The Test of Time for Sitting toilets

by Sandbox
(Cardiff, UK)

I grew up in India and have been living in the UK for last 5 years and have traveled widely in Europe. At home in India we have both sitting and squatting toilets separately. I find squatting toilets more satisfying after defecation, more hygienic and most importantly more environmentally friendly. I can understand people who are used to sitting toilets their entire lives might find this incomprehensible but that's probably because they might not have had an good experience of a clean squatting toilet.

When using the sitting toilet, I found that my bowel had to apply lot of pressure to excrete. I always felt there were leftovers in my intestine after using a sitting toilet. Not having a proper defecation leads to constipation which is a rare thing is India or in other Asian countries. Constipation is the main reason for colon cancer which is the 2nd highest cause of death in United States.

I find squatting toilets more hygienic since there is absolutely no skin contact with the toilet. This is very useful in public toilets with little or no toilet paper. Of course proper use of water should be made in these cases. While using the sitting toilets I also find that while the excrement is coming out it touches the inside of my bottom which I find a bit disgusting. Additionally, the use of toilet paper instead of water to clean my bum was a bit unpleasant, but I'm used to it now. Its common sense, you shower with water (instead of paper) to clean your body; so why use paper to clean you bum?

And oh, the environmental cost!! Just imagine the amount of deforestation necessary to make the soft toilet paper. Since this paper cannot be recycled its a dead waste of resources, even if you use recycled paper to make the toilet paper. If people in India and China start using toilet papers then the cost of the toilet paper would at least have quadrupled across the world. I also find the amount of water used for flushing to be very excessive, especially when we've started seeing droughts in many parts of the developed world. However, some of the recent designs of toilets are more efficient and there is clearly room for improvement here.

Compared to the squatting, sitting toilets are very recent inventions, perhaps 200 years old. I can see why people think sitting toilets are more dignified and clean, but considering the health and environmental costs I don't think sitting toilets will pass the test of time.

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