As the co-founder of Microsoft you wouldn’t think Bill Gates would need to create anymore projects, but that’s not so. Currently, the revolutionary man is looking to reinvent the toilet to better the planet and people worldwide.
Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates is proposing we need a toilet revolution that will “help reduce disease and find new ways to turn crap into valuable stuff, like fuel, fertilizer and fresh water.”
One of the major reasons Gates and his organization are looking to reinvent the toilet is that 2.5 billion in the world don’t have access to an actual toilet. Without a sanitary way to actually go to the bathroom, disease spreads through contamination of water and many other ways.
The World Health Organization also reports that diarrheal disease is to blame for the deaths of 1.5 million children each year.
“Innovative solutions change people’s lives for the better,” Gates said. “If we apply creative thinking to everyday challenges, such as dealing with human waste, we can fix some of the world’s toughest problems.”
Gates is looking to put a stop to this, and one way is through a challenge that was issued last year. His foundation challenged universities to come up with a new commode that would not only be safe, but hopefully would launch a worldwide effort to improve sanitation.
This week, the California Institute of Technology took home the grand prize of $100,000 for it solar-powered toilet that generates hydration and electricity. Coming in second ($60,000) was the United Kingdom’s Loughborough University for its toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals and clean water. Third place ($40,000) went to the University of Toronto for its toilet that sanitizes feces and urine, all while recovering resources and clean water.
If Gates has anything to do with it, this is only the beginning for the toilet revolution.
“Imagine what’s possible if we continue to collaborate, stimulate new investment in this sector, and apply our ingenuity in the years ahead,” Gates said. “Many of these innovations will not only revolutionize sanitation in the developing world, but also help transform our dependence on traditional flush toilets in wealthy nations.”
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