World Toilet Day 2011, an annual celebration of the importance of sanitation to raise global awareness of the struggle 2.6 billion face every day without access to proper, clean sanitation, takes place on Saturday, November 19. Activities are planned throughout the world.
Last year’s celebration in Portland included the Portland Loo unveiling, and though this year’s celebration is perhaps less exciting, it is no less important. Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH), Portland, Oregon’s public restroom advocates, recognizing that Portland’s location in the Cascadia Subduction Zone puts us in considerable risk of a devastating earthquake in our lifetime, has launched a fall emergency preparedness campaign in conjunction with World Toilet Day:
Through information, public workshops and exhibits, Portlanders will reflect on needs and build simple urine separation bucket toilets. Most Americans’ see urine and feces as “waste” rather than as nutrient-rich resources vital to the planet. Disaster preparedness is an appropriate context for putting people at ease with talking about the issues; simple emergency toilets are both important in themselves and an intermediate step toward ecological sanitation and nutrient-cycling.
PHLUSH is working with the Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood Association, Neighbors West Northwest, the Collaborative Design Studio in Emergency Sanitation at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance provides valuable technical resources. The Christchurch Twin No-Mix Emergency Toilet was developed in collaboration with the Compost Loo Team of the New Zealand Permaculture Emergency Response Network Our campaign publicity partner is World Toilet Day.