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  • Kkykx

    Interesting... I've been traveling through Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and India
    filming a selfie video blog segment I call, "Mastering the Art of the Squat Toilet". Would love to share it with you if you're interested once I stop long enough to edit.

  • Agus Echague

    Guys, this is great.
    I think you need (HAVE!) to talk to Melbourne based folks from Who Gives a Crap.
    Their story is awesome (read how they raised funds!) but to cut it short, they saw the same problem and decided to tackle it by creating this social enterprise that sells TP subscriptions. 50% of its profits are donated to WaterAid to build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.
    You can ping them on twitter @WhoGivesACrapTP

    • Jessica Rivera

      Awesome! Thanks so much for the tip, Agnus. Will check them out now!

  • Danni Lee

    Hey Mary and Tyler,

    Thanks for sharing, and for bringing awareness to this worldwide problem that can be solved with a (relatively) 'simple toilet solution'.

    I've recently meet a couple of people with the same shared vision, who may benefit from your campaign:

    New York based, non-profit Toilet Hackers ( are building a network of 10 million toilets in 10 years, by organising hackathons, campaigns and chapters.

    New York and Mumbai-based, Indian architect Makrand Bhoot, noticed that toilets are often given low priority in disaster reconstructions. In the aftermath of natural disasters in Haiti and India, he has helped build sanitation systems, such as those that use bio gas plants.

    To add, what I think is a very fancy and unrealistic solution - backed by the Gates Foundation, and designed by Eram Scientific Solutions, a technology research company - an automated public toilet, currently installed in India to tackle this kind of issue. It conserves water and energy, and is monitored using GPS controls. The thing is, is that users have to pay to use it, and in an area where that habit isn't second nature, I think they would seek natural alternatives.

    I've just created a blog post on the topic:

  • Hero Jig

    Love the advertising & design here, but not sure what more there is to this, other than donating to another NGO working on the problem. I live in Nepal, where it's true, more peeps have phones than toilets. But these phones are not the kind you would ever see a webpage on (old, non-smart, feature phones). There is also a city full of I/NGOs (Kathmandu) working on problems: clean water, toilets, hand-washing, etc. and some even train women how to repair cellphones, but I can walk outside the city into the hills and find folks defecating into open waterways. Heck, I can just look outside my window in the middle of the city and see that. So I have to ask, how will another website, another campaign, another organization fix the problem? According to hundreds of reports generated by dozens of organizations, 45,000 children die each year in Nepal from diarrhea. Is it true? I don't know, I just edit the reports as a professional editor, putting the comma in the right place or rewording the sentence so it makes sense. But it seems that instead of writing reports, proposals, and assessments, we should be out in the field fixing the problem. So what is the real story? With over two decades of aid from every developed country on earth, how come that many children are reported dying each year? I don't have an answer... I wish I did.

    • Tyler Hoehne

      Hero, another question for you. Do you know of any people doing some great work in your area toward improving access to toilets or sanitation? Would love to try to connect with people on the ground. Let me know.

    • Tyler Hoehne

      Hey Hero,

      Really good points here. No denying this is just another way to donate money to an NGO who is trying to make things better. Also no denying that this is not the silver bullet that will fix a big sticky problem. However, I think the point of campaigns like this isn't to solve something, but to bring awareness to a problem. If we can make a tool that helps an issue click in enough peoples heads, then a campaign is successful. Then in theory, if enough people care then momentum will build and enough attention will be given to the issue and steps will be taken toward making it better. This is a long and laborious process. Sanitation and hygiene is an incredibly complicated system that involves governments and lots of money (that people just don’t have), and a lot of creativity.

      All that to say, I don’t know why things aren’t better. All I know is that if I can make something as a designer that gets people thinking about an issue for a few minutes more than they did before, then I’ll do it.

  • bbbpop

    "Water For People" was working to draw attention to & fix this world problem long before Bill & Melinda Gates or Matt Damon joined in. But the important thing is not the names of the organizations. Its the 1.4 million kids dying each year (one every 20 seconds)! With all the causes in this world with so much money, power & energy devoted to them, why isn't this one number one and the most well known? Have we lost our way as human beings? Come on folks, we can solve this problem!

    • bbbpop

      Don't allow our number one problem to be number two!

  • William Grey-Mclaren

    All of us healthy enough to understand this know we are the products of good health and hygiene, and we equally are capable of understanding the most obvious issue about water, one of the 1st most abundant substances on earth should not be so difficult to process for the better health of the world, if this is true then we should consider ourselves the dumbest individuals on the planet, unable to solve something with the (SOLUTION) staring us in the face, WATER, the EARTH is only 1/4 the landmass in comparison to the OCEANS and Rivers

  • Jess RT

    Good cause, but clearer use of how the App works, what it does, and how to actually access it would also be good...I haven't found it searchable on the Apple Store?

    • Tyler Hoehne

      Hey Jess,

      No app needed. Its just a mobile website. If you go to on your phone, you will see a prompt to go to the site.

  • Raelina Marie

    The Bill and Melinda Gates fund has made one of their priorities as well. The three prototypes that won awards/funding are interesting concepts that push our ideas of what a toilet can do. Instead of just disposing, these models create something out of our waste.

    "In August 2012, three prototypes from the first round of grants were selected as winners of the challenge. California Institute of Technology in the United States received first place for a solar-powered toilet that generates electricity. Loughborough University in the United Kingdom won second place for a toilet that extracts biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water from human waste. University of Toronto in Canada won third place for a toilet that sanitizes feces and urine and recovers resources and clean water. We are continuing to fund additional grants through the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge."

    Except one limitation to designs like this is that they assume the shit going in has valuable things to take out of it. With the American diet at least this would prove to be difficult.

  • Katherine McNenny

    There is a sanitation crisis in our very own Skid Row, DTLA. We need more toilets for the approx. 1K still on the streets. Situation is just as dire as any 3rd world's. Walk the streets here to see and smell for yourself.

    • DVega

      Reading this I was thinking the same thing- I walk past feces everyday around my building in DT Los Angeles- people sneak into my building at night to relieve themselves of this basic human need. Providing a safe and healthy access to 'elimination' should be a basic human dignity issue, provided to all humans. I know I am not offering a practical solution here but speaking up as another voice.

    • Tyler Hoehne

      This is a very valid point. Especially with the recent numbers that came out about the growing homeless population in LA. Are you aware of any organizations that do anything like this? Would love to get them involved.

  • Qinnie Wang

    Brilliant marketing and I hope this will really take off!

  • Luke Keller

    Clever message and a fantastic cause. Kudos!

  • JSWAuer

    Sanergy is working on this and doing an incredible job -- glad the word is getting out even more!