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Sarah Barratt

Sarah Barratt

#PANGAIAChangemakers

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Sarah Barratt

A young journalist in London using her global platform to hero the environment. As an active community leader for Extinction Rebellion, Sarah investigates sustainability in every aspect of life, from food to fashion.

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We asked Sarah a few questions about her life and passion, to see how she has made change in small-big ways.

Initially, what prompted you to drive change?

Learning more about the way things like soil degradation and food waste can contribute to climate change definitely made me want to use my (very small) platform to alert others. We need to be talking about this stuff the way we're talking about coronavirus. It also comes from a place of fear — I'm scared about the future and the best way to combat that fear is to act constructively and try to improve the situation, even if in a very small way.

What has been the most rewarding moment of your journey so far?

I love receiving emails from readers who have changed their habits because of an article I wrote. Words really can change the world!

What change-maker/s do you look up to and why?

Everyone who is putting the planet and people before profit. People like Guy Singh Watson, the founder of Riverford. During a time of increasing industrialisation of farming, he went against the grain and has made buying organic produce easy and accessible - the way it should be. Also shout out to Sian Sutherland — a serial entrepreneur who uses her extensive powers for good — helping big businesses turn off the plastic tap.

If you could save one species at the click of your fingers, what would it be?

The bee! Actually all insects. Apart from mosquitos. We NEED them to pollinate our crops. Without them, growing food would be difficult to say the least. There are lots of tech companies trialling 'robobees' — tiny robots that will replace the real thing should they go extinct. Scary.

Why is it important for brands/companies to become more responsible?

The 'take, use, dispose' model isn't working for people or the planet. It's not sustainable to pillage the earth and put nothing back. Nor is it ethical to outsource poorly paid labour to Asia and look the other way. Businesses can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. It's hard to convert to a new way of working overnight but in time, staying the same will prove much more difficult. Business can and should be a force for good.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you would want to have with you?

A big pan and a wooden spoon. So I could cook up a fish stew over an open fire (presuming there are still fish in the sea by that time...) Or a good book. On Desert Island Discs you're allowed a book so I'm having both! Maybe it would be a good opportunity to finally get around to reading Ulysses. And I'd want a pen and paper. Don't think I'm cut out for island living. I want too much!

What are some small changes people can make in their everyday lives to help save (specifically, in your field)?

I try to make one small change every month. I.e. Ordering an organic veg box instead of getting non organic food from the supermarket. It feels like a small thing but the food we choose to buy (or not buy) has vast consequences. If you can afford to — buying less but better food is one of the most impactful things you can do on a personal level. Micheal Pollen said 'The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world’.