FebFast is nearly here, and it has proven to be a rather polarising topic. From friends to bars, it’s interesting to look at how we respond to a month off the sauce and what some of us have in store for the month ahead.
Before you look away, I’m not here to say that you you should put down your drink. I love a cocktail or glass of wine … or two. But yes, I am putting my hat in the FebFast ring. For those playing at home, FebFast is taking a month off alcohol. You can also kick the sugar, caffeine or digital addiction. Money raised from the whole month goes towards helping young people with alcohol addictions. 67% of the funds go to alcohol and drug support while the remaining 32% goes towards preventative health campaigns.
To put this into perspective, every week in Australia four teenagers are killed due to alcohol related incidents with countless more presenting with serious injuries. This encompasses the more serious related problems including family violence, depression, homelessness, and abuse. More statistics can be found here.
Now we know how valuable the charity it is, you would think people would be keen to get on board. And you’d think that by mentioning FebFast among friends you’d get a positive response. Well, my experience has been different. The drinking culture we have in Australia has caused many to turn their nose up at my pursuit. I’m not that excited about the prospect of going alcohol free for a month either, but my decision to join the cause has been far from accepted.
From close friends I copped everything from “FebFast is ridiculous, people just need to make healthy choices, I am so sick of people making radical changes in their lives,” to “I don’t know how I’m going to cope with you doing FebFast,” to “But February is the fun month, why would you do that?”
This hit home to me that, as a nation we foster drinking to dangerous levels. All the while ignoring that it’s causing real problems for our youth and beyond.
From friends to the facilitators, bars were next on my list. The nation’s bars are surprisingly more accepting of the cause. Countless bars including Melbourne’s Shebeen, Vue de Monde, and 1806 and Sydney’s to Stitch Bar and Lobo Plantation are signing up as supporters of the cause. With just one tweet shot out into the interwebs, I received countless responses from venues that are putting on anything from sparkling apple juice, 0% beer to Chicha Morada using pineapple, purple corn and spice.
Ok tweeps. Where has awesome non-alcoholic beverages? All suggestions welcome. Thanks! #asktwitter
— Amy Collins (@amys_town) January 23, 2014
The pessimist in me thought the bars are doing themselves a service by being cooperative – they still want to make money from us sober folk. While some of our friends might taunt us with cocktails and craft brews for a month, our bars will be making a pretty buck selling us mocktails and other non-alcoholic creations.
Having said that, I kindly ask that they have a wine waiting for me on March 1. Happy FebFast!