While we here at GJEP can appreciate when a not-for-profit snags a viral marketing idea, we certainly have some doubts about the ALS ice bucket challenge. While the organization fights valiantly for a worthy cause, the idea of wasting millions of gallons of fresh, clean drinking water — that nearly 1 billion people do not have access to — is a challenge we cannot accept.
Apparently, a few others couldn’t either.
For example, actor, screenwriter and director Matt Damon, also the founder of the nonprofit Water.org, chose to dump dirty toilet water on his head, in recognition of those millions who live without access to potable water.
Matt Damon takes the ice bucket challenge with toilet water in effort to raise awareness about the 800 million people who live without access to clean drinking water. Photo: WVCB.com
In an article in People magazine, the actor said, “As disgusting as this may seen, hopefully it will highlight the fact that this [access to clean drinking water] is a big problem and together we can do something about it.”
Damon isn’t the only actor taking an environmental twist on the ALS challenge. Leonardo DiCaprio took the ice bucket challenge with the members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, Canada, as he took a tour of and listened to concerns about Canada’s tar sands.
Click to Watch: DiCaprio accepts the ALS ice bucket challenge and raises awareness about tar sands with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
An article in Indian Country Today even has a video of the mass bucket-ing, along with some clues as to why DiCaprio and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky are interested in this serious environmental issue.
Finally, one of the most salient ice bucket challenges comes to us from the ravaged and war-torn Middle East. The Huffington Post writes:
Palestinians have launched the “Rubble Bucket Challenge” in a moving appeal, where participants swap ice – a precious resource – for debris.
In solidarity with those in Gaza who have lost their homes in the ongoing conflict with Israel, the web has hijacked the ice bucket challenge to “raise awareness on the war in Gaza where people are bombarded in their homes,” according to the Facebook page where more than 4,000 are now backing the appeal.
Search for #RubbleBucketChallenge on Twitter to see how thousands are raising awareness about the shocking conditions on the Gaza Strip. Photo: Huffington Post
This world is filled with causes worth fighting for. However, it is the way we fight for them that makes a difference and truly defines who we are.