‘The Daily Poo!’ History of the Loo part 2 + ‘Water is Life’

copyright URIMAT | Water is Life

Before heading into, ‘The Potted History of the Toilet‘ part 2, let’s just catch up on a few of the news posts and articles from the last week or two so we keep on top of what’s going on, and going down. Firstly, when we talk about toilets, WCs we also had to discuss water – the flush, then the sewer, then the treatment. The problem in many places is there’s no access to water, and/or clean water and that’s where companies like Urimat are innovating. Similar solutions and innovative ideas are emerging all the time, and thats what we’ll look at in more detail in next weeks, ‘The Daily Poo!’ but for now, those articles!…

  1. More news on the Poo Panecea and the strange, but surprising world of faecal transplants.
  2. As discussions at Davos bring up the subject of planting more trees, how about saving the ones we have, let’s start with toilet paper!! According to National Geographic worldwide we destroy over 9 million trees per year and that figure is increasing
  3. If you’ve even heard of, and then thought the ToiletRoll Bot wasn’t the most pointless gimmick (and waste of money) ever… then check out these other inventions!
  4. For those who may have wondered, here’s the scoop on a floating poop!

‘A Potted History of the Toilet’ part 2. Last week, we took a super fast look at the history of the toilet and, in conclusion, can clearly see that after the initial introduction of seating and sewers thousands of years ago, relatively nothing much happened after that up until around 200 years ago. Necessity and invention created a change, and although that still doesn’t address basic sanitation issues for over 25% of the world population to this day, at least the dot on the radar is growing more rapidly than ever before. Actioning the issues it highlights is taking somewhat longer. To finalise this short history, let’s look at a couple the inventors and driving forces behind the changes in the last 200 years. For more detail see this recent article: What the Earliest Toilets Say About How Human Civilization Has Evolved.

We touched on a few highlights last week but let’s expand. The video below touches on the main influencers, their inventions and impact and date stamps the ‘progress’, then discusses the more global situation we have today. ‘The Great Stink’ in London 1858, was the catalyst to a huge shift in the understanding and reaction to the terrible diseases associated with bad sanitation and the impact on human life, about the same time the matter began to be addressed in many other countries too. Whilst we’ve looked briefly at the evolution of the toilet, of even greater importance is that of the sewer and waste management. The man credited with the first super sewer, was Sir Joseph Bazalgette in London, UK. To read his story click here. It was completed in 1875 less than 150 years ago… and now, in the ‘throw it down the loo’ society of the 21st century, further challenges are arising rather than more being resolved – so in fact when people talk of progress it’s relatively little, and needs addressing not just in ‘civilised’ societies but on a global scale.

One of the keen advocates of improving sanitation and new invention is the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation [and the World Toilet Organisation!] here’s a short video, ‘How The Toilet Changed History‘ (from 2017) on that very subject.

‘How The Toilet Changed History’ + The Global Challenge Today

On a final note, there was an ad a while back that highlighted how many ‘cleaning’ sprays may clean your bathroom etc., but leave behind a chemical residue… it was removed after some complainants. However, the message is strong – and humour often helps more than instruction. Going back to the start of this blog i.e. helping protect people and their health, the company, ‘Method‘ is a standout example of environmental awareness and ethical products – so here it is anyway, and it does make you rethink your product choices…

peopleaghainstdirty.com | Method & Household Product Labelling Acts from 2009

Next week’s blog will include how the various types of toilers/wcs work and the usual updates on loos & no. 2s in ‘The Daily Poo!‘.

‘The Daily Poo!’ This week, ‘A Potted History of the Toilet’ part 1.

copyright Mark Hendriksen 2020| Jon Fowler Media

As per last week’s heads up on the bottoms down. We should point out from the very start, it’s a history that relates more to the west as sitters, than the east who predominantly squat (or other regions where people still squat) – as we all did once upon a time!

Nevertheless, with the exception of 25% of the world’s population who still have no access to basic sanitation, the evolution of the toilet [sit down, or squat versions + urinals for men] has been relatively slow – and as you’ll read, has also been relatively painful. The illustration above, from one of my books on the subject about, ‘The History of the Toilet’, shows that after the creation of humanity, all of who squatted – some bright spark designed and invented the first sit down toilets… Thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia first by the Sumerians, the Indus-Harappan, and Egyptian civilisations, then Greece, and a while later add Rome to the list – and so on and so forth, as many would have read at school. For example, the phrase ‘you got the wrong end of the stick‘ derived from the sponge on the stick that Romans used to wipe their bums, dip it in a bucket, and pass it on – I guess you’re now picturing that phrase somewhat differently!

Again, as in the illustration above, the first sit down toilet designs were a row of seats with horseshoe shaped holes, they were unisex, and the ablutions were washed away to the river, with their clever drainage/sewer systems, albeit they were polluting their rivers in the process. Bearing in mind how many thousands of years ago this was, a) there’s been relatively little progress, b) why there was no particular loo taboo then, how did that change, c) as it became obvious that bad sanitation and poor sewerage systems killed people – again, why such slow progress and, d) why no one ever asked the question about such a dramatic posture change, ‘so how does it affect the health of humanity to suddenly go from squat to sit?’ Guess what, same questions as above today, yet only some more definable progress in the last 180 odd years,… err wtf?

For example, Sir John Harrington is accredited with the first mechanical flushing system in 1596. But, to highlight the glacial pace, new design, development and infrastructure barely started to make an impact again for another 4000 years, way up until the mid 1800s when we learn that as a result of London’s ‘The Great Stink’ sewers and sanitation jumped up the ‘to do’ list, and around the same time the first septic tank was invented, and then Thomas Crapper became a marketing legend, which led to all sorts of tweaks to toilet and flush designs, aided by Alexander Cummings, Mr U or S Bend one might say. It was a bums rush of activity, infrastructure and invention!

As you can see, even with this brief insight – this is a big subject. After the mid 1800s progress lowed gain in real terms. For which reason this brief history is a two parter, no. 1 [this week] and no. 2 [next] explaining how the software (so to speak) evolved, as the hardware was introduced. Other inventors and ideas, and how we’re still struggling to cope to this day, and as mentioned at the start, at the same time neglecting 25% of the population who, quite honestly, are far worse off today than many people were all that time ago, over 5000 years earlier.

Until next week… and ‘The Daily Poo!‘ ‘A Potted History of the Toilet’ part 2.’

Childrens books, concept, content, text & illustrations
copyright Mark Hendriksen 2020

‘The Daily Poo!’ The Latest News on loos & no. 2s

I have to start this week by mentioning a magazine I found called ‘Toilet Paper’ which may be familiar to many of you fashionistas – but, great design and wanted to flag it up as a fantastic coffee table mag or one for the bathroom! Let’s continue with a fun and educational youtube clip from Nas Daily from late 2018, you guessed it… about our specialist subject! Nas Daily’s ‘Before your next “toilet visit”… check this out‘ is another Jack Sim [Mr. Toilet] masterstroke. ‘The Daily Poo!’ this week, after blinding you with stats last week, is getting back to the down low on the down low and how to go.

  1. No. 1 on the subject list of no. 2s may be one you want to ignore, unless it’s something that may apply to you!? Poop problems podcast on the way to wipe… a hairy bottom!
  2. No. 2 on this week’s list of no. 2s a fantastic article on the merits of Bidets vs Butt wipe.
  3. I guess could be called no. 3s as it should be part of the process, especially when Aesop and Poo-Pourri show how there’s a big market in cover ups, not just political, but everyones shit 🙂 Here’s a review of Aesop’s Post Poo Drops…
  4. Whilst the first article above dealt with some man stuff, let’s take time to revisit the plight of women. Women Poop. Sometimes At Work. Get Over It.
  5. It’s pretty common that people use their technology, mobile phones etc. while sitting on the loo, yep, too much sitting time isn’t healthy but want to jazz up your gadgets with some poop emojis? Check these out!
  6. Finally, how a Detroit zoo is turning poop into electricity – and I’m not talking light pollution!!

A quick round up as the new year truly gets underway. Next week we’ll be examining the history of the toilet and the who’s who of loos. Let’s end on some environmental news… Bat Poop Gives Insight on Climate Change, Vegetation. Have a great week!

‘The Daily Poo!’ Latest News + Did you know that 25% of the world still has no access to basic sanitation!?

In last week’s edition of ‘The Daily Poo!’ we mentioned the global problems that remain a major issue for the people they impact, ie the sanitation and hygiene (or lack of it) in many areas of the world, along with lack of access to clean water or any water at all. There are many statistics bandied around, which can be somewhat confusing and blur the distinction between the various issues that need addressing, so let’s try and unravel the stats and give you a clearer picture on what’s really happening out there.

Key organisations in working to resolve the above problems include; The World Toilet Organisation set up by a guy called Jack Sim on November 19 2001 [also, World Toilet Day]. This is aligned to the United Nations who work closely with Jack on their sustainable development goals along with efforts to end open defecation. The World Health Organisation [WHO], UNICEF and The Bill Gates Foundation are other major influences, and the list is growing, as this rather ‘taboo’ subject dramatically affects both people, and the environment around the globe.

  1. The World Population was approx. 7.6 billion as at end of 2018 according to data from The World Bank, which aligns with the figure given by the United Nations. You can read the country by country split on the above link.
  2. 2 billion people still have no access to basic sanitation such as toilets or latrines, that’s around 25% of the world population! Of these, 673 million still defecate in the open, for example in street gutters, behind bushes or into open bodies of water. [WHO]
  3. Inadequate sanitation means that around 827,000 deaths annually from people in low and middle-income countries as a result of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene each year. Poor sanitation also contributes to malnutrition. [WHO]
  4. More than 80 per cent of wastewater (resulting from human activities) is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal. [UN]
  5. At the current time, more than 2 billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources and by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water. [UN]
  6. According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, sanitation rated as “safe for people” increased by only three percent worldwide over the last five years.
  7. Globally, 26% of health care facilities did not have basic water services in 2016. [WASH]

All of this data simply touches the surface on a problem that many of us neither experience, nor read much about. It is something that needs to be urgently addressed and the likes of Jack Sim and The World Toilet Organisation getting greater attention, media coverage and support.

Finally let’s end on a brief round up of other news from the world of loos and no. 2s from ‘The Daily Poo!‘ So, here are a few links to the most recent articles:

  1. The Whale Poop that’s worth more than your car!
  2. How Sea Urchin Poop Could Fight Climate Change.
  3. Top tip for Tourists in New Zealand: Dig a hole for your poop.
  4. What’s the Difference Between Toilet Paper and Tissue?
  5. Russian artist rings in new year with huge rat sculpture… made of poop!
  6. Further to our mention of Aesop Post Poo-Drops in the last blog, here’s an article that gives them the thumbs up, and odour down…

On which note… have a great week and we’ll catch up again with all the latest news and views from the loo in ‘The Daily Poo!’

Childrens books, concept, content, text & illustrations
copyright Mark Hendriksen 2020

‘The Daily Poo!’ Eco friendly toilet paper companies & the latest news…

Mosaic by the River Thames, London UK

There’s an increasing number of people around the world who use toilet paper, and it’s big business for your big business. Although few of us may consider the implications, or the statistics, that make toilet paper one of the no. 1 considerations for no. 2s! In this 2019 lead article from Fortune, they quote the following statistics:

“The U.S. consumes more toilet paper than any other country, almost three rolls per person each week. And a number of the brands they choose to use aren’t sustainable, with hardwood trees being pulped to create the soft toilet paper consumers want. Following the United States’ annual use of 141 rolls of toilet paper per capita is Germany with 134 rolls and the United Kingdom with 127. Japanese consumers average 91 rolls annually, while the Chinese average just 49. They estimate the US toilet paper market alone to be worth $31 billion. That’s one huge amount of trees and impact on the environment and the big players need to address this as Kimberly Clark are doing along with their Andrex Brand and sustainability. Meanwhile smaller companies like ‘Who Gives a Crap‘ and ‘Cheeky Panda‘ are introducing new alternatives and they’re giving back too, by supporting charities that help people around the world with better hygiene and sanitation.

Here’s the latest and relevant articles form the news on loos and poos over the past week or so…

  1. I’m dreaming of a green Christmas. Toilet rolls for home made crackers…
  2. Scientists develop slippery toilet coating to stop poo sticking. The toilet brush need never leave its holder again.  + Why this idea could save billions of litres of water!
  3. Latest news in Toilet Tech (following on from last weeks blog) and more posh loos and tech news – feeling flush?
  4. How TUSHY’s Bidets Are Cleaning Up Both Backsides and the Environment. Wash not Wipe!
  5. Amazon’s Dash Smart Shelf was made for the office – but it really belongs in the toilet…
  6. Unrolling a leading toilet paper manufacturers’ sustainability claims, and illustrating the need to address it.
  7. Why you may want to consider buying hemp toilet paper, let’s get to the bottom of this!
  8. Asian pulp giants pressed to paper over rivalry to save rainforests. Why we need open data from the industry!
  9. Public toilets – fair provision for women. We all know the queuing women have to put up with, what’s changing, or needs to?!
  10. We go through 36.5 billion toilet rolls a year – so Emma McGowan asks, ‘Are bidets worth it?’

Apologies for rather omitting any poop talk and article this week – we’ll make up for it next time + look at a few Christmas presents with a toiletty twist in next week’s blog on ‘The Daily Poo!’ Meanwhile ‘A whole lot of POO!’ can be enjoyed on this funny podcast.