- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- A year of opportunity ahead
- Unmasking a looming litter emergency
- Getting to know... Brian Rae
- A Canal College® journey
- Volunteering during a pandemic
- Applauding the unsung heroes who manage our award winning parks and beaches
- Socially distant but learning together
- Getting to know.......Lisa Snedden
- Waste vs the pandemic: finding a new normal for single-use cups
- Now is the time to change
- Could the Global Goals provide a framework for the green recovery?
- Getting to know....Connor Launder
- Our incredible Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood community
- Getting to know our people behind Climate Ready Classrooms
- Lockdown litter - a community view
- Looking after beaches
- Time for a more sustainable future, a greener and fairer one for all
- Getting to know.....Claire Gibson
- The Origins of George Wyllie's 'Original Earth Guarantee'
- Getting to know... Aoife Hutton
- National disgrace of lockdown litter
- The healing power of local places
- Tackling Covid-19 and climate change at a community level
- Amid the Coronavirus crisis the climate emergency has not gone away
- Bringing environmental education home
- #TurdTag – getting creative to tackle dog poo
- Preparing young people to take action on climate change
- Running on community power
- Reconnecting with nature
- Coronavirus isn't an excuse - flytipping is still a crime
- Sowing seeds of hope in our community
- Hope for the environment post-Coronavirus?
- From Eco-School Committee to environmental charity
- You can’t tackle the climate crisis unless you are climate ready
- 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
- Free wheeling
- 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
- Aunty Babs washes her spoon and so should you
- 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?
Like many people this year I am trying to make the holidays special during a truly unusual time. I want to let my friends and family know I’m thinking about them, especially as I haven’t seen them since March. But how to do so without creating mountains of waste? How do we let the people closest to us know we care about them without harming the environment, especially since Scotland is being slowly but surely buried in litter and waste? I’ve given it a go this year, here’s how.
Reuse Christmas cards as gift tags. I’m one of those sentimental types that still prefers sending paper cards and letters instead of a festive email. The kids receive a lot of cards from their friends at school too. There are some special cards that get brought out every year to be hung on the wall, and the rest I save for the kids to cut out gift tags. We punch a hole in the top and thread ribbon or yarn through to tie to a parcel. It’s a fun craft to keep small hands busy and helps reuse the cards one more time before they head to the recycling bin.
Reusing just about anything for wrapping paper. When it comes time to wrap presents, anything goes in my house: old maps, reused gift bags, pieces of cloth, scarves, baskets, biscuit tins, and boxes decorated by the kids are all popular choices. Anything that could be used to wrap or decorate a present gets squirrelled away into a box in the loft throughout the year and I make sure that if I do buy any wrapping paper that it passes the scrunch test so that it can be recycled. My mum lives in Canada and there is a small box that we have sent presents back and forth across the Atlantic for the last 15 years, taking turns to send it back and forth. It’s my turn this year so I need to find a present that will fit!
Foraging for presents. I took advantage of our family walks during lockdown to scout out some good brambling locations and saved up jam and pickle jars to make lovely berry preserves which will make nice presents. A little taste of summer over the holidays.
Christmas cheers. Like many, I had a go at gardening during lockdown. The vegetable patch was a complete disaster, but the rhubarb grew a little bit too well so once we all got tired of crumble, I turned the rest into wine, scavenging bottles from the recycling to keep it in.
Reuse everything. Making the rhubarb wine left me with a lot of leftover fruit which I discovered I could turn into chutney with very little extra effort. Once again, my stash of scavenged jars came to the rescue. These will make a nice gift with some Scottish cheese.
On your marks, get set, bake! My two children are about the age where they are ready to be Santa themselves rather than send him letters, so every year they each choose a neighbour to leave a secret Santa present for. The goal is to leave the present from Santa without being caught! This year we will be filling old biscuit tins with home baking to leave on doorsteps.
Christmas lights. This year I had a go at making scented candles. I used old finished candles combined with some new wax and coloured them with the stubs of cold crayons. Each one sits in the bottom of an old olive jar I cut with a glass cutting tool.
Grow your own. I tried growing my own veg for Christmas dinner but that didn’t turn out so instead I will make sure the ones I purchase were grown in Scotland.
Deck the halls. It’s one of our family traditions to take a walk out into the woods with the dogs on Christmas Eve and collect some pine and holly to decorate the table with. This year I might even have a go at making a wreath.
Make your own ornaments. Christmas ornaments always make a good present and this year I used up some of old clothes destined for the ragbag as well as some craft supplies that had been in the cupboard for ages. We made polar bears stuffed with odd bits of cloth and I plan to make felt Christmas trees with reused beads from broken jewellery with the kids during the school holidays. I also keep broken ornaments to reuse. This year, I used a bunch of baubles that were missing their tops to liven up a plastic wreath and have saved a few more to decorate presents with.
Whatever you are doing this Christmas, and whoever you are able to spend it with, enjoy it and make it as fun and as sustainable as you can. Merry Christmas.