In recent weeks, news outlets and social media platforms have been flooded with coverage of Australia on fire. The continent is not at all unfamiliar with these sorts of natural disasters, oftentimes facing bushfires throughout their dry season. However, these fires – marked by strong winds, dry heat, and drought – have become some of the worst in recorded history. As of today, it’s estimated that over 500 million animals in the country’s rampant wildlife have died, helpless to the blazes that have consumed their natural habitat. While this news certainly is
discouraging, solace can be found in the outpouring of support from titans in every industry, from film to fashion to even the royal family.
Since Greta Thunberg enacted her Fridays for Future campaign in August of 2018, the public has slowly been waking up to the reality that the climate is changing, and not for the better. What began as a movement backed by only a handful of supporters quickly took like wildfire as hundreds of thousands around the globe stood in solidarity to save the planet from eventual destruction.
If it seems like the world has become engulfed in just one natural disaster after another, that’s because it has. In 2019 alone, the global community watched as Hurricane Dorian pummeled the Bahamas as the strongest hurricane to ever hit the country, India choked on toxic air, Parisians felt the effects of the hottest recorded temperature in history, and the Amazon lost 2.2 million acres to an uncontrolled blaze. While that is by no means an inconsequential amount, Australia has currently lost about 12 million.
Natives of Australia are doing what they can to save their homeland. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban donated $500,000 to end the devastation, Margot Robbie shared intimate family photo albums on social media and pleaded for the public’s help, and Russell Crowe dedicated his 2020 Golden Globes acceptance speech to the impending danger of turning a blind eye any longer to climatic unrest. Their American counterparts are even doing their bit to help.
Joaquin Phoenix, Jane Fonda, Amber Valletta, Diane Lane, and numerous other celebrities have been arrested while peacefully protesting climate change; P!nk recently pledged $500,000 to alleviating the bushfires in addition to the $3 million donated by Leonardo DiCaprio; and innumerable moguls (Bella Hadid, Kourtney Kardashian, etc.) have even taken the extra step to plant new trees in order to replace those that have been lost in these trying times.
It is no longer fanatical to care about the environment in which we live, it can be fashionable. It doesn’t take a complete upheaval of one’s lifestyle to make the differences necessary to enact change, it only takes one conscious decision after another. And if you’re afraid you wouldn’t even know where to begin lessening your carbon footprint, consider what Zero-Waste Chef, Anne-Marie Bonneau, says: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” So what do you say? Shall we make sustainability the new black?
words Emma Cook