A campaign inspired by an empty esky is gaining momentum on social media, with the goal of helping bushfire victims get back on their feet.
The Empty Esky campaign is hoping to aid in the recovery of local tourism industries and small businesses, many of which depend on the usual influx of summer tourists, by encouraging Australians to pledge a visit to a bushfire affected town in 2020 - empty esky in tow.
Created by Melbourne friends Erin Boutros, Eleanor Baillieu and Elise Mason, the campaign launched on Instagram and gained over 10,000 followers in under 24-hours, with social media users sharing their plans to travel locally this year. Travel destinations include those on the South Coast of NSW, which was declared 'open for business' by the NSW RFS on January 11.
"Australia, we are all so devastated by the disastrous amount of damage caused by the 2020 bushfires," the campaign wrote in its first post on January 6.
"Not only has there been a huge impact on our agriculture, the local economy has taken a severe hit, especially small businesses. This is the time of year that tourism businesses make their money to survive the quiet winter, and the bushfires have made it impossible for them to operate and generate a living."
The campaign's account continued, explaining that Empty Esky is "an initiative to stimulate the local economy by encouraging all Australians to visit a local bushfire affected town with an empty esky and invest into the businesses by filling up our eskies with local produce and goods."
The campaign promises to showcase small businesses in need of support, helping concerned travellers locate safe bushfire impacted towns and invest in local products and produce - filling up their empty eskies in the process.
"This is the most game changing way you can be part of this huge recovery mission," the campaign account wrote.
Organisers are encouraging followers to get in touch with local business recommendations and discoveries.
For a list of small businesses in need of support around the country, including how to purchase from bushfire-affected producers and suitable ways to visit, check out Empty Desk's Instagram page.