For the first time ever in Sydney, it snowed at Christmas. But it wasn't a white Christmas, it was snowing ash.
As it rained down on cities across the east coast and our skies were choked with apocalyptic smoke from the worst bushfires in our country’s history, we looked to our leaders to do something..anything, but they refused to acknowledge the facts - actually they straight up denied them.
Yes, Australia has always had bushfires, but climate change will continue to increase the frequency and severity of catastrophic events like this. We needed to send our leaders a clear message and rally people to put pressure on the government to acknowledge that this isn't normal - this is a climate emergency.
Our aim was to spark a conversation, inspire action and help the Greenpeace climate action petition reach over 100k signatures to force a change of government policy.
We created a very special Christmas gift to send a powerful message at what should be the most joyous time of year. The Ash Globe was a dark twist on the traditional snow globe, made with ash we collected ourselves from the devastating fires around Sydney.
Our goal was to 'call out' our climate change denying politicians, but we knew that if we sent them an Ash Globe, they were unlikely to see it, or even care. So we decided to use influencers/celebrities who supported climate action to share The Ash Globe on their social channels, spark the conversation and gain support.
Tim Minchin, Hugh Jackman, Lisa Wilkinson and Russell Crowe were just some of the celebrities who all shared The Ash Globe on their social channels accompanied with their own message of frustration at our leaders’ lack of action.
The globes were delivered and went out across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to their millions of followers over 2 days. Each post also encouraged followers to share and sign the Greenpeace petition demanding climate action.
With no media budget, using influencers/celebrities became an incredibly effective way to raise awareness for climate action, drive people to sign the Greenpeace petition and send our political leaders a message.
With no budget, we created The Ash Globes ourselves by hand and sent them out in under a week. While small, they really packed a punch; and the idea clearly resonated with celebrities and influencers who were more than happy to share them on their social channels. Some, like comedian Matt Okine, even contacted us to ask if he could share one.
They also got plenty of people talking. Tim Minchin's Facebook post alone resulted in over 37k likes, 2,700 comments and 16k shares. He also helped The Ash Globe make local and international news headlines with his heartfelt demand for action and critical attack on our leaders.
Russel Crowe's post went out to his Twitter audience of 2.7million, and Hugh Jackman's Instagram story went out to over 28.8 million followers. #TheAshGlobe hashtag was tracked with a reach of 30million across the world.
Finally, we helped Greenpeace reach over 120,000 signatures in their petition, and our politicians were forced to listen. As public outrage grew, our Prime Minister acknowledged that climate change ‘has his attention’ and publicly stated a change in climate policy to lower existing emissions targets ‘even further.’
Overall, The Ash Globe became a timely symbol of the impacts of climate change - taking it from an abstract concept, to a harsh reality we can no longer ignore.