Tackling environmental impact

The bushfires in Australia over the summer of 2019-2020 have been beyond anything I ever recall experiencing in my life. I heard on the news last night (unsurprisingly) that 2019 was the hottest & driest year on record for Australia. My kids want to do a ‘gap year’ & move to the Highlands of Scotland – I’m kind of feeling their vibes too right now.

Whilst the heartbreak of loss of life, both human & wildlife, loss of property & loss of our magical flora are all devastating, I have also been incredibly moved by the outpouring of humanity. The incredible RFS Volunteer Firefighters – you have been eternally raised to Superhero status in all our eyes. Everyday people are using the power of social media to gather everything from toilet paper to food to clothes to money to those who most need it. Venues are allowing their spaces to be transformed into mini ‘life sorting’ markets with people volunteering their time to organise the incredible donations that people have gone out of their way to buy & drop off. Companies & people are offering their homes, hotels & farms for people & animals that need housing. Companies are donating profits from sales to Charities supporting bushfire victims.

It’s sad that we needed a catastrophic event like this for some people to pay attention, but now that they are, let’s see it as an opportunity to improve this wonderful country I was born & raised in.

Every cent you spend is casting a vote for the future you want. Buy local (support our Aussie farmers & simultaneously decrease food miles) . When you buy a product, you are increasing the demand (sure, it’s microscopic overall but ask all your friends to do the same!).

  • Do you compost all your food scraps? In 2017, over 10% of all US human greenhouse gas emissions were due to methane. Methane has a global-warming potential 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide.
  • Could you cut down your meat consumption to a maximum 3 meals per week?
  • What is your landfill contribution like?
  • Do you think the world would be a better place if we stopped using plastics? I can only see positives out of the eradication of single use plastics.
  • Do you think it is sensible to have all the lights on in your house at any given time? Or do you think we could all set ourselves a target of 4-5 lights on any given night? As a family of 5, we can do this, so I believe you can too!
  • Regardless of whether we have enforced ‘drought restrictions’ for our water usage, could you cut down your water usage? The length of time you shower every day? Do you have a bucket in your shower to catch excess water & recycle somehow? Do you re-use your bath water or perhaps the water you cook vegetables in?
  • Does your house run on some form of renewable energy? Solar power, or perhaps wind power?

The most powerful action is educating our next generation. What we teach them, they will in turn repeat when they become independent consumers.

  • Support Australian grown/made & Australian tourism (especially those areas affected by fires).
  • Support Australian organic produce that supermarkets sell, sending them a clear message we don’t want chemicals in our food (that are also contributing to our health woes).
  • Support the companies making forms of ‘sustainable (not) plastic’ out of sugarcane or corn starch or non-oil based ingredients.
  • Buy recycled toilet paper & paper towel & never look back (Who gives a crap? We do).
  • Get yourself & your family bamboo toothbrushes & don’t ever go back to plastic, your landfill imprint alone from the toothbrushes in your lifetime is staggering.
  • Stop making excuses for not carrying reusable bags. Every piece of plastic ever made still exists. It is floating around the world, clogging waterways, killing marine life, breaking into micro-plastics & leaching chemicals.
  • If you haven’t remembered your reusable coffee cup, guess what, you’re going to remember it tomorrow because you aren’t getting one in a plastic-lined non-degradable one today!

Regardless of whether you believe all the items listed above have had an impact on climate change & overall global warming, none of these changes will have a negative impact on the world if you implement them.

Whilst doing all of these things in one go might seem daunting, take baby steps – remember every change is a positive one & helping the earth for our future generations.”The best time to do it is yesterday, the second best time is today

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed & don’t know where to direct your goodwill, here are a few suggestions:

  • Givit
  • Salvos
  • Wires Wildlife Rescue
  • or hop onto social media & search for @takeanemptyesky @spendwiththem @buyfromthebush
  • Make a plan for your next holiday to towns that have been impacted by the fires. Book an Airbnb rental, see where you can dine out or enjoy unique experiences to the area.
Callala Beach 15 December 2019
An early morning at Callala Beach | 15 December 2019.
We could see heavy smoke to the South already (photo unfiltered)

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