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The Latest Gender Reveal Party Fail? An Unnaturally Blue Waterfall (And a Threatened Water Supply)

In Brazil, a couple dyed an entire waterfall blue as part of a gender reveal party. The incident is the latest in a string of environmental issues caused by the over-the-top celebrations.

waterfall gender reveal party environmental impact
Written by
Calin Van Paris
Who knew that the most extra—and environmentally unsound—brand of celebration would turn out to be the
gender reveal
Last week, a couple in Brazil
reportedly announced
the sex of their forthcoming child by dyeing an entire waterfall blue, threatening the water supply of Tangará da Serra, a nearby town in the state of Mato Grosso. (That the town has a history of drought makes the dye job particularly thoughtless.)
Once the footage made its way to social media, the 60-foot fall and its unnaturally vibrant hue provoked a virtual uproar that caught the attention of local authorities, who are investigating the matter.
“The inspection will investigate the environmental damage caused by the material thrown into the water,” the Environment Secretary for the state of Mato Grosso (Sema-MT) said in a statement. Grosso added that if the act is deemed an environmental crime, those involved will be charged accordingly.
Those involved claim that the blue hue was achieved sans chemicals, but regardless, the act of polluting a natural resource for clout feels both irresponsible and icky. Unfortunately, an air of unsustainability seems to accompany many a gender reveal.

Gender Reveal Parties and Sustainability (or Lack Thereof)

Brazil's faux blue waterfall is just the latest fanning of the gender reveal dumpster fire. Clips from reveals pepper social media, many marking the "big moment" with smokey explosions and
—because new life is best welcomed with unnecessary emissions.
In 2020, a gender reveal party in Southern California featured a
pyrotechnic device
that allegedly ignited the El Dorado Fire, which lasted for more than two months, covering more than 22,000 acres and destroying homes and land. The couple responsible was
subsequently charged
, but punishment is of little comfort when one considers the damage done, or the efforts of the 1,350 firefighters deployed to fight the fire at its peak.
From exaggerated stunts to fast fashion hauls, the potential for a viral moment seems to be enough for some to put positive planet action on pause—or abandon the cause entirely. Here's hoping that the pursuit of a memorable social media moment shifts from capricious to thoughtful. After all, a sustainably-minded approach makes a bigger (and far more progressive) statement.