Toilet Week 2021: Toilets & taboos– why the big fuss?

17.11.2021 08:00

© Kildwick

Toilet Week 2021: When it comes to water, less is more 

We rely on it daily, several times a day. Discreet and reliable, it helps us maintain our hygiene standards. A life without it would be unimaginable and it’s about time we thank it for its tireless service to humanity.

We concur: Thank you toilet, you're amazing!

In fact, we may forget that having a quiet place to do your business is certainly not commonplace everywhere which means many people have to give up the luxury of having their own toilet. That's why we want to give toilets the attention they deserve and take a peek behind the behind the scenes of this natural everyday occurrence that is the use of toilets.

Sh*t, poop & co. – it’s no secret! 

When it comes to this messy topic, we really don’t want to beat about the bush or delve into social norms. After all, we all have a bowel and a bladder. We have come up with many cute, funny and entertaining words to describe our business - big and small - yet surprisingly we still don’t talk about it often enough.

Taboo topics 

We live in a fairly open society, yet there are certain things we just don’t discuss over the dinner table.

Some of these taboo topics are completely natural.  For example, sex and gentiles are not something we talk about openly with just anyone. We rather deal with illness in silence and avoid the subject of old age and death completely. So, even if we all go to the toilet, urine and especially bowel movements, are a rather unpleasant and often inappropriate topic of conversation.


Everyone does it, but no one talks about it (anymore)

There were times when the bowel movements were a social event. Back then, it was certainly not taboo for anyone to talk about their excretions. And why would it have been if you were doing to your business in company anyway, or when it was normal for your neighbour’s business to land in front of you on the street.

Of course, this wasn’t the most sophisticated and or hygienic way to go about your business, but at least no one was removed from the natural course of their body (or that of the neighbour). With the invention of the water closet, the toilet disappeared into a quiet room, and so certain rules, norms and behaviour around the topic have become engrained in our society. It is a completely private event now, something that happens in secret and that we don’t talk about.

Nowadays, there are even innovative solutions so that help you empty your bowl without a trace. In Japan, for example, some toilets are equipped with buttons that allow you to play music or a background sounds (birds chirping or a flushing sounds), so that no one dare notice the release of urine or faeces.

Different countries, different customs

In fact, there are significant cultural differences in how we handle our daily business.

For example, in India it can sometimes be a dangerous event. Fixed toilets are still scarce in most regions across the country which forces most people, especially women, to rely on the fields or forests making them vulnerable to attacks.

Public toilets are not a good alterative because they’re often heaving with germs and bacteria. In addition, legend has it that there are evil spirits on toilets and that only people of low social standing use them.

Japan and South Korea show us a positive approach to excretions. When your gut works well this is a case for celebration - food and bowel movements go hand-in-hand here. There is even a toilet God! Children are taught a positive attitude towards toilets from a young age and this is also reflected in the use of language.  A good omen is this endearing and positive proverb: “With all that wind, poop isn’t far away”. (Banguga Jajumyeon Ddong Daenda)

© @playpoopoo

The elephant in the room – change begins in the head

It is becoming increasingly important to conserve our natural resources and to adopt more sustainable approaches to modern life.

And let’s be honest the management of our excretions should be no exception. In fact, our digestive system deserves a lot more appreciation anyway!

Befriend the contents of your toilet - shout it from the rooftops!

The desire not to speak about our daily business does not only mean that we’re losing out on the conversation about how to handle the valuable raw materials that are in fact our excretions (read more about this in post #3), but it also takes away our freedom to be relaxed about it. 

You may not be used to dealing as closely with your own urine and faeces as required for the separation toilet because we’re used to everything being gone with a flush (or two!). Yet the composting toilet opens up a whole new world, one where we can spend our lives how and where we want to - independent of sewerage, plumbing and water.

You and your body – there’s no shame!

We should take a page out of their book and use other cultures and countries as an example of how to adopt a more relaxed approach to our excretions.

Everyone has to go to the toilet, everyone makes noises and produces odours. At the end of the day, it's something that unites us all. 

Only this week: Toilet Week discount promotion – shameless price reductions included!

25% on all separation inserts

25% off all FreeLoo kits