Loving the PeePoo Bag

peepoo bag

And yes, I am completely serious – thanks to the Swedes who designed it. As many of you know, I love to travel and not just to the standard places where there are luxury hotels on every corner. My favorite places to visit have been far more out of the way and, sadly, lack basic sanitation facilities (I must admit that even when visiting remote locales, I have been blessed to have at least basic standards of some degree of a toilet and shower).

Although my own research focus in public health relates to sexual health, it’s clear that sexual health does not exist in a vacuum. For people to have high quality of life, they don’t just need to be free of sexual exploitation or extreme HIV risk, they also need access to a sustainable source of food, clean water and – yes – a place to go to the bathroom. After all, if a community relieves themselves wherever is convenient, there goes your clean water supply. And your wholesome food. Not to mention other risks related to bacteria and viruses.

Enter the PeePoo bag, a brilliant invention. It’s a bag that can be used for people to go to the bathroom in (that’s right: #1 or #2). It’s designed to be used “sitting, squatting or standing” (brilliant given different cultural norms and access depending on where one is). It can also apparently be used in a chamber pot or bucket.

Each bag is single use. Inside each bag is gauze that can be pulled out and held in one’s hand to keep from getting dirty while using it. And the best part? Thanks to chemicals in the bag, two to four weeks after use, the waste can be used as fertilizer. Another fantastic project that aims to provide bathroom facilities to people (and use their waste for fertilizer) is Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), started by a classmate of mine. In any case, I’m happy to see these types of innovations for places that very much need it.

Maybe one day we’ll have an EjaculateBag too. Surely there could be extra goodness to come from men’s masturbation besides the fun of doing it the first time around. And who wouldn’t want to eat corn or tomatoes grown with semen? Or similar.

[PeePoople and SOIL]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.