizations can include the World Toilet Organization or the Red Cross. The money will be used to spread the world about World Toilet Day. It will also be used to provide trash removal in countries that need it and the money will be used to provide plumbing and toilets in countries. These organizations cannot do anything unless they have money. Every little bit helps and even donating a dollar will help reduce sanitary issues around the world.
Spread the word about World Toilet Day on November 19th and help the billions of people in the world without proper toilets or plumbing.
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