along the riverbank Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith

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.

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