There are many reasons why the TINCTURE brand was formed. A mother, searching fruitlessly for products which wouldn’t trigger her child’s allergies. A longing for luxurious household products that come without chemicals and without compromise. And an awareness of the desperate need for immediate action to save our planet.
Today, the effects of the world’s climate crisis and the requirement for us all to step up and take action could not be clearer. Australia is burning. It has been for some time. Lives have been lost – an estimated half a billion animals and at least 20 people, with 28 still reported missing, so far. Homes and habitats have been destroyed and the fires are expected to rage for months more.
No-one likes to read about the horrors of the world. Seeing all of the climate crisis predictions become a reality is scary. Really scary. But in our minds, sitting back and doing nothing is scarier still. The planet and all who live here is in dire need – but it’s not too late for us all to make the changes needed to move forward into a future that isn’t quite so bleak. And we’re here to help return the power to you, with a few simple tips on what you can do to help with the Australian bush fires and the climate crisis as a whole.
Did climate change trigger the Australian bush fires?
This is, of course, a complex question that many experts are discussing right now. While it wasn’t caused by the direct sparking of greenhouse gases (gases which become trapped in the earths atmosphere and heat up. Emitted from VOCs found in many household products, industrial and agricultural processes and the burning of fossil fuels to name a few culprits.), the effects these gases have had on the environment and weather systems are thought to play a leading role.
Australia experienced its hottest year on record in 2019, climbing 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than the average, according to a report by the Bureau of Meteorology. This rising temperature and drought has presented catastrophic fire danger.
The fires have been blazing for three months now and are believed to have released 350 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Experts have estimated it will take a century or more to absorb the carbon dioxide released, meaning our own personal changes to reduce emissions are more important than ever.
How you can help
It’s all too easy to get stuck in a loop of powerlessness. Feeling as though it’s too little too late. But small changes can amount to big changes very quickly, if we all band together. By making changes in your life, encouraging others to do the same we can work towards a brighter future for all.
Put pressure on world leaders
The biggest change will come from those who have to power to radically alter industry and climate action for countries as a whole. But it’s down to the people to demand it. If you’re in Australia, write letters to your local MP imploring them to take action on climate change. If you’re outside Australia, put pressure on your own government through letters, petitions and peaceful protest. And take to social media platforms too, to spread awareness and publicly call for change. This is a global problem, it will take global solutions to fix it.
Ditch chemical products
From household cleaning products to interior paints, air fresheners and aerosol deodorants, there are many, many products used every day in many homes which release VOCs at an alarming rate. This is not only harmful to your health, but the health of the planet as a whole.
Make 2020 your year for ditching toxic chemicals in your home by switching to clean brands, like TINCTURE. Share your favourite brands on social media so others can do the same.
Reduce global emissions
You can help reduce global emissions even further in various ways. Reducing your meat and dairy intake, or going full on vegetarian or vegan will have a big impact. Choosing to holiday on home soil rather than taking a plane this year will also support change. Car-pooling, walking, bike riding or usual public transport where possible. And also supporting sustainable fashion – choosing small brands, organic cotton and even second hand finds will help reduce the massive amount of emissions produced by the textile industry.
If you are able to donate to help those in need, there are many ways to do so. Here are a list of charities, services and associations as published by cnet.com on the 4th January:
- Australia's Red Cross Disaster relief and recovery fund helps support evacuation centers and recovery programs for the affected communities
- The NSW Rural Fire Service has a donation page to support the firefighting efforts in New South Wales
- The Country Fire Authority is the state of Victoria's rural firefighting service and you can donate directly here.
- The Country Fire Service in South Australia also takes direct donations.
- To help support firefighters in the state of Queensland, you can donate to the Rural Fire Brigades Association via their webpage.
- The Salvation Army has a disaster appeal donations page set up to deliver support to local communities affected by the blazes.
- The Victorian Bushfire Appeal is where state premier Daniel Andrews is suggesting to donate. The appeal directs money to communities in need, giving directly to those affected by the fires.
- Raise awareness! You can tweet and share and post this story -- and dozens of others -- all across the web. More eyeballs = more help.
- Foodbank is taking donations to help people in need during the crisis. You can donate at its website to the Victorian relief effort, which helps get relief for communities cut off from power and food.
- Givit is a not-for-profit organisation that cares for those in need by letting you donate goods it then passes on. It accepts items or money at its donation page.
- The RSPCA bushfire appeal is used to protect the pets, livestock and wildlife affected by bushfires, helping evacuate animals from disaster zones. Items like livestock pellets and possum boxes are also incredibly handy.
- Airbnb has established an emergency housing site for those displaced by the bushfires via its Open Homes initiative. You can book free accommodation in certain areas of New South Wales and Victoria.
- Similarly, Find A Bed, established by Australian writer Erin Riley, allows people to offer up a bed or locate a bed in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. It currently has 900 registered volunteers.
- The St Vincent de Paul society is helping people on the ground in rebuilding, providing food and clothing and emotional support. It has a donation page here.
- The World Wildlife Fund accepts donations to help support conservation activities, particularly related to koalas. Money can help provide emergency care during bushfires.
- Zoos Victoria have established a Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund which funds emergency vet assistance and "scientific intervention." You can donate to the fund here and it seems to accept PayPal and credit cards.
- The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has already raised in excess of $2 million to help search for and protect the koalas in the region. You can donate at its GoFundMe page.
- The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park was hit hard by the fires in South Australia. It's asking for donations to help with vet costs, koala milk and extra enclosures on its GoFundMe page.
- Another GoFundMe page has been set up as a relief fund for First Nations communities to offer "culturally sensitive, specific direct support to some of those communities with critical costs to cover expenses."
- Wires is an Australia wildlife rescue organisation with a myriad ways to help Australia's native fauna. Donations can be made through its website.
- Actor and comedian Celeste Barber is running a fundraiser for the Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades donations fund. You can donate on the fundraiser's Facebook page.
- Comedian Nick Kroll and Aussie actor Joel Edgerton have started the hashtag #FightFireWithaFiver. They're encouraging donations to the NSW RFS of $5.
- Stranger Things actor Dacre Montgomery established his own GoFundMe on behalf of the Red Cross. The link to the GoFundMe is here.
- A useful resource if you want to buy products from rural communities is Australia's Buy From The Bush. It highlights creators and artists from regional Australia you can buy from as they face drought and now bushfire.