The Gates Foundation put out a challenge, and it’s not too late to get in on it.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and ex-wife Belinda both share a passion for philanthropy through the Gates Foundation, as they continue to work together to invest in meaningful causes that they both agree on.
Bill Gates’ philanthropy about having better resources for the world and its sustainability will continue beyond his own life, as he has plans to give away his fortune to various causes.
Being able to see needs of a macroeconomic level isn’t easy. Being able to see how something simple impacts the world as a whole and how it needs innovation is what challenges great minds to come up with new ways to do things and invent.
Gates Focus to Shift Gears
Gates tweeted on Nov. 19 about a world crisis that not many people think about.
“In order to solve our world’s sanitation crisis, we need smarter toilets that don’t rely on sewage systems and prevent the spread of diseases. #WorldToiletDay,” the Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Free Report former CEO tweeted.
World Toilet Day was observed worldwide on Nov. 19, but while you don’t gather around the family commode to celebrate, it is a time to acknowledge the global crisis around the sanitation. The day is meant to promote awareness of the goal to achieve 100% sanitation worldwide by 2030. This goal is part of the United Nations Development Goal 6 established by the United Nations General Assembly.
Gates posted on GatesNotes.com that his foundation has put a challenge out to the world to reinvent the toilet. The sewage systems used in the U.S. are satisfactory, but because they are expensive and rely on water and underground sewer systems, they just aren’t feasible in developing countries.
Limited Time, Limited Resources
Gates stated that with the goal of having the world using a sustainable sewer system, scientists and engineers have started to think of new ways to handle the growing problem of sanitation. Innovation and determination have led to toilets that turn human waste into resources like clean water, electricity and fertilizer.
The goal of Gates’ team is more than just sustainability and bringing innovation to developing countries. On GatesNotes.com he mentions it involves health and health safety. Estimates say that hundreds of thousands of children under the age of five die every five years from diseases caused by unsanitary situations. Those countries that suffer the most from these young lives lost are those that are in the greatest need of these innovative sanitary systems. They are also the country’s most likely to be impacted the most by the growth of the human population.
Having good sewer and or ways to handle human waste, can contribute to better resources for drinking water, farming, and air quality to name a few. These developing countries also suffer from a shortage of drinkable water, so finding new ways to conserve the little water they do have is key.
Gates’ team of innovators includes Dr. Shannon Yee, who has come up with invention that turns the urine back into water to be used in the toilet again, GatesNotes said. The second part of the invention turns the feces into a dried cake. The other way to process the feces requires 373 degrees water to combust the feces underwater.
Gates said that in the toilet reinvented by Yee and his team, both processes leave the waste suitable for disposal through trash or in a compost. The current model would be sold for $450, which still may be too expensive for many worldwide. Donors are needed to make this a reality for many, GatesNotes reported.