Australia's Drought: Three Ways to Help the Farmers
There’s much to love about our sunburnt country: from the multicultural people to our freedom and diverse landscapes encompassing tropical beaches, cosmopolitan cities, and rural outback.
However, climate change and the serious lack of rainfall of late has taken its toll. As a nation, we’re currently in the grips of a severe dry spell, with 16.4% of New South Wales and 57.6% of Queensland declared in drought.
Senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology Blair Trewin said, “It has been the driest year to date for NSW since 1965”.
Australia’s rural and regional communities have been impacted the most. A flight inland shows barren and dry land, photos on social media display malnourished farm animals and farmers everywhere are desperate- they need our help.
While one person will not be able to fix the entire issue alone, together we can all make a difference and lend a helping hand to the backbone of our country during this dry time. Here are three ways you can help out.
Donate to charity
There are lots of great, registered charities out there currently doing some amazing work for our Aussie farmers. Drought Angles is one of them, a small not-for-profit charity providing food hampers, care packs, stock feed and local store vouchers to our rural communities. For $20, you can also opt to Buy a Bale (of hay) for the cows, or enjoy a ‘Parma for a Farmer’ at select pubs nationwide where donations for each chicken parmigiana sold will go to the cause. Aussie Helpers and Rural Aid are two other charities who support rural communities.
Support the local communities
One major (and often overlooked) way to help our farmers is to buy Australian-made products. While it may be slightly more expensive, you’ll be indirectly giving back economically to those who need it most, and not in the pockets of foreign businesses so make sure you shop for your fruit and vegetables at the local farmers’ markets.
We can also support the local communities by visiting them, as opposed to passing by. If you’re on the road, stop for a bite to eat, or spend the night in country towns. This will, in turn, inject funds back into the businesses, shop owners and farmers who are struggling to make ends meet.
Save water and minimise waste
Doing your bit while we’re in drought begins at home. Being mindful of your water consumption goes a long way. Take shorter showers, water the garden when the sun has gone down, and turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth. As for rubbish, the less we waste the less water we use. Recycle when you can, only purchase what you need, get creative in the kitchen with leftovers and invest in a coffee keep cup – it’s estimated Australians use one billion coffee cups each year, which contains plastics that do not break down.