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- Why everyone wins when you take part in Beautiful Scotland
- Entering our third decade with a splash
- Is 2020 the year for a circular economy in Scotland?
- A year in the life of: the campaigns and innovation team
- Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime
- Setting sail: all aboard the partnership
- Scotland is thirsty for change
- This #ScotClimateWeek, are you ready to pledge?
- Upstream Battle at Whinhill Primary School
- Elaine Hopley on our Upstream Battle week of action
- 20 September climate strikes: what took place and what happens now?
- Playing our part to reduce cup waste
- The funeral of a glacier: time to pull the emergency brake
- Get your Paws on Plastic
- Arran – exploring its hidden gems
- It’s time to take action to reverse climate change
- Monitoring litter to help keep Scotland beautiful
- Tackling Our Unsustainable Cup Consumption
- Cups hitting the ground: what we learned at TRNSMT Festival
- We All Have To Fight The UpStream Battle
- It's rubbish that people have to clean up after litter bugs
- The power of pocket gardens
- Registering your clean up makes a difference
- Tackling climate change starts at home
- Speaking the language of Carbon Literacy
- The life of a Keep Scotland Beautiful intern
- Wheatley Group: two years on and still going strong
- Roadside Litter: Think twice before you chuck
- Our citizen scientists are ready to make waves for Upstream Battle
- Taking a stand on climate change – what actions will you take?
- The Cup Movement will tackle our litter culture head on
- Working across borders to tackle climate change
- Celebrating 25 years of Eco-Schools in Scotland
- Climate change – it’s personal
- Putting young people first for our environment at Keep Scotland Beautiful
- Treading lightly – steps to lower our carbon footprint
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- Climate change: we can all do our bit
- Have yourself a green Christmas
- Shifting up a gear on Scotland’s roadside litter problem
- It’s time to consign our litter problem to the dustbin of history
- We can save our seas by starting at home
- Everyone can do their bit to protect the world – what’s your Goal?
As I enter the start of a second week with my new fully electric car, free wheeling is the phrase that keeps popping into my mind. Not free in terms of cost (although I have to admit that the currently free-of-charge public charging infrastructure has to be an incentive for us all), but free in terms of exhaust fumes and therefore carbon emissions and pollution. It is also somewhat freeing in terms of the driving experience behind the wheel of an electric car. It’s difficult to describe but it’s easier, less demanding and you arrive at a destination not feeling like you’ve been driving. Maybe it’s a freer state of mind that I’m experiencing. Whatever it is, it feels better.
So, what prompted me to make the change? Well it’s not been a quick or an easy decision. As someone who is very aware of environmental impacts and climate change and who is a car owner and commuter, the question that has played on my mind for some time is ‘what will my next car change be?’ I’m not close enough to my workplace to use active travel and public transport options are limited, so a car is still a necessity for me. I was piling on the miles to my diesel car thinking I’d run it into the ground and wait for the technology and infrastructure (and prices) for electric cars to improve. But, I’d also thought about making an interim move to a hybrid? I discounted this option, preferring to make the switch in one step to full electric. So I’d been waiting, and thinking, and waiting, and thinking and eventually a week ago I decided to go the whole hog and make the change.
Yes, the prices are still high and the infrastructure needs to improve. And then there’s the whole mileage and battery charging anxiety thing. But, I’m prepared to make the change because I can, and I want to. I’m prepared to approach travel in a different way; one I feel will be more relaxed. So I won't be travelling at warp speed to reach a destination but I'll be taking my time to travel more leisurely, enjoying a break whilst I fast charge the car to top up the battery.
It’s important that those in a position to make the change do so and I hope that this will lead to reduced prices and improved infrastructure. So I’m glad and excited to be part of a movement of change that will hopefully encourage others to do the same.
So far so good. I’ve not yet got my domestic charging point installed (quote received and grant support being obtained for over 80% of the cost) but I‘m successfully using the available public charging infrastructure. This has got me more active - I plugged in using the local charge point where I live and went for an hour’s walk whilst I waited so I’m getting healthier as well. And if all else fails, and the public charging points are busy, there is the option to plug in and charge from a standard plug point in my house or garage. There really is no reason not to change other than fear of change and the unknown. But that’s part of the excitement - taking on a new challenge and adapting my lifestyle to make the required changes.
So if you are also in a position to be part of the change I’d encourage you to do so and enjoy a bit of free wheeling yourself.