This post is generously sponsored by York Region. As always, The Eco Hub only partners with companies we believe are doing good things, read on about Why We Need To Give A Crap About World Toilet Day!
November 19th is World Toilet Day, this year’s theme “When Nature Calls” highlights the importance of toilets and proper sanitation in counties around the world. The event is a joint effort by UN Water, Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), International Labour Association (ILO), World Health Organization, UNDP, UNICEF, United Nations University and Toilet Board Coalition.
The initiative addresses the global water crisis and public sanitation projects, and what the ILO and United Nations are doing to mitigate the multiple hazards arising from a lack of sustainable sanitation solutions and safe water in the developing world.
Some startling stats:
2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation;
4.5 billion people live without a household toilet;
892 million people practice open defecation;
80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem untreated;
1,600 children die per day from diseases that are preventable through clean toilets, safe water, and good hygiene;
Around 500,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation;
Every year, around 60 million children are born into homes without access to sanitation.
Related Post: 11 Simple Steps To Minimize Your Waste
Due to the fact that basic sanitation is often non-existent, open defecation has become a common practice. This is especially harmful to women and girls who are exposed and subject to physical or sexual attacks. The countries where open defecation is widely practiced are the same countries with the highest rates of child deaths and malnutrition. Access to a functioning toilet not only has a positive impact on public health, human dignity, and personal safety but also helps stop the spread of many deadly diseases.
To coincide with World Toilet Day York Region is reminding residents of the important role we all play when it comes to protecting our environment and our waterways.
“York Region remains committed to protecting our water sources and infrastructure to ensure clean, safe and affordable water for our growing communities.”
Flushing items that don’t belong down our toilets and drains can lead to backups in our homes, problems at wastewater treatment facilities and can even cause sewage to overflow into our lakes and rivers.
The point is there are countless items that should never be flushed. And there are only three things that can be flushed – Number “1”, number “2” and toilet paper.
York Region in partnership with the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) and the Clean Water Foundation are working together to promote the “I Don’t Flush” campaign which encourages residents to take steps to protect the environment.
What can you do?
Promote and put good practices into place. Since you (like me) probably have access to safe water sources and toilets, you can support this global action right in your own city by ensuring that you are using the toilet the ways it’s meant to be used. That means the only things that you flush is pee, poo or toilet paper.
Never flush wipes, sanitary products even floss, cotton swabs, facial tissue, medications or fats, oils and grease down our toilets, they crate fatbergs it’s not a pretty site.
Make sure you properly dispose of pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Unused or expired pharmaceuticals should be brought to a local pharmacy instead of flushing them down the drain or in the garbage. Flushable wipes and personal care products should be put into the garbage, while sanitary products can be put into the green bin.
Don’t use your toilet as a garbage can. It’s really that simple.
Try to create awareness about this global crisis, World Toilet Day is a great opportunity to start the conversation and take action towards making toilets accessible to everyone.
Donate to groups who are working on the front lines of this global crisis. Your money can help the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6, which aims to provide adequate sanitation for all and cut the amount of untreated wastewater in half by 2030.
For more information about the dos and don’ts of what to flush, click here.
Well after reading this, do you see Why We Need To Give A Crap About World Toilet Day!