World Toilet Day
World Toilet Day was established on November 19, 2001, by the World Toilet Organization to raise awareness of the global need for proper sanitation facilities. Since then, it has grown in scope and recognition. In 2013, the United Nations passed a resolution recognizing World Toilet Day as an official UN international day.
Each year, World Toilet Day has a different theme:
- 2016’s observance centered on toilets and jobs, pointing out that disease transmission at work, primarily due to poor sanitation and hygiene practices, causes 17% of all workplace deaths. It represented several professions with a unique visual aid.
- The focal points for 2015 were toilets and nutrition. Participants were urged to pose on their commodes like Rodin’s The Thinker, take selfies and post them on the World Toilet Day site. While we’re not sure how that relates to nutrition, we applaud the time-honored tradition of reducing this sculpture to a bathroom humor punchline.
- The 2014 campaign emphasized equality and dignity. (In other words, no self-portraits straining on the john, thank you very much.)
- The slogan in 2012 was “I give a sh*t, do you?” Indonesian stars embraced it in this video.
Every year, World Toilet Day calls attention to the fact that more than 2.4 billion people–about one in three–don’t have access to a toilet. Over one billion must defecate in the open. To raise awareness of this harsh reality, a “see through loo” was set up at the September 2015 Global Citizen Festival in New York City.
What You Can Do:
- Open your door and share your toilet. (The World Toilet Day site respectfully suggests you clean it first.)
- Host a mass squat. “Stop, drop, squat and share!” Be advised that the World Toilet Organization will not post bail. Plan your plein-air dump locale accordingly.
- Share informational tweets such as, “The world’s untreated poop would fill Cowboy Stadium in just two days.” (How can they know that? And why?)
No matter what you do today, doo today or number two today, take some time to celebrate World Toilet Day in your own way. Don’t forget to bring a magazine.
Happy World Toilet Day!
Global Handwashing Day (October 15)