Green toilet habits may seem like minor distractions to bigger issues like global climate change, but environmentalists sure love discussing peeing and pooping. From finding soft recycled toilet paper to experimenting with composting toilets, the greenest way to poop and tinkle have been topics of many a nitpicky green blog post — my favorite being a column on Grist about whether or not you should pee while showering to save a flush.
If you loved that Grist post because you realized peeing in the shower also could save you time, then you’ll likely find this article by Slate fascinating. In it, Daniel Lametti makes a strong case for squatting while pooping!
The more extreme assertions about squatting — that it prevents cancer, for example — remain untested. But when it comes to hemorrhoids — a painful swelling of the veins in the anal canal that affects half of all Americans — new research suggests that you may want to get your butt off the toilet.
Squatting on your toilet seat is not for everybody. Even when I was holding onto a towel rack, the situation felt precarious. A bedpan or a plastic container would have been easier, but I didn’t have the former and the latter seemed gross. So I forged ahead, pushing through the week — or, as it turned out, not pushing: Bowel movements just seem to happen in a squat. My 10-minute routine dropped to a minute, two at the most, and within a few days my knees stopped complaining…. I gained an hour over seven days.