drought shaming

    Published: November 19, 2015

    #DroughtShaming Part 2: High-Profile Water Waste Continues

    The predicted El Niño has thus far missed the mark on quenching California, and as the intense drought continues, so does considerable water waste by high-profile A-list Hollywood stars. #DroughtShaming – the trending topic that first lit up Twitter early in the summer when Tom Selleck was found guilty of siphoning water from a fire hydrant out of his residential zone – has become more relevant than ever as celebrities have become notable examples of what not to do during a drought.

    Many wealthy members of the entertainment industry in the Los Angeles area and surrounding cities experience a great amount of personal exceptionalism, willing to admit that the drought is an immediate problem but unwilling to take steps to combat it themselves. Countless sprawling green yards in Bel Air and the Hollywood Hills are regularly watered, wasting thousands of gallons of water each per week. This cumulative waste highlights California’s overall approach to the drought: Continue wasting resources and hope for a miracle. Though the celebrity microcosm is undoubtedly exaggerated, it’s not a far cry from how city and state officials have reacted to the seriousness of the drought: with a uniform malaise.

    The Hollywood Reporter quotes an anonymous producer in Bel Air who says the drought “is a huge problem for our state, but we haven’t let our grass die. Feel guilty, but there you have it!” These types of reactions illustrate the necessity of the #droughtshaming movement that has dragged the follies of the likes of Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian into the limelight. Celebrities and Hollywood types may not be moved to action on their own, but public opinion and a fall in popularity may spring them into action.

    That’s not to say that the entirety of the entertainment industry is willfully oblivious to the realities of the drought. Many A-list stars have stepped up and taken steps to drastically reduce their water usage and waste in their homes and on their property. Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest are among a selection of stars that have long been drought-tolerant, planting succulents and other alternative plants and grasses that require very little water to thrive. Curtis installed Norman Copenhagen rubber tubs in her shower to collect water for the yard, further cutting down her water waste beyond the typical amount.

    Many stars (like Sally Field, Sean Parker, and Charlize Theron) have taken active strides to combat the drought, redoing yards and getting rid of water-thirsty plants altogether. However, as the drought only worsens, the need is more pressing than ever to call out the biggest wasters of water, especially those A-list stars susceptible to public opinion. However, #DroughtShaming isn’t as effective if the shamers themselves don’t take steps to conserve water whenever possible.

    So with that in mind, continuing to lower water consumption and properly filter and conserve water sets a good example and helps fight off the effects of the drought, but only if concerned citizens ban together and make a concentrated effort to raise awareness in California’s celebrity circles.