It's heartbreaking to comprehend the suffering and loss of 500 million animals in the terrifying bushfires that are still raging through Australia. Millions of hectares of their native habitat has been destroyed, as the fires spew tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is concerning not only for species recovery, but the very future of our planet. Our beloved Aussie icon, the koala, was already on the brink of extinction. Now their future, as well as many other native species is in even more serious jeopardy.
In Australia, we are lucky to have such beautiful native animals, with characters that are uniquely endearing. All of the artists we collaborate with are inspired by them. People tell us how much they love to give our cards featuring their favourite Australian furry or feathered friends. Since founding Earth Greetings in 2003, I've made it a core part of our mission to support organisations who care for native wildlife and help to restore their natural habitat.
Like many Australians, I am furious at the federal government for ignoring the warnings from scientists and fire chiefs alike, in their support for the fossil fuel industries. Along with state governments allowing excessive land clearing, this has led to hotter, drier conditions that cause catastrophic fires. History will hold them to blame.
It's easy to become overwhelmed with despair, and these last few weeks I've experienced so much sadness and anger that it's been difficult to remain hopeful. But we must focus on what we can do to help.
Right now, there are thousands of innocent animals who have survived the fires and heat, terrified and injured. In bushfire zones around Australia, wildlife carers are working around the clock to rescue and care for native animals who have burns from the fires or become orphaned.
How we are helping native animals affected by bushfires
In order that we can offer immediate support for native animals during the bushfire emergency, Earth Greetings are donating $10,000 to wildlife organisations throughout Australia who are specifically helping to save native animals affected by the bushfires.
We will be distributing our donation to the following organisations:
If you'd like to help native animals injured by fire, consider also supporting one of these organisations with a donation, no matter how small - every bit helps.
Here are some tips from WIRES about how you can help native wildlife during the fire season:
- In fire areas keep a box in your vehicle with a cotton pillowcase and a shallow dish and water bottle to offer water to animals who may have fled the fires.
- If you find an animal with burns or other injuries please take to the nearest vet immediately. Wrap loosely in 100% cotton fabric, handle as little as possible.
- Many flying-fox colonies over recent weeks and days are being severely impacted by a combination of starvation and heat. Today we are sadly expecting many more lives will be lost. Please remember to NEVER touch a bat. If you see a bat of flying-fox on the ground please do not approach but provide shade gently mist intermittently and call WIRES 1300 094 737 in NSW or your local animal rescue team.
Remember water for wildlife
Putting bowls of water out for wildlife during our hot Australian summer is such a simple but important thing you can do to help the survival of our beautiful native animals. Remember to put a rock and a stick in the bowl so that small insects and critters can climb in and out. You can upcycle a plastic juice or milk bottle by cutting the side off the bottle to make a bowl.
Our ongoing commitment to help wildlife
Earth Greetings are committed to ongoing support of organisations who help care for sick and injured native wildlife. We donate over 10% of profit annually to environmental organisations who care for native wildlife and their habitats.
My heart goes out to those who have lost everything in the bushfires, including their pets, homes and small businesses. We know many of our wonderful customers, as well as family and friends have been affected by the fires. We hope you stay safe during this extremely difficult time, and remain hopeful as I do, that together we can all make a difference for the future of our planet and its inhabitants.
Heide Hackworth - Earth Greetings Founder