Thanksgiving is almost here! A time for holiday shopping, adding an inch or two to our waistlines, and let’s not forget the most important part, giving thanks. This year, I am grateful for my wonderful family, great friends, and my toilet. Yes, my toilet. More specifically, I’m thankful for toilets, modern plumbing, and clean water. Let me explain.
I don’t want you to hug your toilet because you had too much eggnog on an empty stomach. I want you to hug your toilet because 2.5 billion people in the world don’t have one. In the water industry, people talk about the need for “adequate” or “improved” sanitation in other countries, which means more people need access to nice clean toilets that will keep waste where it belongs. The truth is more people have a cell phone than a toilet. A toilet is more than convenience, it means more school attendance days for kids, less illness, and fewer deaths. If you can’t find anything else to be thankful for this week – be thankful that you have access to a toilet! And it’s not just the toilet. In Hampton Roads, it’s the hundreds of miles of pipes that carry our waste to treatment plants so that only cleaned water is released into our waterways. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have this. You may not see it. You probably just flush it and forget it. But it’s there. In fact, there are 3 important water systems in Hampton Roads that protect us: wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water. Three separate systems that work together so that we can enjoy our waterways and have clean water with the turn of a tap. Pretty amazing isn’t it?
Even when water infrastructure does exist, it’s not always as good as we’ve got here! My in-laws experienced this first hand during a trip to Greece. One of my personal favorites is to the left. This is a sign you would never see in Hampton Roads in this day and age – gross! Sewage should not go straight into a river! We actually used to do this around here until we wised up.
So please, this Thanksgiving, give thanks for your toilet. And to show you really mean it, don’t treat your toilet like a trash can. Your toilet (and your plumbing) will appreciate it, and that’s what it’s all about this holiday season.
Family, friends, food, and flushes – what more could a girl ask for?