For about the past month, there have been advocates all around social media networks raising awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To raise awareness, people would post a video of themselves getting a bucket of ice water dumped on them and challenge three of their friends to do the same. In addition, many people donate whatever money they can in order to help fund ALS research.
The ice bucket challenge would be a flawless way of raising awareness for a deadly disease if it weren’t for one condition, the drought.
In California alone there are about 38 million people. Let’s assume that about 4 million California residents have participated in this challenge. The average water cooler participants’ use is roughly around 4 gallons (plus or minus one). Now even a pre algebra student can do the math. 4 million people using 4 gallons each equates to 16 million gallons of water wasted in the span of a month, or 533,000 gallons a day. To put this into visual terms, it would roughly be the same volume as 320,000 baths or 16 pools that are a football field long, 50 feet wide, and 10 feet deep.
This is the amount wasted in only a month and if the amount of people keeps growing by three, we will only be hurting ourselves.
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So what do we do now? Since this is such an amazing fundraiser and has generated millions of dollars towards ALS research, we can’t just stop promoting awareness. We must find an alternative method to raise awareness that is entertaining and has the ability to go viral across social media. Some have proposed “dry bucket” challenges where you find anything but water to dump on yourself. So far this is the best alternate I have come across. If you have any other ideas about how to raise awareness while being environmentally friendly at the same time, comment and express your ideas.