Celebrities raise awareness of California drought
Celebrities raise awareness of California drought Morning traffic makes its way toward downtown Los Angeles along the Hollywood Freeway past an electronic sign warning of severe drought (AP photos)
Celebrities raise awareness of California drought
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Willing or not, celebrities are playing a role in raising awareness about California's debilitating drought.

Stars whose homes boast lush, green lawns at a time when residents have been asked to cut back on water may be drought-shamed on social media. Meanwhile, entertainers hoping to take the lead on water conservation talk proudly of their drought-friendly gardens.

"We're all in this together," said actress Wendie Malick. She relies on well water at her home in the Santa Monica Mountains. "Unfortunately, it had to come to this crisis moment to get us all on board."

At celebrity enclave Beverly Hills, many lawns remain bright green. But the neighborhood has approved new water restrictions and penalties for violating them. Enforcement is set to begin this month.

Beachside Malibu has long had water restrictions in place. That is according to the city's environmental programs specialist, Casey Zweig. While she says the city would never engage in drought-shaming, it does offer a website where residents can anonymously report their water-wasting neighbors. Zweig said her team visits the offending properties personally.

"Once you reach people with this information, they tend to really want to do the right thing and figure out what the best solution is," she said. "People who live in Malibu love the natural aspect. They want to coexist in a lot of ways with these beautiful natural surroundings that they're paying top dollar to live in."

Offenders in the city, though, have multiple chances to make things right before facing fines, Zweig said.

Barbra Streisand is a past drought-shaming target. She said she and husband James Brolin have let most of the lawns go brown at their Malibu compound. The couple is also working with a water-reuse company to install a graywater system and rainwater cisterns, she said. That is, "should California be lucky enough to get some rain," she said.

Cher is another Malibu resident. She has let her grass go brown. She has talked about the water shortage on Twitter. In a post last month, she complained California used fresh water for fracking.


Kelly Osbourne drought-shamed herself on Instagram. She shared her guilt over taking a bath. And she said she planned to re-use the water.

Malick, who serves on the board of the Environmental Media Association, said "making green cool" is part of the organization's mission statement.

"If people emulate those that they're fans of... why not show them some behavior that is great for the planet?" she said.

Being eco-conscious "is the way to be trendy in Hollywood," EMA president Debbie Levin said. Levin added that studios are also keen on the effort. Some have replaced lawns with artificial turf.

Industry-watcher Michael Levine said it's important that celebrities make the same cutbacks as other Californians. It's because "people care about a sense of fairness."

"They think, 'I'm not going to sacrifice if Brad Pitt doesn't sacrifice,'" Levine said.

Both Levine and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton think concern about the drought hasn't reached a tipping point yet in Hollywood. It is a place where it's often socially obligatory to be on board with conscientious trends.

"It's an issue that doesn't trigger an emotional response in a lot of people," Hilton said. "Or maybe they're afraid to speak out because they might be branded hypocrites."

Still, he says only the most publicly eco-aware stars could be damaged by drought-shaming.

"For someone like Kim Kardashian," he said, "people would probably expect her to be watering her lawn and breaking the rules."

Critical thinking challenge: What is drought-shaming?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/celebrities-raise-awareness-california-drought/

Assigned 43 times

  • SpencerRR-2
    6/05/2015 - 01:23 a.m.

    This article is about celebrities trying to raise awareness about the California drought. Maybe if they do this people will start saving water as they look up to them. This could benefit California for the better later on as 1 person could make a small but noticeable difference. The California drought is really serious and we need to take action to stop it.

    This is great because maybe more people will listen to them and save water.

  • StephanieS-3
    6/05/2015 - 02:13 a.m.

    Celebrities are playing a role in raising awareness for California's drought. Many lawns are being cut for more water storage, so celebrities are also being affected. Malibu has had restrictions for a while. Offenders in the city, though, have multiple chances to make things right before facing fines. Some say only most eco-aware stars could be damaged by drought-shaming. I'm scared and sad that the drought is where I live. I will try to cut back on water usage.

  • ad2000stealth
    6/05/2015 - 08:41 a.m.

    Drought-shaming is when there is a drought going on and someone has large quantities of objects that are healthy and everything because they have used so much water. Basically, if someone has a bunch of glowing green and bright colored flowers in their front lawn, it means that they used water that people are trying to save because of the drought, for their own plants and needs instead of thinking of others.

  • MCS2001softball
    6/05/2015 - 08:44 a.m.

    I think that it's an issue that some celebrities are expected to follow the rules and not have the best lawn, but others are expected to "break the rules" and keep doing whatever they want with very little opposition. This is the problem with this whole issue. If you first get people who are more famous living in the area to do the right thing, then others will notice and it will become a snowball effect. If all were to go well, Cali would be back to being green and beautiful in no time.

  • D.F2001Rex
    6/05/2015 - 08:51 a.m.

    After reading most of this article I noticed that there is a lot more selfish people then I thought. Why would somebody use water even though they know they shouldn't? They are only making the community worse and they know it but they still waste water. When people are doing something about the drought I have to respect that, but why would someone waste water even though there is a shortage of water?

  • YaLeiaA0429
    6/05/2015 - 11:13 a.m.

    I think this idea is great because most celebrities have a lot of money and need to give back to there community or homeless and hungry.Instead most of them spend it on expensive cars and clothes. Or on unnecessary things.

  • ponphanhb612
    6/05/2015 - 11:15 a.m.

    It's nerve-wrecking about seeing a change happen like a drought, the news and reports settle down on massive events like these. For example, HIV is beginning to spread but a magazine printed an article about it, which I think is great.

  • HaleyR-4
    6/05/2015 - 12:13 p.m.

    This article is about celebrities helping to save the drought. California has been in a drought for a while now. many people have tried to help and save water but not enough. so celebrity have tried to help and it seemed to work. They put up sighs and stopped using as much water as they could. i think this was a pretty good way of helping out

  • Ze20010501
    6/05/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    "We're all in this together," said actress Wendie Malick. She relies on well water at her home in the Santa Monica Mountains. "Unfortunately, it had to come to this crisis moment to get us all on board."

  • kweisip502
    6/05/2015 - 01:04 p.m.

    They're doing this to influence people to help save water because if more people. If they do it then they are able to save the water they need instead of draining the water they need. It makes it easier for them to help and save water.

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