How You Can Hustle To Support Bushfire Relief When You Have No Money

Take note from these legends inspiring us with their generosity.

By now, most of us have returned from summer break and enjoying Christmas and ringing in 2020 with the ones we love – but there are thousands of Australians who haven’t caught a break in months, and others who spent their holidays on the frontline fighting the Australian bushfires.

Credit: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

If you’re unaware of the climate crisis currently affecting Australia, devastating bushfires have been burning relentlessly for months, destroying millions of hectares of land, thousands of buildings and homes and killing 25 people as of January 2020.

After the government inadequately prepared the country and actively pulled funding that could have prevented the losses we’re currently experiencing, it’s safe to say, we’re all feeling pretty overwhelmed and powerless right now. 

The GOAT team unpacked the bushfire crisis and all the ways you can help in today’s episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

But it’s not all bad news – there are countless legends both here and overseas who are actively using their platforms to donate, encourage positive change and share information on how to support bushfire relief.

In Australia, Will ‘Eggboy’ Connolly and Magda Szubanski have teamed up on a GoFundMe campaign to provide ongoing mental health support to bushfire victims, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman have donated $500,000 to the RFS, Flume gave $100,000 to WIRES and explained how to support bushfire relief, and Margot Robbie posted an IGTV video encouraging her followers to donate.

While the bushfire crisis only recently made international headlines, Australia’s friends and fans from across the pond have been incredibly generous. Miley Cyrus has donated $3M to multiple bushfire relief foundations and hired two planes housing 60,000 litres of water. Hilary Duff and her husband have shared links to donate and are planning to donate themselves, YouTubers, Twitch gamers and artists including Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello and Charli XCX have all posted links to donate and help the cause.

Online sex worker and model Kaylen Ward AKA The Naked Philanthropist sold nude photos in exchange for donations to various bushfire relief foundations and got herself banned from Instagram in the process.

While these influencers have inspired us with their generosity, not everyone has the means to donate their money. The good news is, there are plenty of other ways you can support bushfire relief and the people working so hard to keep Australia safe. 

Donate your time by volunteering for the RFS, clothing to Red Cross retail stores, fuel, grocery vouchers, fencing and water tanks to charities like Givit or non-perishable goods, pet food and toiletries to Gippsland Farmer Relief and Foodbank Victoria. If you’re the crafty kind, why not help create a knitted pouch for rescued animals via the Animal Rescue Craft Guild?

Donating to these funds is not the only way to help. You can support affected communities, people who have lost their homes in the fires – we have more power when we rally together.

Spend With Them: Small businesses affected by the fires.

It’s My Shout: Virtually buying services for firefighters and residents.

WIRES: Emergency animal rescue.

WWF: Adopt a Koala.

AirBnb Open Homes: List your home or a room for free to help displaced residents.

Blaze Aid: Helping communities rebuild after the fires.

Support The Firefighter Families: directly helping families affected.

Another way to help that doesn’t involve spending money is by simply following the fire bans and spreading the word. Don’t light any open fires or carry out any activities in the open that are likely to cause a fire, and keep sharing relevant and accurate links to bushfire relief campaigns. 

NSW Rural Fire Service

The Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief

Salvation Army Disaster Appeal

St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW)

The Victorian Bushfire Appeal

Country Fire Authority (CFA), Victoria

Most importantly, look after yourself. If you feel as though your mental health is suffering, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for support.

2019's Biggest Moments Ranked From Lawful Good To Chaotic Evil

From lawful evil to chaotic good.

2019 was a HUGE year. Not only did it mark the end of the decade, but it was an emotional rollercoaster with more ups and downs than an episode of Desperate Housewives. Reflecting on the year that was got the GOAT team thinking…the only way to possibly sum up the biggest moments of 2019 is via the Dungeons and Dragons alignments – the categorisation of ethical and moral perspectives from good to evil.

After careful consideration, here’s where we reckon 2019’s biggest moments sit on the spectrum:

Lawful Evil

A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts.

Credit: Getty

The Australian government’s reluctance to acknowledge the benefits of pill testing at music festivals, the revelations around police strip-searches, and the impact of Australia’s religious discrimination bill off the back of Israel Folau’s controversial comments on same-sex marriage and sexuality.

Neutral Evil

A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience.

The hot mess that was Cats the movie, dodgy influencers and particularly the ones who rushed to climb Uluru before it was prohibited.

Chaotic Evil

A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable. 

Credit: AAP

Donald Trump is the living breathing epitome of this category, but that’s an obvious choice. Instead, we’ve gone for disgraced cardinal George Pell and his sexual abuse charges and the crazy fan outrage over Game of Thrones season 8.

Lawful Neutral

A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organisation are paramount to her.

Credit: AAP

Sydney’s controversial new light rail which thought it could beat Melbourne at its own game and broke down on the first day, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian abolishing Sydney’s lockout laws after they had a detrimental impact on the city’s nightlife economy, and the legalisation of cannabis in Canberra.

True Neutral

A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. 

2019’s Sonic the Hedgehog, who was quickly taken back to the drawing board after major backlash, the Fiji Water girl from the Golden Globes who turned out to be a walking talking advertisement and Avengers: Endgame that was the perfectly neutral end to a very long franchise.

Chaotic Neutral

A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn’t strive to protect others’ freedom. 

The Area 51 raid that attracted thousands of memes, millions of attendees, and even more press but never went ahead, TikTok and it’s big Vine energy, and of course, Kylie Jenner’s foray into pop music with ‘Rise and Shine.’

Lawful Good

A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly.

New Zealand’s prime minister and all-round angel Jacinda Ardern, Baby Yoda and his unfathomable cuteness and Harry Styles’ music, aesthetic, persona and general ~vibe~

Neutral Good

A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them.

The Internet’s boyfriend and quite possibly the only guy in Hollywood yet to be cancelled, Keanu Reeves, the Bon Appetit YouTube channel and its many talents (shoutout to Claire Saffitz) and the first image of a black hole.

Chaotic Good

A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent.

Artist of the Decade Taylor Swift who used her platform to fight for artists rights, Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg who used her platform to fight climate change (and troll Donald Trump) and Lil Nas X’s country rap banger, ‘Old Town Road.’

So there you have it – 2019’s biggest moments from good to evil. Obviously the alignments are up for interpretation but it is pretty comforting to look back and  reflect on everything we’ve been through over the past year. Here’s hoping 2020 has a little more chaotic good, and a little less chaotic evil. 

How Getting Boozy Can Give You Good Karma, According To An Expert Bartender

Step one: STOP using straws.

It’s that time of year: painting the town red and indulging in a drink (or a few) is not only encouraged, but expected. However, our penchant for wining and dining during the silly season isn’t only having an effect on our wallets (and heads) the morning after, it’s also harmful to the environment. Food, drink, plastic, cardboard and glass wastage is a huge issue in the hospitality industry and a lot of what we’re not consuming is being poured down the drain – or worse – ending up in the landfill. 

The question is: what can we do as consumers to reduce our amount of wastage when getting on the sauce? According to award-winning mixologist and owner of Sydney cocktail bar PS40 Michael Chiem, “not opting for straws is a pretty good start.”

Credit: @ps40bar/Wesley Nel

“Most people I know don’t drink using a straw at home, but when they go out to bars, for some reason they feel like they need to,” he said. Most of the drinks at PS40 are designed to be drunk without a straw, but for those with crushed ice or heavy garnishes, Chiem’s team offers reusable polypropylene straws – or you can always BYO. “If you’re really desperate, I have a few friends who bring their own straws around to bars.”

How you treat your sticky pub coasters can also make a big difference when it comes to sustainable drinking. “People at bars love to rip up coasters,” Chiem says. “Maybe you’re a little nervous or fidgety… but it’s the one thing consumers can keep an eye on.”

The team at PS40 use and reuse coasters, however most can be passed around about three or four times before they end up getting thrown out. “We’re working on a new coaster than can be more reusable, but at the same time offer a really great experience,” Chiem says. 

Credit: Absolut

While Chiem adds that traditional bars like Sydney’s Baxter Inn would churn through napkins on an average night, they’re actually pretty handy. “Napkins tell other bartenders that the people in front of them are already being served – it’s an indicator that their drinks are coming,” he explains. “If we finish the drinks, the bartenders use those napkins to wipe condensation off the bar top and make sure it’s nice for the next person. Or you might be chewing on something or need to blow your nose.”

As for what to order, Chiem says ‘the perfect serve’ – when you’re offered a 200ML bottle of soda with your spirit – is the most wasteful kind of drink. “It’s guaranteed to be fizzy and you can adjust how much soda you want in your drink because you pour it yourself, but that little glass bottle isn’t going to get reused.”

“At nice, premium cocktail bars it’s almost a prerequisite to have those little soda bottles,” he says. “Pouring from a 2 litre Coca Cola bottle isn’t very premium.” At PS40, Chiem and his team make and keg all their sodas on site. “As a consumer [the perfect serve] is really nice, but at the end of the shift when I’m taking out the bin, it’s significantly lighter.”

For Chiem, being conscious about wastage comes from caring about our planet, but it’s also a product of his upbringing. “My parents came across from Vietnam with absolutely nothing and they would yell at me if I ever wasted food or didn’t appreciate what was put on the table,” he explained. “Now as a business owner I care about our profit margins, but making something delicious out of nothing is actually quite a cool challenge.”

Staying in and trying your hand at a bit of DIY sustainable drinking? Chiem suggests keeping the brine in your olive jar. “If you’re making an Absolut South Side, or any sort of drink with citrus, mint and cucumber, put a little splash of olive brine in there.”

“We use it like salt to ‘season’ the drink – a little will heighten the flavours.”

Chiem and the team at PS40 aren’t the only ones attempting to make a difference when it comes to wastage and sustainable drinking – some of your favourite booze brands are on board as well. 

Absolut Vodka make bottles from more than 41% recycled glass, put less than 1% of production waste into landfills, have one of the most energy-efficient distilleries in the world, plant trees to offset carbon emissions and use approximately 65% renewable energy at facilities. Not bad for one of the world’s leading vodka brands. 

Credit: @absolut_au

Now go forth, splash that olive brine, BYO straw, enjoy the sustainable drinking and good karma.

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