Oil Spill Swag
People are selling petroleum-based products (that will end up as trash in the ocean or in a landfill) purportedly to “support the awareness of” petroleum that is already floating in the ocean and onto land. If someone sells 1,000 trinkets for $5 each and gives $700 to a group working directly in the Gulf, then is it a bad thing that they profit from skimming off $1-or-so per item?
‘Save the Gulf’ Bracelets
The first time I saw Save the Gulf Bracelets on Twitter, I was surprised. Selling plastic/rubber bracelets as a result of a massive oil spill seems counterintuitive, even if they are recycled. I had a Twitter conversation with the person who is behind the program and they avoided answering my question about if they were planning to make a profit from sales. However, they did admit that they intended to have an advertising revenue stream from their website.
‘Support Gulf Relief’ Bracelets
Twitter also introduced me to Support Gulf Relief. This group says they’re a non-profit but are actually incorporated and awaiting non-profit status, which they said should take another week or two. Their website claims: We are a not for profit organization based out of Miami, Florida with the sole purpose of raising funds through the sale of our “Support Wristbands.”
‘Oil Spill’ Condoms
Sad but true, Oil Spill Condoms are now on sale. Their ad campaign: Gush for a cause!!! 20% of all proceeds will be donated to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. I learned about this product, once again, because they followed me on Twitter.
You Know You Want It
Zazzle.com has tons of designs for “save the gulf” merchandise. You can choose from hats, T-shirts, buttons, mugs, keychains, sneakers, ties, greeting cards, vinyl bumper stickers, barbecue aprons, saketboards and much, much more.
What Would You Sell?
After seeing and questioning these oil spill souvenirs, I began to question my own motives for accepting donations. As a result, I am being completely transparent about how much money gets donated, where it comes from, and where it goes. I’m also capping the total amount of donations at $1,500 should it reach that amount. No matter what, the BP Bike Ride is on! (It’s also definitely happening without swag.)