‘To Flush or Not To Flush’: Students win big with environmental video

Two Hillsborough County students just won a state competition for their video on environmental conservation. 

Leo Meng and Hubert Pilichowski are happy about being recognized for their work to help Tampa Bay.

The video is called "To Flush or Not to Flush." 

"I think I'm very proud of the video," said Meng. "It took about a week with scripting, filming, editing and just going back and revising some parts, but I think one of the things we really wanted to focus on was good quality of production."   

The quality was good enough for the Strawberry Crest High School juniors to win first place in the 2021 Florida Water Environmental Association and Water Environment Federation Waterpalooza video contests. 

"I'm very happy that I won. I wasn't really expecting to win because it was just a homemade video we did in a week or so. But when we got the news that we won. I was very excited and quite surprised as well," added Pilichowski. 

The students did a mock investigative newscast to point out what should, and should not, be flushed in a toilet.

"It was a newsreel about what to flush or not to flush down the toilet. I was the reporter on the scene latrine. Larry and Leo was the host of the show," said Pilichowski.

The duo shot and edited the video in two days. 

"It was pretty challenging with the limited resources we had, as Leo said. But with our hard work, that school has taught us, we really pushed through and made it a reality," said Pilichowski.

They hope their message changes the way that people dispose of items that shouldn't be flushed in a toilet. 

"I think our video was helpful in a way where we could show to a younger audience just a fun, quick way to educate them on what to flush and not flushed down the toilet," said Meng. 

It’s a message that Hillsborough County Public Utilities is using to bring awareness to help stop costly repairs. 

"They felt that our video was good enough that to use on their on their website, it was very exciting."

The duo hopes to have an exciting future making videos. They got $700 for their winning video and they plan to take their winning and buy equipment to make more videos.