TalkTalk is giving away free bottles of ‘carbon-neutral’ champagne to bubbly fans in Manchester city centre tomorrow.
In a bid to promote “the environmental benefits of switching to full fibre”, TalkTalk – which is the UK’s largest value-for-money connectivity provider – has decided to celebrate by giving out free bottles of champagne to those who pledge to reduce their carbon footprint and switch to full fibre broadband before Valentine’s Day next week.
According to TalkTalk, by making the changeover from standard broadband to full fibre, customers can reduce their lifetime carbon emissions by up to 565kg.
That is the equivalent of sending 4,036 Valentine’s Day cards.
So, what exactly do you need to do to get your hands on some free “eco-friendly bubbles” then? Well, TalkTalk explains that you’ll just need to “show the planet some love” and pledge to reduce your carbon footprint by visiting TalkTalk’s “human-powered” vending machine near the clock tower at the Great Northern Warehouse tomorrow from 12pm.
The pop-up will be dispensing carbon-neutral champagne up until 2pm to celebrate the environmental benefits of switching from standard broadband to full fibre.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s pop-up event, Will Ennett – Head of Sustainability at TalkTalk – said: “To spread the love in Manchester ahead of Valentine’s Day, we’re encouraging people to think about the small changes they can make to help reduce their carbon footprint, such as switching from standard broadband to full fibre.
“Head down to the Great Northern Warehouse this Thursday lunchtime to find out how the move to full fibre will help to reduce carbon emissions.
“Plus, you can receive a bottle of carbon-neutral bubbly on us.”
TalkTalk has said that it will be operating a ‘challenge 25’ policy on the promotion, so you’re advised to bring ID along with you to the pop-up event to avoid disappointment, and you can find out more about the ‘Full Fibre’ offerings here.
69% of Manchester students want to try a plant-based diet – but ‘cost and inconvenience’ is putting them off
Soaring costs, the inconvenience of the lifestyle, and the potential risk of isolation have been named as the top three barriers preventing Manchester students from giving veganism and plant-based diets a try.
According to a new study of students in Manchester byMeatFreed – an app connecting the plant-based community for students in key student cities across the UK – less than one in 10 say they would be able to commit to a fully plant-based diet, despite 69% claiming they want to try more plant-based meals, and a further 23% keen on becoming plant-based full-time if possible.
35% of Manchester students say they also like to eat more sustainably, and a quarter (25%) already making sustainable meal choices – but it’s not so easy for everyone.
And it’s all down to several different barriers standing in their way, according to the study.
MeatFreed’s recent study found that 48% of Manchester students named having less options for meals on-the-go as the main reason why they’re put off trying a plant-based diet, with a further 36% feeling it would be too tricky to eat out in restaurants and at takeaways.
20% also said they felt concerned they would be the only vegetarian or vegan in their friendship group or families – which could lead to an element of social isolation.
With the rising cost of living crisis also sadly continuing to make its impact felt, 44% of Manchester students surveyed said they felt worried about the cost of a plant-based lifestyle, and another 43% said they felt a little anxious about how that could impact their diets.
Because of this, 60% of students believe their diets will change as the cost of food increases.
Yet despite all these identified hurdles, MeatFreed also found that a whopping 92% of students surveyed would like to see more plant-based options on the menu when they’re dining out, and so, to help them find the most sustainable meal options out there in our city, the MeatFreed app officially launched in Manchester last month.
This new app brings together discounts, menus, and offers for students from over 50 restaurants in Manchester, as well as offering rewards to users who choose more sustainable meal choices.
“It’s not surprising that students are growing more concerned about the cost of living and rising food prices as it’s everywhere in the media and trying to find sustainable meal choices can be trickier than ever in all that noise,” admitted Patrick Huang – co-founder of MeatFreed.
“We chose to launch in Manchester as it’s one of the biggest student communities in the UK, and with so many Manchester students keen to try plant-based and more sustainable dishes, we wanted to help them discover the options they have right on their doorstep.
“And it doesn’t have to drain the student loan either.”
Whether you were born here or drawn here, there are plenty of reasons that Manchester has become home to so many thousands of people.
Many now-locals have chosen to make Manchester their home, moving from across the globe to put down roots in our fair city.
And attracting swathes of people is Capital & Centric’s community-focused developments in the city centre, notably the historic Crusader and new build neighbour Phoenix.
The social impact property developers have restored the 180-year-old building into a block of one and two-bed apartments with exposed brickwork, original cast iron columns and wooden beams, and huge windows.
Those who live here include Yasu Jordan Sato, 34, along with his wife Mai and young son – Yasu was born in Japan and has since lived in LA and Paris working as an exterior designer in the motor industry, but it was Manchester that beat out those other international cities for the young family.
Yasu says that the comparisons often made between Brooklyn and Manchester are completely correct.
He said: “My brother lives in Brooklyn in New York and I always make the comparison between Manchester and Brooklyn. Certain parts look exactly like Brooklyn, it’s cool and the people are so warm and friendly.
“People complain about the weather, but honestly I found Paris more gloomy in comparison!”
On their decision to move to Manchester, and Crusader, Yasu said: “It was a bit crazy. We’d never been to Manchester and knew very little about the UK. We’d been to London once. So we really didn’t know what to expect at all.
“We were really surprised with just how liveable the city is… it deserves the focus. I really feel people don’t know how great Manchester is, that includes some people who live here who probably take it for granted.
“We only really spoke basic French, so it’s been a dream to get here and meet new people. We love the food too! We love Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, we’re spoilt for choice in Manchester and it’s all so accessible. All the good bits of a massive city without having to get the subway everywhere.
“We knew Crusader was for us. My wife loved the bricks and the history of the building. We’re settling into life as a family here too.
“People often find it strange we’re raising a child in the city, but that’s a very UK view. People do it all the time in America. With canals, green spaces nearby and the city on our doorsteps, it’s perfect for us.”
Another international resident is Dino, who lives in the industrial-style Phoenix. He moved to Plymouth from Athens aged 17 to study – and then headed to Manchester ‘at random’, choosing it over Birmingham or London.
It’s all worked out for him, with Dino saying that the salary ceiling in the north no longer seems to apply to Manchester.
Dino said: “I moved to Manchester from Greece as a student around 15 years ago and since then have lived all over the world but, when it came to buying a home and settling down, it was always going to be here.
“It really is a home away from home. I love the people, the positive vibe and the amazing social scene.
“A lot of big companies moved up from London after Covid so it’s got the job opportunities too. If they’d have been around I would never have left all those years ago for work. There’s no salary ceiling anymore in Manchester so you’re keeping talented people in the city.
“Living in Piccadilly East I’ve got everything on my doorstep and it’s a really friendly and safe community. I’ve got to know loads of my neighbours and it’s a nice feeling to know they’re around if I need anything or just want to hang out. Athens is where I was born, but Manchester is my home. It truly is a piece of heaven.”
Donovan Hervig, 50, has lived in some pretty big cities in his life, including Tennessee, Northern Virginia, New York City, and in South America, but when his young son settled in North Wales with his mother he turned to Manchester.
Then he found himself spoilt by cultural and artistic diversity, friendly people and mild summers.
Donovan set up the US-based online travel agency Ideal South America, which he is able to manage from Manchester despite concerns around time zones.
He said: “I’ve been in the UK over seven years now and finally have dual citizenship. It’s been a long road, but well worth it! Manchester is not far by car or train from my son in North Wales and it’s got the best of everything you want from a city but it’s compact, walkable and the people are easy to talk to. It’s diverse too; with people from all over Europe, and the world.
“It’s easy to meet family, friends or even potential customers, without having to travel far. I’ve lived in New York City – which is amazing – so much to see and do. But like London, it’s much more expensive and takes an hour to get anywhere!
“These days I prefer somewhere smaller, a bit more laid back, less expensive and easier to get around … to me that’s Manchester. And the entertainment scene is still brilliant too! Football, arts, music – you name it. And the airport is well connected for international travel as well – second only to London.”
Donovan moved into his two-bedroom apartment in Crusader in May 2022, where he’s perfectly-placed to make the most of the surrounding food, drink and live music scene.
Donovan has made the most of the surrounding communities – live music and drinks in the Northern Quarter, the square at Ancoats, food at Mackie Mayor and even Oxford Rd.
He continued: “After viewing houses in south Manchester where I was living, my teenage son and I started warming to the idea of living in the city centre instead. More convenient and modern – a different experience.
“If we found the right place – we thought it’d be brilliant for me and us both – a good change. But we didn’t want to sacrifice too much space either. We viewed some small, cramped apartments in the Northern Quarter… no thanks!
“Then we saw the flats in Crusader and… wow! So much more spacious, and in an interesting historical building, with a sense of community (owner occupied) and cool vibe.
“We’re really enjoying it here. I can pick up my son at Piccadilly just around the corner and we can walk to restaurants, the cinema and Man City matches – no public transport! I can easily walk to the office, meet friends for nights out and receive out of town visitors.”
Residents from both Phoenix and Crusader can relax in the mill’s stunning hidden courtyard, once a dirty, concrete car park and now a green oasis kitted out with BBQs and fire pits.
It was a major attraction for residents, Donovan said: “I just thought I could get all the things you struggle for in places like London and NYC, where it’s crazy expensive to live. And you don’t get outside space and can at times be a bit unfriendly. Not Manchester!”
You can find out more about life at Capital & Centric’s Crusader here.