With only 2.5% of all the earth’s water being fresh, water wastage is a worldwide problem. We set out to do something about it and 10 000 tweets later, social media managed to #CloseTheTap.
While we all know that water wastage is a problem, we don’t know just how big a problem it is. What’s more, we don’t know how easily small changes to our daily lives can make the biggest difference.
How do you tackle this real-life problem using a social platform? We needed to find a way to tell people about these everyday, small changes that make such a difference and get them to commit to making these changes together.
In collaboration with FLOW, a movement aimed at instilling a deeper understanding and respect for water conservation, we built a real-life running tap using recycled water, and video streamed it live. The only thing that could turn that tap off was someone’s commitment to water conservation via social media.
Tapping into Social
People were encouraged to make a small pledge to save water and share fun, yet impactful water saving tips on Twitter and Facebook in order to collectively, turn the tap off. As soon as they Tweeted or Facebooked, the tap would literally begin turning shut. So the more people shared, the more social awareness was created and the more the tap would close.
#CloseTheTap was built using Arduino technology. This easy-to-program circuit board was linked to a computer and adjusted the water valve based on the number of shares received. Once the goal of 10 000 had been reached, it closed the valve, closing the tap.
#CloseTheTap was the trending topic on Twitter for the entire day it launched. It has since received countless mentions on local and international media platforms like theinspirationroom, creativity-online and adverblog to name a few, as well as being the topic of conversation on numerous radio stations including Good Hope FM, 567 Cape Talk and 702. #CloseTheTap has received worldwide popularity from as far as the USA to Spain as well as a nomination for a CSS Design Award.
But most importantly, it demonstrated how adopting water saving habits can have a far greater affect when people are collectively doing it and after reaching our goal of 10 000 shares, we managed to #CloseTheTap.