Australian Bushfire Crisis | 10 ways we all can help

Chris Gill July 09, 2020
Australian Bushfire Crisis | 10 ways we all can help

There really are no words to express how heartbroken we are. Watching the ongoing bushfire crisis unfold here in Australia has been simply devastating. We’re certain that you, like us, are wanting to know exactly how you can help.

The obvious answer is donating, which if you’re in a financial position to do, is one of the most powerful actions. Here at Boody, we feel it's our responsibility to do something – which is why we’re donating $10,000 to two organisations we feel are doing great things for the cause. $5,000 will go to the Australian Red Cross and $5,000 will go to WIRES.

But there are many other ways you can make a difference, from simply spreading the word to leaving water out for fleeing animals. Here are 10 ways we all can help the devastating bushfire crisis taking place right now in this beautiful land we call home.

1. Donate some money

Donate some money

It’s the obvious one, but donating money really is the most impactful way to help with the current bushfires crisis. With such an initial outpouring of physical donations (clothing, food etc.), the message now is that a monetary donation is the best way to go.

If you’d like to show your support to the firies, you can donate to the NSW Rural Fire Service, Victoria’s Country Fire Authority and the South Australian Country Fire Service. To contribute to the victims and their families, consider donating to the Australian Red Cross.

If you’d like to share some of your donations with the animals impacted by the heartbreaking bushfires, WIRES is a fantastic organisation to direct your funds. There are many other organisations such as The Rescue Collective and the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital that will go towards helping the animals, so it’s worth taking some time to research the organisations you feel you’d most like to contribute towards.

Here at Boody, we previously donated over 1,500 unworn styles of underwear to bushfire victims. But we want to do more. That’s why, as mentioned previously, we’re now donating $10,000 to two organisations we feel are doing great things for the cause. $5,000 will go to the Australian Red Cross and $5,000 will go to WIRES.

Any amount, whether big or small, will make a difference. So if you’re in a position to donate, please do so. Even if it’s sacrificing one of your morning coffees and donating $5! If you’re not in a financial position to do so, there are a myriad of other ways to help with the Australian bushfire crisis. Read on to find out more.

2. Donate your time

Donate your time

If you can’t donate money, donating your time can be just as helpful during this crisis period. Check Foodbank’s website and social media for an up-to-date list of what’s needed in your area. Foodbank is made up of volunteers, so your time would be valuable to them. Just make sure you register your interest first because a bit of training is required before getting started.

Training is also required to volunteer for the Red Cross, so it’s worth searching for a role that’s right for you before filling out an online application to register your interest in helping out with humanitarian efforts related to the Australian bushfires.

There are also ways to donate your time without needing any training. Find A Bed is a volunteer-run initiative that helps match those displaced by the fires with members of the public offering a temporary place to stay – or even just somewhere to have a shower. Visit the website to sign up.

WIRES is also desperate for more volunteers to help build possum boxes and are running a working bee in the garage of a Woolloomooloo business in Sydney for a few days this week and next.

Thursday 9 January: 1pm to 9pm
Friday 10 January: 1pm to 6pm
Saturday 11 January: 12pm to 5pm

You can join for as many days and hours as you like and water and snacks will be provided. It's essential that you contact Health Felton on 0404 432 732 to confirm dates and times you're available.

The location is: Rear lane garage entrance of 122 Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo.

Learn more about becoming a volunteer to help wildlife with WIRES.

Remember, small actions can be hugely meaningful in times like these. Even if it’s turning up at a local refuge to make a meal or a cup of tea.

3. Donate non-perishable food

Donate non-perishable food

Although the messaging now has shifted towards financial contributions, there are still organisations needing other necessities such as non-perishable food. Foodbank is currently accepting donations of non-perishable food and other essential grocery items at their warehouses around Australia.

Items in high demand:

Bottled water
UHT Milk
Breakfast Cereals
Good quality tinned foods and meals (with ring pulls)
Pasta, rice and noodles
Grab-and-go foods like muesli bars
Pet food

Head to the Foodbank website to find your nearest Foodbank warehouse to donate unwanted non-perishable food.

4. Help our wildlife

Help our wildlife

You’ve undoubtedly seen the horrific images of our vulnerable native wildlife being injured, burnt and killed by the devastating bushfires rippling across the continent. According to WIRES, it’s impossible to know exactly how many animals have perished and it will be many months before the impact on wild populations can be better understood, but ecologists at Sydney University have estimated over 800 million animals have been affected in Australia since September.

WIRES is a great organisation to donate money to help rescue sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. You can do this by supporting the WIRES Emergency Fund. You can also call the Rescue Line on 1300 094 737 or report a rescue by filling out the WIRES online Rescue Form.

Aside from donating, there are other ways you can help our wildlife. Please see below some advice via WIRES on how we can assist wildlife during and after the fires.⁣

  • Leave out bowls of water for animals and birds escaping fires – use shallow bowls with a few sticks or stones on one side to allow smaller animals to escape should they fall in.⁣

  • Please keep cats indoors and dogs under control so that wildlife can flee safely through backyards and properties.⁣
  • Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car in case you find an injured animal so you can safely contain it without putting yourself in any danger. ⁣
  • If the animal has been burnt, do not attempt to feed it, just wrap it loosely, ideally in a towel or cotton fabric and wait for a rescuer or for transport to the nearest vet.⁣
  • If you can safely take an injured animal to your nearest vet please do so, as it will require an urgent assessment. Please also call WIRES on 1300 094 737.⁣
  • Please do not approach injured snakes, flying-foxes, large macropod (adult roos or wombats), raptors (eagles or hawks) or monitors (goannas) as these species must be rescued by trained specialists – please call WIRES for rescue assistance on 1300 094 737.⁣
  • If you have a swimming pool in the bushfire area please drape something over the edge of the pool so that animals have a surface to grab hold of and climb out such as heavy-duty rope or a piece of timber secured at one end to something heavy outside the pool. Check your pool twice daily.⁣

5. Follow drought restrictions

Follow drought restrictions

During any drought, it’s important to follow relevant restrictions – so it’s more vital than ever during the current bushfire crisis. There are many reasons for this, but some of the key ones are that firefighters need maximum water for the work they're doing trying to contain the fires, but also more generally because we are in a drought that has worsened the conditions of the bushfires.

Check your local water restrictions online and ensure you and your family are following them (for example, Level 2 restrictions currently apply in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra).

Water restrictions focus on the outdoor use of drinking water, but there are some indoor water uses that are subject to restrictions such as filling indoor swimming pools and water features and operating car wash businesses in shopping centre car parks.

6. Spread the word

Spread the word

The internet is a great tool to help spread the word both nationally and globally. Whether you run a brand or business or simply have a Facebook account with friends across the world, use whatever platform you have to get the message out there. Even if you can’t donate much, the ripple effect of you spreading the word could lead to other donations that lead to more significant amounts being raised.

Another great way to help get the message out there is to sign an online petition. There are several petitions currently running that urge all political leaders in Australia to take urgent, immediate action on climate change to help protect Australians from the current bushfire risk, as well as preventing future fires from developing.

7. Join a movement

Join a movement

Digital support is, of course, fantastic, but showing up physically to make a difference is often even more powerful. Joining a non-violent rally, march or protest is a great way to voice your concerns about the environment as well as encouraging others to evaluate the impact their everyday lives are having on the environment. These protests also help lobby the government, which is essential right now.

There are a range of rallies currently being organised, so keep an eye out on social media to see where the nearest one is happening to you. Don’t be shy… take a protest sign and have your voice heard!

8. Donate blood

Donate blood

If donating money, food or clothing isn’t possible for you, then perhaps you’d consider donating blood. The Red Cross’ blood donation service, Lifeblood, has said they are going to need more donations as the bushfire crisis worsens, as donor centres across New South Wales have been forced to close.

It's estimated that New South Wales and Queensland make up over half of Australia's total blood supply. Red Cross Blood Service spokesperson Helen Walsh said:

"With blood being a critical resource, we simply cannot afford to take a wait and watch approach and are calling for donors to please roll up their sleeves, now, in order to bolster the nation's blood stocks."

Find out whether you’re eligible to donate and book up now.

9. Consider climate change

Consider climate change

While politics should generally be kept to the side when dealing with a national disaster, it’s hard to avoid the subject of climate change entirely when discussing the bushfire crisis. Especially once the fires are completely put out, the noise dies down and everyone goes back to living their lives, the subject of climate change and ways we can lower our carbon footprint should be kept at the forefront to prevent future environmental disasters.

Here at Boody, we’re of the belief that the actions we take on earth have a direct impact on the planet and its inhabitants, which is why we must all do our bit. From reducing waste and leaving the car at home to using less water and energy, there are countless ways we can all play a part in living a more sustainable life.

10. Keep the conversation going

Keep the conversation going

It has been so heartwarming to see the outpouring of support both nationally and globally for the damage and devastation the bushfires have caused. But what’s so important is that when these fires are eventually put out and we move into the cooler months, the conversation about why this happened and how we need to prevent it from happening again needs to take place.

For this to happen, the conversation needs to continue. We need to keep talking about it across social media, blogs and in person. We need to explore ways we can all band together to do our bit to help out with the restoration and recovery of the lives and homes affected, but also, make simple but powerful changes to our lives that will make a huge difference when it comes to climate change.

Stay strong, Australia. We’re all in this together.

You may also like

What is Plastic Free July and why is it important?


What is Plastic Free July and why is it important?

Plastic Free July is here again. But what exactly is the global movement and what makes it so important? Well, anyone who tries to live even the slightest bit of a sustainable life, will know the importance of cutting down single-use plastics. So, what better time to cut down or cut out plastic altogether? We take a look at what Plastic Free July is, why it’s important and how you can get involved. Why not get into the habit of reducing single-use plastic waste every day, whether it’s at home, work or your favourite place to go for lunch. By taking part in Plastic Free July, you’ll be doing something that challenges people and yourself, but gets others to take part in slowing down and ultimately ending the process of plastic production. What is Plastic Free July? Plastic Free July is a global movement that allows millions of people across the world to be part of the solution to plastic pollution. From cleaner oceans to streets, Plastic Free July is the perfect opportunity to commit to refusing single-use plastics. Plastic Free July is an important initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit organisation working towards a world free from plastic waste. From humble beginnings in 2011, the award-winning Plastic Free July campaign has been born from years of hard work and dedication. Why is Plastic Free July important? We produce an estimated 300 million tonnes of plastic each year. Let that sink in for a few moments. Once it has… process the next part: roughly half of it is disposable! Sadly, only 10-13% of plastic items are actually recycled. And, because of the nature of petroleum-based disposable plastic, it is almost impossible to recycle it and chemicals have to be added in order to do so. These same degrading chemicals make their way into our food and water supply. And this is just some of the terrible impacts plastic has on us. When it comes to the environment, we’ve all seen devastating images of sea creatures tangled in plastic. We’ve also seen what climate change does to the planet, a concept that plastic waste contributes to. How you can get involved Whether you’re an eco newbie on the hunt for a few single-use plastics to avoid or are a more seasoned sustainable warrior, there are many ways you can feel inspired to live a plastic-free life. Here are just a few to get you started. Switch to reusable coffee cups If you haven’t already, it’s time to ditch those disposable cups and opting for reusable versions. Ours is the perfect option for your favourite morning beverage. Refuse pre-packed fruit and vegetables Buying fruits and veggies wrapped in plastic packaging is convenient but bad for the environment. Avoid single-use plastics and refuse pre-packed groceries. Get some reusable straws Sometimes a straw is the perfect accompaniment to a nice, cool drink. But if the straw’s plastic, you’re better off going without. The solution? Carry a reusable straw with you so you can refuse plastic. Replace plastic bags with a tote Choosing to refuse single-use plastics is a bold and effective step to a better planet. Plastic shopping bags should be instantly cut from your life. Always carry a reusable tote with you. Say no to plastic water bottles Single-use plastic water bottles have no place in today’s world. A simple and sustainable solution is carrying a reusable flask with you. Easy. Effortless. Eco. Head to the Plastic Free July website to find out more ways you can help.

What is World Environment Day and how can you get involved?


What is World Environment Day and how can you get involved?

From last summer’s devastating bushfires to our increasingly polluted seas, there’s no denying the impact our actions have on the planet. That’s why we all need to take steps to reduce our footprint and live a more sustainable life this World Environment Day and beyond. From choosing bamboo as our hero fabric to giving back to an array of causes, we always keep sustainability at the forefront of our minds. But before we look at everything we’re doing to be greener here at Boody, we thought we’d take a look at what World Environment Day is and how it's being celebrated this year. What is World Environment Day? One of the most important days across the globe for environmental action, World Environment Day engages citizens, businesses, the government and celebrities to turn their attention to pressing environmental issues. Since 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated annually on the 5th of June. World Environment Day recognises glocal change requires a global community and it offers a platform for positive change. It pushes us to rethink the way we consume, for businesses to develop greener models, for governments to protect wild spaces and so much more. It needs all of our support. World Environment Day is hosted by a different country each year, in which official celebrations occur. This year’s host is Colombia in partnership with Germany. But in a time when so many of us are physically distancing and staying inside, even more people will be celebrating digitally across the world. Sign up to stay in the loop. This year, the theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity – an urgent concern for our planet. Following the devastating bushfires in Australia, the US and Brazil, locusts infestations across East Africa and the current global pandemic we’re facing, the interdependence we as humans have on the webs of life has never been clearer. What is biodiversity? Biodiversity speaks to the variety of life on Earth, including the 8 million plant and animal species that roam our beautiful planet. It also speaks to the ecosystems that house them, and the genetic diversity among them. Biodiversity is an intricate and interdependent web, in which each member plays a significant role, drawing and contributing in ways that may not even be visible to the eye. The bountiful foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the weather that makes our planet habitable all come from nature. How you can get involved We all have a role to play in ending biodiversity loss and preserving nature. We must reconsider what and how we consume to be the change we want to see in the world. To do this, there are three ways we can all participate – even if we’re socially-distancing or self-isolating at home. Learn While we’re all spending more time at home, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the Earth’s wild species and habitats. Use the time to reflect on the role that natures plays in our lives and the ways in which we can champion positive change. Share In the run-up to World Environment Day, UNEP opened conversation threads in eight languages across its social media channels. They want you to tell them why it’s time #ForNature. This is the perfect opportunity for all of us to share what we love about our world and spread the word. Act Following World Environment Day and in the run-up to the 5th UN Environment Assembly in 2021 – when the world’s environment ministers will set global priorities – we are all being asked to act on the knowledge we have gained to help end biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. Here are some resources for you to learn about how you can protect nature. Join Earth School and take part in the 30 environmental lessons hosted by TED-Ed and curated by some of the best nature teachers in the world. Learn about how you can help fight climate change through the United Nations’ Act Now campaign. Learn about plastic pollution and how it affects marine species through UNEP’s Clean Seas campaign Find out about the Anatomy of Action, which maps out actions individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint. Sign up to iNaturalist, an online community of naturalists, where you can record your observations of plants and animals and meet other nature lovers. How we do our bit, all year round If we had our way, every day would be World Environment Day. But today it’s official, so what better opportunity to give you an update on what we’re doing to keep our planet Boodyful. 1. Choosing sustainable fabrics By choosing Boody, you’re making a positive impact on the planet. The below stats show the difference we’ve made to the environment since 2016 by manufacturing with organically-grown bamboo over conventional non-organic cotton. 2. Giving back We donate 1% of all online sales to non-profit organisations that work to protect the environment. Last year alone, we raised $125,000 in donations to various environmental not-for-profits through our partnership with 1% for the Planet. 3. Reducing waste By giving excess stock from the fashion industry to people in our community doing it tough, Thread Together has diverted tonnes of new clothing from landfill to date. In 2019, we gave 2,500 items of clothing to those in need via our partnership. Join the conversation on Instagram with #WorldEnvironmentDay #ForNature and #EveryBoody.

How to create a sustainable home one room at a time


How to create a sustainable home one room at a time

It’s April. Which means it’s nearly Earth Day again. Except, this year we’d hardly notice because we have so much else going on. Social distancing. Self-isolating. Trying to keep our spirits high during a time filled with so much uncertainty. But there are some positives that have come from this unprecedented time. You might have seen the satellite photos displaying how the COVID-19-led lockdowns across the world have lowered global emissions and giving Mother Nature a well-earned rest. What better way to celebrate Earth Day later this month? And, while we spend more time at home than ever before, we find ourselves finding time to focus on things we rarely have time for. Our physical and mental wellbeing. Creative hobbies and outlets. Spending time with loved ones we live with, albeit at a distance. Another thing we might find we have extra time for at home is catching up with some bits around the home we’ve put off. And, seeing as it’s Earth Day later this month, what better time to figure out how to create a sustainable home one room at a time? Sarah Pelham, the Beauty & Wellness Expert for Bookwell, offers some of these handy tips which we hope help to take your mind off the never-ending stream of news right now. Over to you, Sarah. Make your home eco-friendly Sustainable living is something that’s becoming more and more important to a lot of us, and we might have already started to make simple lifestyle changes such as walking more rather than using the car, or taking our own reusable shopping bags with us when we head out. And that’s great! But it’s time we all went a little bit further; it’s time we start shifting from a sustainable lifestyle to a sustainable house. Eco homes can massively minimise our impact on the environment. And don’t worry – creating eco-friendly homes isn’t quite as daunting as it sounds! There are lots of ‘basic’ changes you can make instantly, such as swapping out incandescent bulbs for LED lighting or getting a recycling bin, for example. But if you’re keen to delve into the world of eco-homes, even more, there are lots more ways that you can make a difference, making positive changes around your home, one room at a time. Here’s a bit of room-by-room inspiration to get you started: Bathroom National Geographic estimates that 91% of plastic isn’t recycled. This is why to have a truly sustainable bathroom, it’s best to try and avoid products that are made of, or are packaged in, plastic. Here are some great plastic-free bathroom alternatives to get you started. With bathrooms often being warm and steamy from a hot bath or shower, they’re the perfect environment for germs to thrive. Cleaning a bathroom is never a pleasant job, and many of us automatically choose the strongest cleaning solutions to make sure we kill any nasties lying around. Unfortunately, these chemical-filled cleaners get flushed away, filtered, and are back in the water supply… even if some chemicals still remain. Instead, try to use natural cleaning products. You can even make some yourself using white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. Kitchen One of the best ways to get the ball rolling on an eco kitchen is to invest. Invest in high-quality cookware and durable plates and bowls, rather than always selecting the cheapest options. Why? Because investing in quality means investing in sustainability. High-quality cookware and dishes are more likely to withstand frequent use and washing, and less likely to deteriorate or break from everyday use. Cookware that lasts for years can significantly reduce demand for manufacturing, and all the byproducts of manufacturing such as energy, water, and fuel. If you’re not quite a dab hand in the kitchen, you may want to look away now. Believe it or not, cooking at home is actually one of the best ways to create a sustainable kitchen! Pre-packaged ready meals have probably done more travelling than you and me combined. Each step of the process will usually be handled at a different facility, really clocking up those food miles. Cooking from scratch not only means you can reduce your carbon footprint, but you can also be sure that the ingredients have been sourced sustainably. Don’t forget to use green kitchen appliances, too. Bedroom Could your bedroom do with a lick of paint? If you’re redecorating, try to use eco-friendly paint that’s much better for the environment (and for your own health, too!). Look for ‘low VOC’ or ‘zero VOC’ paints, which have fewer volatile organic compounds that can be released into the air. Low VOC paints typically have less than 50g per litre, while zero VOC paints have less than 5g per litre. It’s always best to check the labels to know for sure, but as a general rule of thumb, flat latex paints that are light in colour usually have lower VOCs than glossy, oil-based paints. If you’ve chosen cotton sheets for your bedroom, good for you. You probably know that cotton is a pretty good choice for a sustainable bedroom. But it’s not the best choice. The problem with cotton is that fertilisers and pesticides are often used in the farming processes, which aren’t great for the planet. If you’re looking to make a quick and simple swap, switch to organic bamboo sheets, which look and feel really similar. Bamboo holds the world record for the fastest-growing plant at a rate of 91cm per day, so there’s always a constant, renewable source. Here’s some more benefits of bamboo. Living Room Think the perfect couch doesn’t exist? Think again. Steve Jobs’ wife Laurene Powell once said that it took the Apple Co-Founder eight years to decide on a couch, but we think it’s much easier to find the right one… especially if you look at sustainable options. A sustainable couch really can be whatever you make it. You could choose second-hand furniture, with absolutely no new resources used, or you could buy new. When buying new, look for couches made using sustainable wood (with FSC or AFS certification), or try to buy from a local manufacturer. Need new furniture for your living room? Here’s a bit of a crazy idea, but it’s one that could help you create a unique space and the sustainable living room of your dreams. Instead of buying new, how about trying to build new furniture from items already in your home? This is also ideal now it’s hard to get out much! For example, you could create a side table by stacking books, or a box shelf from an old desk drawer. Upcycling is a fantastic way to minimise the amount we send to landfill and create one-of-a-kind spaces. And best of all, you’ll be reducing the piles of clutter that you just don’t know what to do with! There’s no rush The thought of what could happen if we all carry on as we are is terrifying, but the truth is that the world isn’t going to implode tomorrow. Don’t try and implement all these changes at once, or you may end up feeling overwhelmed and wanting to give up. And that’s not doing the planet any good! Instead, approach sustainable living from a ‘one room at a time’ perspective. By working in bite-sized, manageable chunks, you’ll soon find that you’ve created an eco-home that really makes a difference. And right now, this could be time well-spent indeed. Sarah Pelham is the Beauty & Wellness Expert for, an online platform for instant bookings for hair, nails, beauty & massage appointments. For nearly four years Sarah has worked closely with hundreds of salon owners within the beauty and wellness industries. She has her finger on the pulse of new trends in this growing market.