Open the door, linger a little, wash up, (hopefully) wash your hands, leave and forget - around 6 times in 24 hours. For most people, going to the toilet is probably quite automated. And hardly anyone in Austria will ever realize that the familiar ensemble of ceramic bowl and plastic glasses is considered the gold standard: it usually comes with a water and sewer connection and wastewater treatment.
Seen globally, this is not something that can be taken for granted. Today, two billion people still do not have their own toilet, and twice that number has wastewater that is not properly disposed of. It is unrealistic that the gold standard will prevail everywhere: it is expensive and, in terms of water consumption, not exactly sustainable. But there are exciting alternatives. In Kenya, Guatemala and India, companies are solving the sanitation problem with innovative circular economy: They make toilets available, collect excrement and turn it into fertilizer or animal feed. Maybe this will soon become the new gold standard.