Rewriting Toilet Hygiene

After doing our “business” in the porcelain throne (also known as the toilet), we would reach the majestic handle to flush our creation away. Then a majority of us would have to get up and walk over to the sink area.  Our hands would reach over and grasp the handles of the facet to unleash the waterfall of cool/warm water. Whilst the water continues to run, we would entrust our memory to compress the spout of the detergent contraption. After lathering our phalanges, we will thrust our hands through the continuous cycle of water. Penultimately, we would reach for the facet handle again to disable the water. Finally, a towel is used to dry any soapy evidence to end the routine.

As romantically comedic as washing our hands may be, the entire process itself can be unsanitary. After doing our business, we would touch other objects in the bathroom as we head to the sink. This will potentially cause contamination which may spread gut, lung or viral infections for the next party. While the next party may not be using the toilet, they could touch the sink facet handle, table, and door knob which may be contaminated due to your poor toilet hygiene.

Globally, rural communities suffer from high mortality rates from inadequate sanitation such as diarrhea (gut infection). Therefore countries such as Japan have embedded the sink and toilet into one apparatus to lower the risk of contamination. This innovation not only saves water but it enforces hand washing without the turning of a facet handle. When the handle of the toilet is pulled down, clean water goes through the facet for you to wash your hands. The grey water that results from the hand washing fills the toilet basin for the next visitor.  Also it is common to find toilets in their own separate room in a home.

Although all of our homes may not be fortunate enough to have such a hygienic and sustainable apparatus, we can still take precautions and improve our toilet hygiene. While it may not seem like the most attractive idea, saving your flush for your next family member will conserve that water. Jackie Chan is an exemplifying example as he would let all members of the filming crew use the toilet before actually flushing it.  Of course you can also take smaller measures by:
  • Using toilet paper around the flush handle
  • Using your elbow/forearm to turn on the facet
  • Cover the toilet seat with a cover
  • Close the lid before you flush

Throughout the globe, Green Empowerment has integrated a WASH program which you can learn more about here: WASH