Feeling at a loss for how to help support Australia wildfire relief? Hands down, the best way you can help is by donating. But, what if you don’t have a lot of spare change? There’s still ways you can help! If you do want to donate, there’s a number of organizations that are supporting local firefighters and contributing to relief efforts for affected families, animals and wildlife. Some good places to donate to are: 

AU Redcross 
Victorian Bushfire Relief 
New South Wales Rural Fire Brigade
Wires Fund for Wildfire Relief
Foodbank Australia

You can also head over to our Instagram and share our story—we’ll donate $1 for every share this week!

If you can’t donate, don’t count yourself out—there’s still plenty to be done. Check out our list below of ways to help support Australia wildfire relief, even if you can’t donate right now. 

1. Travel to affected areas—later. 

support australia wildfires
Sydney, courtesy of the NYT.

Is Australia on your bucket list? Keep it there, but save your trip for later this year. Many places in Australia, especially more rural cities and towns that are currently affected by wildfires, rely on tourism to support local economies. So don’t be afraid to visit affected areas, but save your trips until after the fires have subsided. And support local businesses and relief efforts while you’re there! 

2. Shop brands that are donating to the wildfires. 

There’s a number of brands that are donating profits to support Australia wildfire relief efforts for a limited time. Consider purchasing something from one of these brands rather than from a brand you would regularly purchase from if you can. Yes, you’ll still have to spend a bit of money, but it’s money you were going to spend anyway, and you can appreciate knowing that your money is going to support relief and recovery from the fires. 

3. Raise awareness. 

support australia wildfire
Wildfires in Australia, courtesy of the NYT.

The more we talk about what’s happening, the more we can spread awareness and get more people on board to help and create change. It may seem like not much good can come from just talking about what’s happening, but spreading awareness fuels further relief efforts and increase the number of us fighting for change and aiding recovery. 

4. Vote.

vote for climate change

This matters more than you might think! If you’re eligible to vote, make sure your voice is heard. Sharing on social media definitely matters, but voting for policy change and lawmakers who will help enact change matters a LOT. Do your research and vote for candidates that are supporting climate change efforts. Also, don’t overlook smaller, local elections—change often happens on smaller levels first!

5. Offset carbon emissions from your flights this year. 

how to travel green

Increased wildfires—including more devastating ones—are predicted to continue as the results of climate change. Fighting climate change, even in small ways, can help us make progress to prevent these kinds of natural disasters in the future. If you’re flying this year, you can help offset the carbon emissions of your flight by purchasing carbon emission credits when you book. The money used to purchase carbon offsets goes toward reducing greenhouse emissions and funding renewable energy generation projects.

When you buy your tickets with StudentUniverse, you can easily offset your carbon emissions. Just look for the Fly Green button during the checkout process. It’ll look like this:

green travel

6. Buy from sustainable brands. 

Shopping local and buying from sustainable brands helps a lot. These brands are reducing their carbon footprints, investing in more sustainable materials and factories, supporting ethical working environments, increasing recycled materials and decreasing waste, pollution and overall environmental impact. Not only that, but it increases demand for businesses to follow sustainable practices. Some of our favorite brands that are focused on making sustainable and eco-friendly products include Threads4Thought, AllBirds shoes, Patagonia, Lush, and Grove Collaborative. Need more ideas? Check this list of eco-friendly brands or these zero-waste brands. This doesn’t mean you should go out and buy a whole bunch of new stuff you don’t need, but next time you do need something, try to buy from a local or sustainable brand when you can! 

7. Make thrifting your new BFF.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5YSWi1lT3x/

Besides buying from local, sustainable brands, buying used or secondhand items is much more environmentally-friendly than buying new. How does thrifting help the environment? First, it reduces pollution and waste by recycling and reusing people’s unwanted clothing rather than having those clothing items end up in landfills. Second, it reduces the amount of clothing that needs to be made, a process that definitely wears on the environment due to the energy needed for the clothing production. Basically: buying secondhand means less resources used and wasted.

Find local thrift stores near you: Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet are popular nation-wide brands, but smaller, local stores will also have tons of amazing finds. You can also shop at online thrift stores, like ThredUp or Poshmark, or even places like Facebook Marketplace. Have some old clothes you’re not wearing anymore? Donate them to a local thrift store or to a store like Marine Layer, who will recycle your old clothes into brand new ones.

8. Go back to the basics.

how to fight climate change

All of the basic, everyday things you know are better for the environment? Yeah, when we all commit to doing them, they really do add up! Things like using reusable grocery bags and water bottles, buying in bulk to reduce packaging waste, walking or biking instead of driving, conserving water, reducing waste and plastic use—small changes can make a big difference.

9. Pool money with friends to adopt a koala. 

australia koala

Local animals are facing serious problems with the wildfires. Unlike people, who have evacuation warnings and are often able to get out ahead of fires, animals can’t—and already an estimated half a billion animals have been killed as a result of these fires. If you want to help, there’s several local organizations that are raising money to rescue local animals and wildlife and help them recover. Donate to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, a local koala hospital that’s doing amazing work on the ground. Or, pool your money with a few friends to adopt a koala through WWF to provide more general support for wildlife across the region.

10. Commit to making one small lifestyle change in 2020.

how to live eco-friendly

You might feel like the small things you do won’t help these fires very directly—and in some ways, that’s true. But the changes we can all make individually to reduce our own carbon footprints, make less waste and live in a more eco-friendly way definitely does add up. Haven’t made a New Year’s resolution yet? Why not commit to making one small lifestyle change that’ll help the earth this year? Whether it’s bringing your own coffee mug or reusable water bottle to work or school, swapping out your normal products for eco-friendly brands, biking or walking instead of driving, or something else, our everyday choices can make an impact.

Living in Australia right now? See more ways you can help locally with the fires. Want us to chip in for you? Share our recent Instagram post to support Australia wildfire relief before the end of the week, and we’ll chip in $1 for everyone who shares.