Whether you’re from Australia or not, your social media feeds are likely full of heartbreaking images of the worst bushfires the land down under has ever seen – and many of us have been left feeling somewhat helpless.
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Australia is on fire. And the summer there has only just begun. 2019 was a year of record heat and record drought. Today the temperature outside Sydney was 48,9°C. 500 million (!!) animals are estimated dead because of the bushfires. Over 20 people have died and thousands of homes have burned to ground. The fires have spewed 2/3 of the nations national annual CO2 emissions, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The smoke has covered glaciers in distant New Zealand (!) making them warm and melt faster because of the albedo effect. And yet. All of this still has not resulted in any political action. Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires That has to change. And it has to change now. My thoughts are with the people of Australia and those affected by these devastating fires. (Photo: Matthew Abbott for The New York Times)
A new Instagram account set up by Turia Pitt and Grace McBride showcases small businesses in bushfire-affected regions. @spendwiththem urges followers to put their money directly into the pockets of the people that need it the most. Launched just yesterday, the account has already amassed over 70,000 followers.
“Once these fires are finally ‘over’, it won’t be over for many of the local businesses in fire-ravaged towns. A lot of these places (like my home in Mollymook, and Mallacoota, Kangaroo Island, Eden, etc), rely on the tourist dollar for their very survival,” Turia posted on Instagram.
One of the featured businesses is boho fashion boutique, Jipsi Cartel - a label that designs and produces stylish and sustainable clothing and accessories that are perfect for balmy days in the Middle East.
Follow Spend With Them here to stay up to date with businesses in need of support as they are added.
Looking for other ways to help? Below are links to organisations helping the devasting bushfire crisis:
- Australian Red Cross
- NSW Rural Fire Service
- Royal Fire Brigades Association Queensland
- Victoria Bushfire Disaster Appeal
- WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.)
- WWF Australia Koala Fund
- Port Macquarie Koala Hospital