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Thread: Charity car washes

  1. #1
    moonflower's Avatar
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    Charity car washes

    so i'm trying to help out my campus club, which provides money and volunteers to a local horse sanctuary, put together some fundraisers for the end of this semester and the beginning of next, as i'm taking over as the VP in charge of fundraising events in a couple of weeks. we were planning to host a car wash at the end of the month, figuring, hey, really easy, minimal investment, and everybody's cars are disgusting after the winter anyway (mine included!). we talked to one of the assistant directors of campus activities, and she connected us to all the proper paperwork etc etc... the current club president spoke with several campus offices regarding locations and such... so then she goes to turn the paperwork in to the director, and he wants to speak with her. now, it is NEVER good news when the activities director wants to speak with you... he pretty much dislikes all the campus clubs (despite the fact that IT'S HIS JOB TO MANAGE THEM), but he has a special dislike of our club because despite the Oxford English Dictionary's worth of waivers we sign every semester, we're still some kind of liability to his precious empire. he's quashed 90% of our fundraising ideas in the three years the club has been in existence, so we probably shouldn't be surprised... however, the reason he gave us was that car washes are an environmental concern.

    (i was less irritated by the reason than the wording... 'Wait, won't that affect the very horses you're trying to save?' he's a winner, he is... )

    anyway.... so since this is now my problem, as we won't be able to re-work our plans before the semester ends, do any of you naturalists out there know exactly how bad the environmental impact of charity car washes is? i did some google-ing of it and found that the runoff from the cars enters storm drains can go directly into local water systems, which we certainly don't want. especially since our college is right on the banks of the Genesee River, which frankly has quite enough junk in it already. we WERE going to try to talk to the campus grounds department to try to minimze any impact but our illustrious director has other reasons for kicking us off campus so that won't do us any good. we'd still like to try one off campus though... has anyone ever faced problems with this/heard of it/etc? i've done quite a few charity car washes through Girl Scouts and the like and nobody ever mentioned environmental impact. supposedly there are biodegradable car wash soaps and ways to catch the waste water but... SHEESH... i'm just trying to run a simple fundraiser, i don't wanna wreck the local water system in the process
    "Seeds? Oh yeah... sometimes I forget they grow from those. I feel like they should hatch or something."

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  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Well I can see his point. I guess you could use vinegar and other natural stuff like uhh... cocoa butter and ummm... hemp soap or something.


    Oh that could change the soil PH. I guess you're SOL lmao.

  3. #3
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    I know exactly what you are talking about. When a group of residential students I used to work with did this we were required to contact the fire department about the runoff. I would contact them, and if in your area it's different, they will be able to direct you to the right people.

    Or, you can follow the old adage at my University: "It's better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission." lol.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    There is such a thing as biodegradable soap. Before the petrochemical revolution, soap was just made from oil and fat - you can get natural, nontoxic soap. And I'm sure you can find some tips on reducing the impact of washing a car if you look in one of those save-the-earth how-to books.
    Wait, won't that affect the very horses you're trying to save?
    I love it! This guy should write comic book dialouge.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  5. #5
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly even using biodegradable soap you need to make sure the runoff water is drained appropriately. I can't remember the reasons why, I just remember having discussions about it. Something to follow up on; but, biodegradable soap should be used regardless.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

  6. #6
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Well, certainly you don't want to just dump a bunch of rendered oils into a ditch someplace, any more than you'd want to fertilize your garden with bacon. If you can find a location that drains into the municipal sewer system, that would probably be appropriate. People use soap in their houses all the time, so if anything nearby is setup to handle that kind of stuff, it's probably the sewer. Some cities have storm drains on their streets that go through processing (to take care of leaked oil and such) but you'd have to call the local water company to know in particular.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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