Nathan Nayor/Contributing Writer
In the past year, awareness has been raised in regards to Nestle and other corrupt companies exploiting land owners for their water and paying them little for the damages done to the land. A subreddit that praises drinking water, r/HydroHomies, decided to take action by forming a nonprofit organization, Homies for Hydration Ltd, on July 18, 2020 to combat this water theft.
Homies for Hydration sells merchandise like water bottles, clothing, accessories and stickers, the profits which will be sent to charities, beginning with WaterAid and hoping to expand to other organizations once they have more money to donate.
The severe lack of potable water, exacerbated by corporate water theft, leaves over two billion people with less water than required, amounting to poor sanitary conditions and slowed development. This would clearly be considered criminal if governments were not paid off to not punish them, or did not have the power to stop them. International students from countries who deal with the water crisis face the impact of this corporate greed daily, and may have to resort to poor quality water sources or even face water shortages, which can be deadly. This sort of corruption is infuriatingly present in almost every aspect of business and politics, which are now in leagues to only benefit each other.
The concept began when a Reddit user “DonOlivo” posted a meme suggesting that the subreddit should create a reusable water bottle company that donates its profits to charities fighting against the water crisis in developing nations.
The post garnered large support, and the Britain-based LTD was made official on August 3, with hundreds of active volunteers acting as researchers, designers, advertisers and more. I signed up as well, eager to represent the youth’s interest in resolving the water crisis as a marketing researcher.
It has been an excellent time, the other volunteers are very friendly and supportive, and they are fun to work with. Dedicated, the other volunteers and I are coming up with new ideas for products, with an upcoming idea being a reversible plushie of the mascot, Walter the octopus. I am proud to volunteer for an organization full of young people that want to see change for a better world and better waters.
“We want to tackle the issue as best we can. The water crisis is may be ‘contained’ to a 1/7 of the global population now, but in a few years, time could easily grow to a point where 2/3 of the world’s population feels the effects of water scarcity,” stated Georges Lebreton, Director and Operations Manager of Homies for Hydration. 67% of the world would lack sufficient potable water to live a healthy life, and this would then impact everyone, not just those in small or third world countries.
The shop was made available to the public on August 21, with their official “About Us” page declaring that their goal is to reach $10,000 in donations by November.
“None of us are admittedly experts in the issue, though we do want to know more so we can know the best way to have an impact; fundamentally we’re people who are passionate about this planet and other people, and want to do our part. And of course, money will play a big role in ensuring various specialist organizations have the means and resources to directly tackle the issue”, Lebreton commented.
The goal is to raise as much money as possible, which will be a successful outcome of selling more products and reaching a bigger audience. The organization’s mission consists of only covering the essential costs, and therefore donate as much of the net income as possible.
The influence of Generation Zeta continues. Be it through their protests or memes, we continue to come together online to form a wave of change in the world we live in, and this wave has finally reached the ocean of the water crisis and corruption in the water industry. While there seems to be no effective lobby against the water crisis to combat the companies draining the world of its waters, the FIU community should do something similar to aid water sources around the world and those who are deprived of water, to hydrate all the homies.
I heavily encourage students to take action by forming an on-campus organization that tackles this crisis worldwide by challenging companies and helping thirsty communities by helping them find new water sources or providing them with shipments of clean water, if possible. We need to act to clean up dirty waters that people heavily rely on to make them healthy again. If we are to be the generation of change, then we need to get physical and no longer simply voice concerns.
Even joining the company as a volunteer would be of great help, or finding other organizations locally or financially supporting worldwide organizations directly would impact thousands of lives, maybe even the lives of international students and their families.
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