Nine months after Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in response to California’s worst drought on record, thousands of residents have taken the Dirty Car Pledge and will not wash their cars for 60 days. The campaign, initiated by Los Angeles Waterkeeper, seeks to increase awareness of the badness of the drought and empower people to relieve the situation themselves.
Why it has to be done
There is a need for Los Angeles to do much better with water conservation. Angelenos use an average of between 122 and 129 gallons of water a day. People in other countries like Australia and Israel managed to cut their usage to between 40 and 60 gallons a day when drought erupted. Car washes are a luxury people would do well to do without, requiring 85 gallons at home and 56 in a commercial setting. If 10,000 people took the “Dirty Car Pledge,” almost three million gallons of water would be saved. Prizes will be given, for instance USD50/GBP31/EUR40 Uber gift cards.
How it goes
Rachel Stich, Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s Events and Communications Director, pronounced that 2,000 people took the Dirty Car Pledge in its first week and were doing their part to conserve water in the course of their quotidian activities. The reason for having a car adorned with birdy doings, grease, squashed insects and other nastiness can be conveyed to others by means of the sticker the organisation provides to signees which also serves to spread the word. The sticker is static cling, making it easy to remove tracelessly (1). Participants are directed to take a photo of their car that shows the sticker, post it to social media and ask their friends to join in. To nobody’s surprise, the hashtag is #DirtyCarPledge.
And by Crikey, is it needed
Los Angeles Waterkeeper wishes the Dirty Car Pledge to prompt state and local agencies to improve their water conservation, for instance by new stormwater capture and recycling programmes. Action is badly needed. Liz Crosson, the Executive Director of the body, bellowed that more than 80 percent of the city’s water hails from far-off places such as the Colorado River, which is being depleted to the point of its being considered endangered. She affirmed that people had to avoid wasting water in their everyday activities, and gave the further examples of replacing a lawn with drought-tolerant grass and employing appliances that are water-efficient. She failed to mention that people could also pee in the shower.
Timothy Chilman used to work in IT. Once, in Sydney, he was turned down for a job because he was “too flamboyant” (“Someone who wears green tartan suspenders to a job interview probably isn’t going to fit in here”). Timothy then became an English teacher. University students in Bangkok complained that he was “too enthusiastic” and company students in Prague complained that he was “too theatrical.”