The world is in a severe climate crisis. However, the memo, apparently, hasn’t reached some of the top celebrities who are still using private jets to make short trips and using up gallons of water in excess just to maintain their pristine lawns and gardens.
Recent data has revealed how frequently celebrities use their private jets, leading to the listed names being subjected to criticism and scrutiny. Taylor Swift was revealed to be the worst offender with her 170 flights using a private jet, followed by celebrities like Drake, Floyd Mayweather, Jay-Z, Kim Kardashian, A-Rod, Steven Spielberg, Mark Wahlberg, Blake Shelton, and Jack Nicklaus.
This is around the same time when Kylie Jenner thought it would be a good idea to post a photo of herself with partner Travis Scott and their two private jets with the caption, “You wanna take mine or yours? (sic)”.
So it should come as no surprise that some major celebrities have been named in documents that reveal the Southern California residents who have exceeded their monthly water budgets amidst an unprecedented, severe drought crisis in the area.
According to The Times, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Sylvester Stallone, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Hart are amongst the 2,000 residents who have been served ‘notice of exceedance’ by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, indicating they had surpassed 150 percent of their monthly water budgets at least four times since the drought emergency was declared at the end of last year.
Las Virgenes had imposed severe ‘Stage 3’ restrictions in an effort to achieve a 50% reduction in water consumption due to the shortage. The rules also limited outdoor watering to one day a week, with only eight minutes per station on the designated day.
Evidently, these celebrities took these restrictions as mere suggestions rather than actual rules and guidelines to follow.
Wade, and wife Gabrielle Union, released a statement following the documents reveal, attributing the excess use at their property to an issue with their pool.
“We’ve taken drastic steps to reduce water usage in accordance with the new city guidelines and have since we moved into our home,” read the statement, “We have been doing everything we can to rectify the situation and will continue to go to extensive lengths to resolve the issue. We have replaced all parts of our pool system that [have] to do with water flow and leakage in addition to converting to synthetic grass and drought tolerant plants to reduce our water usage. We will continue to work with the city and the water distribution company to make sure this isn’t an issue moving forward.”
According to Las Virgenes spokesman Mike McNutt, these water budgets are determined by a combination of factors, including the number of residents and the amount of irrigated land.
Another offender, Stallone’s attorney Marty Singer defended the actor by claiming the situation had been “mischaracterised and misrepresented” after it was revealed that Stallone’s 2.26-acre property had used 533 percent more than its allocated budget.
“They have more than 500 mature trees on the property, including innumerable fruit trees as well as pine trees,” read Singer’s statement, “Absent adequate watering, in all likelihood they would die. That could result in dead or damaged trees falling on my client’s property or neighbouring properties.”
Singer revealed that Stallone has been addressing the situation “responsibly and proactively”.
“They have let grasses die, and other areas are watered by a drip irrigation system. They also notified the city regarding the mature trees, and are awaiting an inspection and further instruction from the city about how to proceed. I am confident that all of the larger properties in the area have similar issues. I, therefore, trust that my client will not be unfairly singled out in the story because he is a famous person.”
While not directly addressing Stallone’s rep’s statement, McNutt said, “We’re asking them to not just minimize their water usage, but we’re also asking them, in a way, to just completely rethink what is aesthetically pleasing to them and how that’ll impact their property values. And that is not something that happens overnight.”
Aside from these celebrities, the other offenders are also some of the richest and most influential people in the area, including several attorneys, doctors, and Hollywood executives.
But what will happen now that these celebrities have been issued a notice? According to the agency, their properties are now subject to the installation of flow restrictor devices which can reduce showers to a trickle and silence lawn sprinklers.
It is important to note that, while these celebrities might not be directly responsible for the way their properties are managed, the responsibility falls on the home owner, rather than employees like estate managers or landscape designers.
McNutt summarised the importance of bringing this issue, and the celebrity involvement, out in the light when he said, “People listen to you, people look at you, people value what you do... We need you to step up to the plate, to be examples and to be leaders so that other people will follow. That is the most critical thing that anybody in that bracket, or that has those resources, can do to influence and help with other people’s behaviour modifications.”