If you were born in the 1960’s or later you grew up with edutainment. (Think Sesame Street, Magic School Bus, Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer, etc.) Edutainment is the portmanteau formed by the words “education” and “entertainment”. In most cases edutainment is focused on school aged children who also happen to serve as a great conduit to help train their parents.
My first introduction to child focused edutainment for water conservation was at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in 2012 where I learned about H2O Puppets from Hamilton, Ontario. Shortly thereafter I “met” Gabi H2O through LinkedIn and Twitter. At the 2013 WaterSmart Innovations Conference I “twitter-viewed” Avi Djanogly, the Director and Partner for Gabi H2O to find out more.
10 Questions with Gabi H2O
VCTO: What/Who is Gabi H2O?
Gabi is a camel on a water saving mission, he wants to inspire and educate people to change behaviour and lifestyles.
VCTO: Your story is what got us first interested in Gabi H2O. [Please share with our followers,] how did Gabi H2O get started?
In 2010 visiting Sea of Galilee after 20yrs, shocked by how [the] sea had retreated. Wanted to take action! Gabi was born.
VCTO: How long has Gabi H2O been around?
Since January 2011. So almost 3 yrs. Still a baby camel [with] lots to do still.
VCTO: What is “Edutainment “?
Education wrapped up in entertainment. Positive social messaging in a fun format.
VCTO: Why is Gabi a rapping camel?
Who better to spread the water saving message than a camel, he is the camel equivalent to Eminem
VCTO: Gabi is probably a big fan of #WaterWednesdays #HumpDay
Yes…and the legend of CAMELot!
VCTO: Is it true Gabi H2O has been on Nickelodeon UK?
Yes, the animation first aired 11 May 2012, but fame has not gone to his hump.
VCTO: Why does Gabi H2O sell water saving products?
[The products] compliment behaviour change message. Some messaging is helped along with products puts behavior change in action.
VCTO: [We] heard you have a singing toothbrush.
[The toothbrush] sings, “Stop the gush when you brush” plays for 90 seconds gets kids to brush teeth and turn tap off. Drives parents mad.
VCTO: What does the future hold for Gabi H20?
A lot of exciting projects in the works, stay tuned… singin’ rappi’ oh & changing the world…so he’s busy.
VCTO: Will Gabi H2O be coming to USA?
Yes, the camel wants to take the sustainability message wherever he goes. A camel with capability!
At this year’s WaterSmart Innovations we also met Lily Anne Phibian who provides edutainment for the Water Conservation Office of Athens Clark County in Georgia (Go Dawgs!) Perhaps Lily will be interviewed at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in 2014.
Edutainment and Smart Irrigation
So what does water conservation based edutainment have to do with smart irrigation controllers, flow sensors, rotator nozzles and other smart irrigation best practices? Kim Marotta, Director of Sustainability for MillerCoors, explained it well in her keynote address at WaterSmart Innovations, “Water efficiency is about investing 80% in people and 20% in equipment.” She went on to explain the key to maximizing water conservation is getting people to think about water efficiency all the time and in different ways. Once people are consistently thinking about water conservation they will find ways to conserve you never thought of…which is why we write about water conservation topics other than just irrigation. What new ways are you thinking about water conservation?
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