koalas Alex Clark

Alex Clark

Wildfires are now becoming more common, obviously due to climate change and warming temperatures. But also due to the increasing amount of flammable eucalyptus trees being planted to produce ‘biodegradable’ packaging for chocolate and coffee and also to make Tencel (like a local version of bamboo for clothing). Also wildfires can be caused by modern hazards like cigarette litter (droppign a butt on dry land is akin to lighting a match to paper). And wildfires also happen from people releasing fire lanterns, which fall mostly to sea (harming marine creatures) but others fall to the ground (in Germany recently, many zoo animals died, when one dropped into their enclosure).

It’s always good when someone creative takes the important information, then makes it easy-to-understand, simple and fun. That’s the way to change things. Smokey Bear is a great American website, with heaps of information to understand what wildfires are and how to stop them (it’s a shame they did not research the harm that balloon releases also do, before sticking them on top of the deer’s antlers). The site does have good info on building safe campfires.

So the answers to preventing wildfires are pretty simple, if revolutionary:

  1. Reduce your carbon footprint to help prevent climate change, which leads to warming temperatures.
  2. Use eucalyptus and Tencel in moderation. If these industries take off, it will lead to big business creating monocultures of huge swathes of plantations. This has already happened in Spain and Portugal, which is why new plantations are banned.
  3. If you smoke, don’t litter. Use a personal ashtray to stub it out safely, then bin when you get home.
  4. Don’t release fire lanterns. There’s no need to use an alternative. You don’t need to release anything in the sky (which all falls back down again) to celebrate anything. It’s all marketing nonsense.

how we can help cuddly koala bears!

We all remember the koala crying out after a wildfire. But also source eucalyptus oils sustainably, as some brands use chainsaws to harvest trees, with no regard to koala habitats. Flammable eucalpytus trees are also causing wildfires due to mass-planting to produce ‘biodegradable packaging’. Stick to paper/cardboard packaging that’s easy to recycle.

Koala: The Cuddly Marsupial from Australia is a beautifully illustrated guide for young readers, on this iconic animal that is also a barometer for how we treat the planet, due to issues they face from wildfires caused by climate change. Koalas spend 15 hours asleep, and love to eat eucalyptus leaves.

Koala is the story of an Australian biologist’s journey to learn about these complex mysterious animals. Although they regularly appeared in her backyard, it was only when a bushfire threatened them, that she truly paid them attention. Born the size of tiny jellybeans, joeys face an upbill battle – from crawling into their mother’s pouch to being weaned onto a toxic diet of gum-tree leaves (their single source of food).  But koalas are now threatened with extinction from disease, climate change and wildfires.

Similar Posts