Wednesday, February 02, 2005
The Wristband Gap, Part 2 - Awareness bracelets and the tragedy of the commons. By Timothy�Noah
The Wristband Gap, Part 2 - Awareness bracelets and the tragedy of the commons. By Timothy�Noah: "The Wristband Gap, Part 2
Awareness bracelets and the tragedy of the commons.
By Timothy Noah
Posted Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, at 12:55 PM PT
Last month, I noted that while all the proceeds for the yellow 'Livestrong' wristbands sold at Nike and Discovery Channel stores were being donated to cancer research, only one-third of the proceeds for the camouflage-green 'Support Our Troops' wristbands sold at 7-Eleven were being donated to the USO. I have since learned that 7-Eleven isn't the only business taking a substantial cut of the proceeds from the sale of so-called 'awareness bracelets.' As the varieties of these bracelets have proliferated during recent months, the charitable impulse that is their ostensible reason for existence has steadily declined.
For instance, a tsunami-relief bracelet costs $2, only half of which goes toward relieving problems caused by the recent massive tidal wave in southern Asia. But that's still better than the 10-percent cut that tsunami victims receive when you buy your bracelet on something called AwarenessDepot.com, where you can also purchase 'USA' bracelets, 'Jesus Loves You' bracelets, and "