Green Cities

Changing the Definition of Waste

Indoor plumbing has become a service that is taken for granted, an amenity that is always provided.  But for one third of the world’s population, a lack of proper sanitation has extenuating circumstances.  It can lead to increased risk for contact with parasites or other bacteria.  It can pollute local water sources which takes away safe, clean drinking water for everyone.  And teenage girls who are menstruating miss weeks of school because their schools do not have proper sanitation, which sets these girls behind until they eventually stop going to school altogether. This is a problem that could be easily forgotten or ignored but in reality, there are people who face this problem every day without any tangible solutions And sanitation is not just a one-dimensional health issue, it has implications for environmental sustainability, social justice, and livelihood creation and one of Earth Day Network’s partnering organizations is working to inspire a global shift towards a more ecological and equitable sanitation solution. Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, also known as SOIL, is a non-governmental organization in Haiti. Their main focus is creating a cycle that provides sanitation, transforms that waste into a soil compost, and then uses that compost to grow organic food.  However, not only has the organization committed to providing dignified sanitation and organic agricultural growth but they work towards educating and providing jobs for the people of Haiti as well.

While providing toilets to people in a developing country might seem daunting to some, the impact is huge.  There is less risk for contracting any parasites or disease, girls are able to go to school and complete their education, and clean drinking water sources are preserved.  On top of that, this same population also gains access to organic food, jobs, and educational opportunities.  Through their constant effort to provide sanitation, food, education, and jobs to Haiti, this organization is working tirelessly to try and end the cycle of poverty.

Learn more about SOIL’s here and the great work they are accomplishing. Maurita Obermiller, Intern