A joint competition run by the Society and the Financial Times.
The 2022 Essay Competition, organised in partnership with the Financial Times, is asking students to explain what are the environmental costs of current consumer trends, behaviours and purchasing decisions.
We have provided links to FT resources as a starting point (see below), but we expect you to undertake your own research to find a wider range of articles and data. We recommend looking for additional FT content to back up your arguments. Investigate the main question by focusing on one of the following sub-themes. Do not try to cover more than one sub-theme. You may make passing references to the sub-themes you have not chosen, but only if such references are brief and relevant to your chosen theme.
The environmental cost of online purchase returns
Goods returned by US consumers surged 78% in 2021
Customer returns hit retailer profits but boost shipping companies
The popularity of (and possible problems with) recycled plastics as a component of new clothing/fashion items
Fashion boom in recycled plastic comes with a price tag
The problem of e-waste, including the speed of obsolescence and replacement timescales for electronics goods
Electronic waste — what can designers do?
The competition is now closed for entries.
The judges are looking for:
A clear essay or ArcGIS StoryMap which is well-evidenced and reaches a clear conclusion
Submissions that do not exceed 1,000 words (excluding references)
Referenced sources of information and data
Submissions which are the entrant’s own work and relevant to the title and guidance
You can find further information about sustainability and environmental issues using the Society's and FT for Schools online resources
Financial Times FT Free subscription for schools
Society's school resources
The competition is open to all A Level geography students (or equivalent) aged 16-18.
All entries must be submitted using the online application form and upload system, using the same format file name/type requirements specified on the online application form. We will not accept any entries by email. If you need any assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Entrants' names and school names must not be written anywhere on submitted entries.
Please read our terms & conditions carefully before entering.
The Society is running this competition in partnership with the Financial Times as part of its education programme to support geography teachers and their pupils. Your school can become a School Member of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and you and your pupils can join as an Associate Fellow/Fellow or Student respectively.
The winning essay will be published in Routes Journal.
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