Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Using creativity to combat the wasting of water

How do you encourage people to use less water? This was the quandary that Denver Water hired the creative agency Sukle to help solve. Their cooperation has resulted in over a decade of spectacular advertising campaigns that have inspired the citizens of Denver to save water.

At the start of the campaign, their goal was to reduce water consumption by 22 percent in 10 years, but the creative adverts worked so well that the goal was almost reached in the first year: domestic water consumption in Denver, Colorado dropped by almost 21 percent.

Before designing anything, the Sukle agency conducted research first to determine their target audience: they chose eco-conscious people.

“We uncovered their sensitivity to
the concept of waste. That helped inform the campaign message:
Use Only What You Need.”

Later, they refined their ideas, using slogans such as “You Can’t Make This Stuff”, which reminded consumers that water-saving practices are important even when it rains a lot, since nobody can actually make water.

To accompany their carefully considered messages, the agency also used striking and entertaining visual elements to focus attention on wasting water.

For example they displayed the “Use Only What You Need” slogan on billboards leaving most of the surface of the scaffolding empty, and using only as much as was actually covered by the text. In another campaign, they compared three brains: those of humans, cows and grass. Grass doesn’t have a brain, and this prompted the caption “Grass if dumb. Water 2 minutes or less. Your lawn won’t notice.”

The “You Can’t Make This Stuff” campaign occupied bus shelters throughout Denver, and created the city’s first urban art show, featuring various spectacular and creative installations to engage people with the important message.

Photos: sukle.com
Further information: My Modern Met

Overeating fattens ecological problems, too

Most people are aware that any unnecessary calories we ingest are detrimental to our health, but few consider that food consumed in excess of our real needs – and the energy, water and other resources used for its production – is of little utility, it is practically wasted.

Sustainable materials for the fashion industry?

The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries of all: it produces microfibres and chemicals and uses huge quantities of water while making 150 billion new articles of clothing every year. The environmental load caused by the fashion industry causes inestimable damage, and the best way to counteract that is to choose clothing made of more sustainable textiles. But where are they?

New perspectives for the feast table – or what on earth is insect marketing?

Food waste is a growing problem in developed countries. Massive amounts of perfectly edible food is thrown away because of merely aesthetic blemishes. The psychological factor behind the phenomenon is disgust, which may apply in relation to edible insects, as well. That attitude ought to be reconsidered from a climate protection perspective.

Washing tips to reduce the quantity of microplastics

In recent years, a new concept related to environmental pollution has gained wide-ranging recognition: microplastics. The term denotes pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm resulting from the break-up of plastic items. During washing, clothing made of synthetic fibres sheds many microfibres that pollute our waters and damage our environment.

Are drastic lifestyle changes required to protect the climate?

A BBC article suggests that people’s personal responsibility doesn’t stop at reducing car traffic: eating and shopping habits must also be rethought.

Pope Francis sees the solution in more simple and respectful lifestyles

Pope Francis urged people to change their lifestyles and to take concrete action instead of empty words in his message communicated on the Fifth World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, issued to young people raising their voice for the environment on 1 September.

The two rules on sustainable water future: use less, pollute less!

The population of Earth is growing drastically, while the planet has had a constant quantity of water ever since its creation. So, in addition to the sparing use of water, it is equally important not to pollute our existing stock of water.

We are unprepared for the worst-case scenario

Jem Bendell, a professor of sustainability leadership at the University of Cumbria asks the most depressing question of our age in his paper entitled Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy: what will happen if the most pessimistic scenario plays out concerning global warming?

Can veganism change the world?

A video published by The Economist entitled “How could veganism change the world?” claims that if we all consumed less meat, emissions of greenhouse gases could be reduced significantly, while the consumption of fresh water would drop to 70 percent and land use to 40 percent.

Tracking resources – How much water is there?

“How much fresh water is there in the world, and where is it located?” asks a short animation from UNESCO WWAP, and it goes on to enumerate the details of our water situation and the sustainability of our use of the world’s water resources.