Just to satisfy my own morbid curiosity, I wanted to see if there was a quick way to estimate the amount of water being wasted on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. So, I did a Google video search to see how many results were returned using “ALS water challenge” as the search criteria.
About 5,260,000 results (0.63 seconds)
Knowing that not all videos returned in the search were actually videos of the challenge, I rounded that number down to an even five million.
I’m using three (3) gallons as the average amount of water used in each video. Some or way more, some are less than 3 gallons. I’m not including the amount of water used to create the ice that’s also used, so I think I’m being VERY conservative. Considering that not everyone posts their video publicly, and others videos may not make the Google search result, and even more videos contain multiple people dumping water simultaneously, I think I’m being EXTREMELY conservative.
So 5 million videos of 3 gallons of water each = 15 MILLION gallons of water have been WASTED to raise money for a cause. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?
Oh, but wait! There’s more!
If you listen to the wording of the challenge, it’s mostly “donate money OR pour water on your head.” I get that a great number of people make a donation as well as the
dumping wasting water thing, but there’s a good number of people who DON’T donate, which is why they waste the water to begin with.
There’s also the whole idea of “DO THIS OR ELSE…” that drives me insane. That’s also the best way to convince me NOT to do something. Want to ask me for a donation to a worthy cause? Sure, no problem! Just ask me. Don’t challenge me into donating. Don’t try to intimidate me into making a donation. And don’t even think of trying to embarrass me into making a donation. You’ll regret that one.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for donating money to a worthy cause, and I do, every year. I also wear a kilt for the entire month of September to help raise awareness (and hopefully some donations) for male-specific cancer research.
But here’s what I WON’T do to help raise money (ALL of which HAVE been done in the ALS Ice Water Challenge):
1. Waste natural resources
2. Embarrass/Force/Challenge/Intimidate people into donating
3. Embarrass/Force/Challenge/Intimidate people into wasting water (or other natural resources) instead of donating
4. KILL or HURT anyone to get a donation
Oh, and all of this is going on while the US is experiencing a major drought. That’s pretty fucking stupid, if you ask me.
“Who cares if there’s a shortage of water in that state? I don’t live there! Now make sure you hold the camera steady while I dump this bucket of water on myself because I don’t want to have to make a donation after Joey called me out on Facebook.”
If you want to make a donation, fine. But donate if you believe it’s a cause worthy of your money, not because you felt pressured into doing it, or because you’ll get called out by your “friends” for NOT doing it.
Just don’t waste the water.
Meanwhile, in the other half of the U.S. …