EcoStar is a new competition created by the University of Winchester and the Hampshire Chronicle to identify the next generation of environmental journalists. The runner up in this year’s competition was Meg Jones. Here is her article:
The thought of the environment being exterminated haunts millions of people daily; the thought of every decision we have to make impacting our future terrifies people to their cores; the thought of damaging our sons and daughters’ futures by inaugurating irreversible climate change stops people from sleeping at night. What can be done to stop these tragic effects before it’s too late?
Carbon dioxide fumes are our nemesis in the fight for climate conservation and need to be urgently reduced – reduced by you making a conscious effort to reduce the waste you send to landfill every week. Previously, most people (including myself) would have argued that adopting a zero waste lifestyle is too much hassle for a normal, working, busy family to adopt. However, thanks to Eco Freaks Emporium, it has suddenly been made a lot easier for you.
Eco Freaks Emporium is a food shop in Gosport that prides itself on providing organic products whilst producing the smallest amount of waste as possible. They believe that not only is the quality of the food better due to an increased quality of nutrients, but the food also endures less processes than typical supermarket food. Organic farming has also proven to be better for wildlife, soil and the planet – so despite it being slightly more expensive than non-organic food, you will only be sacrificing a few pennies for the future of our entire planet and everybody on it. Why wouldn’t you?
Currently, the UK’s recycling rate of waste from households is 45.7%, an increase from the 45.2% it was in 2016. However, as it is plain to see the increase is extremely minor and is not making enough of a positive impact on our environment. Considering the UK was still responsible for 222.9 million tonnes of waste in 2016 – and England being held accountable for 85% of that total – it is clear that radical change is still necessary.
To try and help to tackle this, recycling is also a crucial aspect of the Eco Freaks Emporium’s goals as it accepts a wide range of items – such as crisp, cleaning product and biscuit packaging – that would otherwise be sent to landfill. However, it’s crucial that you refer to their website before attempting to recycle them as some items are not accepted.
Moreover, Eco Freaks Emporium helps to directly tackle food waste by donating food to the Trash Cafe. They charge on a ‘pay as feel’ basis, meaning that you pay for everything, excluding drinks, based on how much you think it is worth. Any extra income they produce will be spent on a commercial composter and their training kitchen which is open for public use.
The need for extracting, processing and refining raw materials will dramatically decrease as a result of you consciously trying to recycle more in your everyday life as energy will be saved and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. However, by producing next to no waste, Eco Freaks Emporium are one massive step ahead, and adopting a more eco friendly lifestyle is only one step away.