A DIFFERENT LOOK
Documentaries about people and their worlds
A film by Rubén Abruña
Every year more than 100 trillion liters of drinking water are used to flush human feces and urine down the toilet, while over a billion people live without safe water to drink. Our sewer system of flush and forget is an environmental catastrophe that wastes water, fertilizer and energy, and pollutes most of our waterways. We spend billions of dollars cleaning it through an energy-intensive process that accelerates climate change, and uses cancer-causing chemicals that also promote bacterial resistance to some antibiotics. Our sewer system is the biggest disease vector in human history, killing more than a million children every year, and costing over 260 billion dollars in health-related expenses.
We all contribute to this problem because each and every one of us defecates from birth to death. It seems incongruous, that we continue to have shit denialism. We refuse to deal with it and we do not talk about it. It is one of the most enduring taboos of our time, due in part to the misinformation about feces that has turned vast segments of society into fecophobes.
Can we replace our wasteful and catastrophic sanitation system with a sustainable model? Can we break the shit taboo and not treat our feces as waste but as a natural resource that connects us to the cycle of life? How do we do that?