Category Archives: Europe & Central Asia

Turning sweat into drinking water for Unicef

Unicef Sweden is using a “Sweat Machine” to help raise awareness and funds for drinking water projects.

Visitors at the Gothia Cup youth soccer tournament in Gothenburg in July handed in their sweaty shirt after a workout on an exercise bike and got a cup of clean drinking water in return.

For every kilometer cycled and glass of purified water that was drunk, sponsors Apothek Hjärtat (a pharmacy chain) and the Swedish Postcode Lottery donated money to Unicef.

Photo: Deportivo / Unicef

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Prince of Orange sets royal record for toilet bowl throwing

HRH Willem-Alexander The Prince of Orange, Rhenen, 30 April 2012 Photo: NOS

A Dutch royal record for toilet bowl throwing was set today during the Queen’s Day celebrations in Rhenen. HRH Willem-Alexander threw an orange toilet bowl further than his fellow princes to clinch the royal title.

Willem-Alexander attributed his success to his experience in the sanitation sector. The Prince of Orange is Chair of UNSGAB, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.

An annual toilet bowl throwing competition started in 2000 in the village of Achterberg, part of the municipality of Rhenen. The Prince of Orange’s throw was well short of the competition record of 10.56 m set in 2007.

Watch a video of the Prince’s toilet bowl throw here and a video of the 2008 toilet bowl competition below.

Senior Programme Officer, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist Asia, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Netherlands [deadline 01 April]

Germany: Metalheads get their own personal toilet

The personal Metal Mobil WC, 2012 model. Photo: Wacken.com

Nowadays some (older?) fans of black metal, death metal, gothic metal and the like are not averse to a bit of luxury. Since 2007, the organisers of Wacken Open Air (W:O:A), an annual heavy metal festival in Germany, offer attendees the chance to rent a personal mobile toilet. Costing 120 Euros each, there are 150 MMWCs (Metal Mobil WCs) on offer. The MMWC provider will clean your toilet too, for an additional 25 Euros.

In 2011 all 150 personal toilets were booked within 4 hours, according to the festival web site.

The vast majority of the 80,000 festival goers will still have to queue, as usual, in front of the public mobile toilets available for free on the festival site.

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Caganers: Sarah Palin and FC Barcelona defecating figurines in 2011 Christmas collection

Sarah Palin. "Made by hand". Photo: Caganer.com

Sarah Palin and the Barcelona football team are among the new figurines in the 2011 Caganer.com collection. Hiding Caganers in nativity scenes is a strong Christmas tradition in Catalonia, Spain, dating back to the 18th century. The defecating figurines symbolise fertilisation, hope and prosperity for the coming year.

The traditional Caganer is portrayed as a Catalan peasant, but since the 1940s figurines of nuns, devils, the Pope, celebrities, historical figures, politicians, and both Spanish and British royalty have been introduced. In 2011, the first moving Caganers were launched.

FC Barcelona. Photo: Caganer.com

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International hygiene study: scores for personal and household hygiene in 12 countries presented

In the wake of Global Handwashing Day, the Hygiene Council has released more findings from its international HABIT Study (Hygiene: Attitudes, Behavior, Insight and Traits). Below are charts comparing handwashing and household hygiene scores for 12 countries.

Percentage of respondents who wash hands 5+ times daily

Percentage with High Household Hygiene Score

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The 2theloo concept: a clean restroom, a shop with toiletries and a coffee corner

2theloo Hoog Catharijne, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Photo: 2theloo

Dutch entrepreneur Eric Treurniet opens his ninth 2theloo restroom shop on 7 October 2011 in Warsaw, just 8 months after he first introduced his new public toilet concept in an Amsterdam shopping street.

Treurniet got the idea to develop the 2theloo concept when he was out shopping with his wife and children in Bruges (Belgium) and found it very difficult to find a clean toilet.

The 2theloo concept means “always clean” restrooms and washrooms, a shop with toiletries, storage closets, sometimes a coffee corner, a family restroom for parents with children, and a special restroom for the disabled.

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