Make your own Greener Plan
You can create your own Greener Plan on the website . You can choose green goals, track your achievements and do your bit to help create a cleaner, greener Scotland.
Make your Greener Plan at www.greenerscotland.org/my-greener-plan
Eat local and reduce food waste
Local and seasonal food tastes great and eating fresh produce is good for our health. Local food also usually has a lower carbon footprint than food sourced from further afield as it has travelled less distance to reach you. This makes it a lower carbon choice and by buying locally you'll also be supporting local businesses. The Greener Scotland website has a handy calendar of seasonal food.
Of course you could start to grow your own food. The Greener Scotland website again has some top tips including what to plant when. There are growing projects or allotments across Scotland where you can find space to grow on a larger scale or you could consider starting in your own garden, or even a window-box if you don't have much outside space. Many of the It's Your Neighbourhood and Beautiful Scotland groups we support have a local growing focus and we are encouraging communities to get involved with our Tasty Spaces activity.
Reducing food waste is also a good way to reduce carbon emissions. It's also a great way to save money as wasted food translates into wasted cash. Putting thought into the food you are buying and planning meals can help, while leftovers can used make delicious meals instead of being destined for the dustbin. The Love Food Hate Waste website has information and advice on how to reduce food waste and some interesting recipes for leftovers.
Phil Kay finds out how choosing local food and reducing food waste is stupidly simple
If it's not far leave the car
Travel causes a significant amount of carbon emissions in Scotland.
As well as helping to reduce carbon emissons swapping the car for active travel options such as walking or cycling could help improve your fitness, reduce stress levels and also save money.
If leaving the car at home is not an option you could look at adopting fuel efficient driving techniques. An App like FuelGood can help you save money by monitoring your fuel use while more advice is available through the Energy Saving Trust Scotland website. Lift sharing is another option with lots of national and local liftshare websites such as Highland Liftshare available to help you fill or find an empty seat. Or how about joining you local car club? Carplus has details of car club projects across Scotland while a good video case study of the success of a rural car club can be found through the Climate Challenge Fund Project run by Local Energy Action Plan in Renfrewshire.
Public transport can also be a great alternative to car travel. You can plan your journey from and to anywhere in Scotland through Traveline Scotland.
Phil Kay discovers how travelling sustainably can be stupidly simple
Reduce your home energy use
There are many ways to reduce your home energy use, associated carbon emissions and your energy bills.
Small actions can add up to bigger savings and include turning your thermostat down by1c (around 21c should be comfortable), switching off lights when you are finished in a room, closing the curtains at night to keep the heat in, not boiling a full kettle for one cup of tea and avoiding keeping appliances not in use on standby.
Bigger changes in you home can make a larger contribution to cutting carbon emissions and costs. These include fitting improved windows, boilers and insulation.
The Home Energy Check is an online calculator on the Energy Saving Trust Scotland website that can help you work out how you could reduce your energy bills. Home Energy Scotland offers clear and impartial advice to everyone on reducing home energy use. You could even get a new, more efficient boiler, heating system or insulation free, helping you use less energy, reducing both carbon emissions and fuel bills.
Call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282
Phil Kay finds out how saving energy in the home is stupidly simple
Reduce, reuse and recycle
By following the three R's, 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle' we can all make a contribution to reducing our carbon emissions and save money.
If you're looking for inspiration watch our short film showing young people from LEAP Yep reducing local carbon emissions and learning new skills through Recycle and Dye workshops and bike building from salvaged parts. LEAP Yep is a Junior Climate Challenge Fund project working across Lochwinnoch, Bridge of Weir, Howwood and Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire.
Cutting down on the amount of resources we use and new stuff we buy can help reduce our carbon footprints. If you don’t buy a new item, then energy doesn’t need to be used in its manufacture, transportation or delivery. Of course, sometimes you’ll need the new thing – but not always!
Deciding if you really need the new item is a first step. If you really do need the new item it's often possible to source second hand sources including charity shops, or if it's something you'll only use once you could consider hiring or borrowing. This could also save you money compared with purchasing the item new.
The Greener Scotland and Recycle for Scotland websites have fourther information on how to reduce while Community Resources Network Scotland has an online listing of charities and social enterprises that offer second hand furniture across Scotland. Lots of organisations also provide local maps of charity shops with Changeworks providing a great online guide for Edinburgh
Find your local community project and become involved
To date £66.3 million of Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) grants have been awarded to 756 community-led organisations across Scotland to help them run projects that tackle climate change at a local level.
The CCF is a Scottish Government programme, that we manage and develop.
The CCF has supported projects involving energy efficiency improvements to community owned buildings, energy efficiency advice, lower carbon travel options, community growing initiatives and schemes to tackle waste. Many of these projects offer free help and support for you to reduce your own carbon emissions. Whether it be advice on growing your own food, tips on travelling sustainably, saving energy in the home or upcycling waste it's possible that there is a local CCF project that could help you.
Learn more about the Climate Challenge Fund in our film and the Project Themes section of our website.
If you feel inspired to take action and contact your local CCF project you can find out where they are on our interactive map.
You can read more about all CCF projects awarded funding since the Fund started in 2008 on the Scottish Government website.
Make your voice heard
We are a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Coalition and invite the people of Scotland to participate in an online campaign to encourage political parties to take urgent action on climate change.
After last year’s climate talks in Paris, what matters now, across the world, is what actually happens as a result of these commitments.
2016 is election year here in Scotland, and so the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Coalition has launched a campaign to encourage political parties to take urgent action on climate change.
Scotland has some of the most ambitious climate legislation in the world. But with people from the Hebrides to Haiti and species from red squirrels to rhinos already feeling the impacts of climate change, this ambition must be turned into action.
By sending an online message to Scotland’s political parties we can show just how much support there is for urgent climate actions from the next Scottish Government.
To participate in this campaign, please go to the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland e-action page here.