Believe it or not, not everyone has the typical flush toilet. There a wide variety of toilets used by humans around the world. Here are just a few:
This toilet, which is widely used in the United States, is usually made of white porcelain. The flush toilet was first created in 1596 by a man of the name, Sir John Harrington. The valve at the bottom of the toilet that keeps the odors from escaping wasn’t invented until 1775, by Alexander Cumming. The toilet is raised off the ground and is complete with rim, seat, and flusher. The toilet that we know of in America is filled with water. The toilet disposes of waste by flushing it away a drainpipe into a location where it can be disposed of.
Although similar in many ways to the flush toilet, the squat toilet is the middle ground between a latrine and a flush toilet. Found most commonly in parts of Asia, the squat toilet is installed into the floor. It is not raised off the ground like we see in most flush toilets. This means users must bend down in a squatting position to do their business.
Bidets go the extra mile when it comes to staying clean. The bidet is similar to the flush toilet but appears more like a sink than a toilet. From Europe to the Middle East, many people prefer bidets because of cleanliness and the scarcity of toilet paper. They are built to offer the user extra cleansing after using the toilet. Even though it may be an add on to the flush or dry toilet, the bidet is a new and growing trend in the toilet world. It combines comfort and cleanliness in one.
A pit latrine is a toilet that collects human waste in a whole in the ground. A pit latrine generally consists of three major parts: a whole in the ground, a slab floor with a small hole, and sometimes a shelter. Pit Latrines are the cheapest and easiest toilet to build and maintain. According to Wikipedia, “As of 2013 pit latrines are used by an estimated 1.77 billion people around the world.” This is mostly the developing the world as well as in rural areas.
Portable Toilets (Port-O-Potties):
A portable toilet is a move-able toilet that is often used at festivals, events, for camping, and in rural areas. It is not connected to a hole in the ground or to a tank. A portable toilet collects human waste in a holding tank and often has chemicals that are meant to reduce the odors. Portable toilets are meant to be move-able and easy to clean.
Compost Toilets use the natural forces of decomposition to recycle human waste. These toilets use little to no water, which allows the human waste to naturally decompose and become a fertilizer that can be used in gardening and for other purposes. These toilets are most widely used in areas without a water source. They are completely natural, with no need to flush, no chemicals, and no plumbing. Gone With the Wynns explains that, “The toilet is like a mini ecosystem that separates the liquids (the pee) and the solids (the poo) so the solids can convert into humus (fertilizer).” Even though you may have to dump out the liquid portion of the toilet every three days and the solid components every 30 days, the composting is a great option for tiny homes and RV’s. It doesn’t stink, saves water and energy, it’s simple to install, and makes for fantastic plant food.
This website is meant to show that although the type of toilet may change, the impact remains the same: “having a toilet equals dignity, safety, education, employment and status” (MyToilet).