We explore the concept of Dry July, who started it & how it can help people change their relationship with alcohol.
You may have heard of Dry January and Sober October, but have you heard of Dry July? Dry July is very similar in principle to the initiatives named previously, the aim is to abstain from drinking alcohol for the entire month of July. The campaign originated in Australia and has now started to gain momentum globally and become part of the alcohol-free calendar. Rooted in charity and using the challenge to raise money for an excellent cause, in this case people affected by cancer. We explore the story of Dry July and how you can get involved.
What is Dry July?
Dry July is a not-for-profit organisation that challenges people to abstain from drinking alcohol for the month of July to support people affected by cancer. The campaign originally started in 2008 when Phil Grove, Brett Macdonald and Kenny McGilvary pledged to give up alcohol for a month to raise some money for their local hospital. After the challenge was picked up by a local radio station (Adam Spencer from 702 ABC Sydney) and over 1,000 people signed up and raised over $250,000. Since its inception, more than 200,000 participants have collectively raised over $50m AUD, helping to support more than 80 cancer support organisations across Australia and New Zealand.
How does it work and should you give it a go?
The idea is that you join the campaign and refrain from drinking alcohol for the entire month. In doing so, ask family and friends or even colleagues to sponsor your effort to raise money for people affected by cancer. It may sound simple but can be a challenging month especially with it being a busy summer month.
There is no harm in reducing the amount of alcohol you consume. The idea is for you to become more aware of your overall consumption and question your reasons for doing so, it could be purely from a taste perspective, a habit which you've become used to or you use it as a way to help you relax. Whichever it may be, disconnecting and changing that bottle of beer or glass of wine for a non-alcoholic version or simply replacing with soft-drinks or water can only be beneficial for your body and mind.
Are there rules to abide by? Does 0.5% ABV still count?
Generally, the idea is to not drink any alcohol of any kind for the entire month of July. You can adapt this to your lifestyle and goals and feel a part of the movement regardless of some days you may lapse. You can also relieve some of that guilt by gathering extra donations to balance these 'off-days'. There are no set rules in general, but with different countries definitions of no and low alcohol does 0.5% ABV count? Given that some foods have naturally occurring alcohol above this threshold, such as certain bread varieties can contain the equivalent of 1.28% ABV per 100g, a pretty strong case can be made that they should.
Best alternatives to ease you into going Dry for July
We understand it may be difficult to go cold turkey and stop drinking alcohol completely. One of the reasons the Temperance Club was formed was to help people understand there are alternatives available to ease that transition. You will be surprised at what's available compared to years gone by, your favourite cocktail can easily be alcohol-free nowadays, your favourite beer might have a like-for-like 0% version or you could cut out you're need for an alcoholic style drink completely. Take a look at our reviews section, to give you some inspiration on what you could try when you need something to feel like you are drinking.