Poop is taboo, but it doesnt have to be, say organizers of a campaign to raise awareness about global eco-sanitation issues. On Sunday, March 13, World Poopin Day (WPD) will be a social media event to raise awareness and donations for eco-sanitation issues affecting 2.6 billion people worldwide who lack a safe and efficient way to deal with their waste.
Social media tools like Twitter and Facebook spread content and ideas faster than ever before in human history. Many of these things are funny, but few go on to change the world. WPD aims to change that by referencing a social media prank that involves posting "Poopin" to someone's Twitter or Facebook accounts when they've left their cell phone unattended.
On World Poopin Day, participants will donate one Tweet or Facebook status update to "poopin" their account as a statement of solidarity with everyone else who does the same thing every day.
Organizations working on the front lines of the sanitation crisis including GiveLove, founded by Patricia Arquette and Rosetta Getty, and Water.org, founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, have joined the cause, along with sponsors CoTweet, Giveo and mGive.
How It Works
- Join: register at www.worldpoopinday.com with your Twitter or Facebook account
- Subscribe: opt-in to receive ongoing updates from GiveLove and Water.org
- Promote: select from one of five messages to "poopin" your account on March 13
- Give: make a donation at worldpoopinday.giveo.com or text "POOPIN" to 27722 to make a $10 contribution
"When you work on improving sanitation, like we do in Haiti, you start to really see the big picture," says Patricia Arquette. "Sanitation is the keystone to solving so many problems in the world improving public health, reducing child mortality, recycling and reducing waste, and protecting water resources and yet no one is really talking about the problem of untreated sewage or the fact that 40 percent of the worlds poorest people live without a toilet. The global community needs to commit resources to finding sustainable solutions."
"Sanitation is not the kind of topic you're just going to start talking about," says Aaron Gotwalt, the visionary behind World Poopin Day. "There are cultural norms about decency, privacy, and shame that go with talking about poop and pee. It's much easier to watch videos of kittens. Bringing the sanitation crisis to the forefront requires us to confront our own discomfort about the subject, but do so in a safe and humorous way."
- More people on the planet have a cell phone than have a toilet
- The water in our toilets is cleaner than nearly 1 billion people have to drink
- Each year, diarrhea kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined
- The world loses 70,000 classrooms of kindergartners every year due to diarrhea.
- Lack of sanitation is the worlds biggest cause of infection
For more information, visit www.worldpoopinday.com.
GiveLove was founded by Patricia Arquette and Rosetta Millington-Getty to develop temporary housing solutions, and improved sanitation systems in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. GiveLove is now focusing its efforts on community-led sanitation projects to treat and compost human waste, build compost toilets, improve public health, and create jobs around recycling. For more information visit: www.givelove.org.
Water.org is a non-profit organization whose founders have transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia and Latin America by providing access to safe water and sanitation. Co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, Water.org works with local partners to deliver innovative solutions for long-term success. Its microfinance-based WaterCredit Initiative is pioneering sustainable giving in the sector. Learn more at www.water.org.