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To pee or not to pee: My viral water-saving campaign to wee in the shower

VSO ICS alumni Deborah Torr, 24, never expected the light-hearted water saving campaign she started while at university to attract so much international media attention.

Debs' campaign saw 200 articles published across 50 countries
Debs' campaign saw 200 articles published on it across 50 countries

It became a global debate overnight

“The idea was for people to pee in the shower to save the water used in flushing the toilet. We gave it the cheeky title of ‘Go with the Flow’, and after contacting the media it became a viral sensation,” said Debs.

“There were over 200 articles published on the campaign across 50 countries, and we became the most shared article on BBC News, as well as being interviewed on BBC and ITV News.

“I think it resonated with people because it was a light hearted approach to a serious subject. In the news, talk about environmental issues can often be all doom and gloom, but I don’t think that’s how you capture the attention of the public.”

VSO volunteer Deborah Torr being filmed with co-founder Christopher Dobson
VSO volunteer Deborah Torr being filmed with co-founder Christopher Dobson

I found the secret to saving 720m litres of water

Debs had calculated that if every student at her university urinated during their morning shower rather than using the toilet, the university would save enough water to fill 26 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year.

What's more – if everyone in the UK were to 'go with the flow' for a year, the country could save 720 million litres of water.

“I never expected it to snowball into such a big thing. It was an incredibly surreal experience. It was great to be able to prompt all these conversations about how to save more water.

“After we finished the campaign, we won an award that sent us all the way to the Amazon rainforest to live with a remote indigenous tribe, learning how climate change directly impacts them and installing a well and plumbing so they no longer had to carry huge volumes of water.”


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