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My Favorite (Unofficial) Water Conservation PSAs

Water conservation messages are usually 60% boring and 40% preachy; here are two from Australia created by The Chardonnay Club that are just 100% funny. As you might guess, they are not officially sanctioned and, as one video notes in the endframe, “Never ever will be authorized by the Queensland Government Brisbane.” Maybe that’s why I love them!

The first is a parody of government psa spots that urge citizens to report friends & neighbors for water violations. Just call 1-800-DOBBER (For the non-Australians, a dobber is what we’d call a snitch or tattletale.)

“Warren’s Water Warehouse”  is a hysterical take-off on those low-brow, low-fi clearance sale spots we’re all so fond of…

Party with the Petunias

I’m on vacation right now so I’m coasting instead of posting…but enjoy this entertaining psa from Denver Water from a couple summers ago!

Drunk Flowers: Denver Water by Ad Agency: Sukle Advertising & Design, Denver, USA, July 2008

Austin, Beware of the Blob

Austin Water Utility demonstrates that slimy, greasy, fatty subject matter can really get the creative juices flowing!  “Stop the Grease Blob” sounds like a band playing at Austin’s SXSW, but is actually a video from the city’s campaign to alert customers to the horrifying consequences of putting greases and fats down the drain. We love the screaming females and melodramatic music. Made me laugh (and snagged them an award.)

And if, like me, you imagine sewer blobs as more brownish and stinky-chunky, there’s also a campaign poster with a more surreal, scary-cute sewer savage. Repulsive, yet adorable!

Speaking the Universal Language of Cute

These spots from Nickelodeon Latin American are meant to teach kids “green” behaviors, but people of all ages can certainly delight in their irresistible cuteness. Sadly, I happen to know that people of all ages can learn a few tips from the not-so-elementary lessons!

Little green box-guy “Verdito” was created as a companion to “Cubit,” who’s the little orange box-guy mascot of Nick Latin America. I love these spots because they’re so simple, funny and appealing that we don’t notice any age, language or cultural barriers. Just the message. So listen up.


This spot promotes last October’s Global Handwashing Day:

Are you a Numptee?

Numptee is the charmingly clueless character starring in Yorkshire (UK) Water’s new public education campaign, “Bin it, don’t flush it.”

You can’t help but smile at his silly antics though they spotlight a serious problem: sewer blockages and flooding, half of which are caused by Numptee and his buds putting inappropriate items down the drain. From campaign headquarters at yorkshirewater.com,

Numptee, did you just put that cooking fat down the sink?

Numptee, did you just put that cooking fat down the sink?

Yorkshire’s sewers are being abused and it’s causing all kinds of problems. You wouldn’t believe some of the things we find down the sewer – nappies, false teeth, fat, Christmas trees and even a Spacehopper! As funny as that sounds, all of these things can cause the sewer to stop working and this can lead to flooding.

Hmmm, are we talking about you? You might be a “Numptee” if:

  • you’re one of the 40% of people who dump fats, oils and grease down the sink
  • you’re among the 25% who think it’s OK to put items like cotton buds, nappies or sanitary products down the toilet.

Now, Numptee’s handlers at Yorkshire Water aren’t idiots so naturally the campaign is multi-media and backed by numerous social-media channels. You can follow the red-lipped phenom on Twitter (@MrNumptee) because…

By following Mr Numptee on twitter you’ll be able to see if we are dishing the dirt in your neighbourhood and take a sneaky peak at some of the unusual things that block up our sewers – yes that’s right we really do find strange things down there including one particular problem with knickers!!!

Where's Numptee Jr.'s dirty nappie headed?

If you’re like me, you don’t want to miss a single episode on Yorkshire Water’s YouTube channel. Contest-entering types can give their creative interpretations of exactly what kind of creature Numptee is (see the WIN tab) with top entries receiving cinema tickets, where…that’s right, Numptee trailers will be playing!

I found a lot of interesting information on the campaign’s web pages, including a neat tip to make “Bird Cakes” out of waste fats (the recipe is here.)

Numptee? Bin there, done that. You: don’t do it.

*Britspeak Glossary for Americans!

Bin: Trash can
Cotton Buds: Q-tips or cotton swabs
Knickers: underwear
Nappie: Diaper
Numptee: Dolt, or idiot
Spacehopper: Child’s sit-on bouncing toy

How to Trap Children in the Dark and Lonely Water

Somehow, fear as a motivator has fallen out of favor. Back in the day, though, scaring the tar out of kids was a perfectly acceptable method for keeping them in check. This 70s-era water safety clip from the UK was designed to educate by terror, with a creepy grim-reaper type character lurking in the waterways, ready to “trap showoffs and fools.” I’ll bet this put a damper on waterside playtime for the young Brits of the time!”

Save Water, Pee in the Shower

Why, it’s not such a repulsive idea really! After all, the toilet and shower drain to the exact same place, and if you’re healthy your urine is sterile. Remember that just one less flush per day could save you in excess of 1,000 gallons of water per year!

Environmental group SOS Mata Atlântica is advancing the idea among Brazilians with a charming PeeSA spot that features people big and small, young and old, human, alien and animal, doing their business while doing their personal hygiene routine. Cute! (But please, don’t follow this up with a yellow-mellow, brown-down public service campaign!)

Via discoblog on discovermagazine.com