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Climate action continues during Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has rightly been the focus for many communities during the last few months.

But the climate emergency hasn’t gone away.

So work tackling both carbon emissions and Covid-19 that taking place at a community level in Scotland is of vital importance.

And there are a huge variety of inspiring actions being taken by projects supported by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF).

Several projects have found that their CCF work to tackle climate change can also help to combat Covid-19.

Bike for Good in Glasgow are, for example, providing free bikes, panniers, helmets and lights for keyworkers through their VeloCommunities CCF project. In addition, they are offering virtual route-planning for keyworkers to help them get to and from work by the safest and most sustainable travel routes.

There are also many local initiatives making surplus food available to their communities at this difficult time.

Annexe Communities in Glasgow ran CCF supported climate-themed lunch gatherings, which provided a fantastic outlet for surplus supermarket food. Annexe reacted to the Covid-19 crisis by delivering lunch direct to those in need. This activity continues post CCF funding, with the surplus produce sourced by Fareshare Glasgow and West of Scotland and also direct from local supermarkets.

And The Gate Church Carbon Saving Project continue to operate their Community Fridge in the West End of Dundee, providing surplus supermarket food for the community.

With the NHS urgently requiring a variety of equipment, local CCF projects such as Waste into Wishes, run by Gilded Lily in Glasgow, are using their upcycling skills to re-purpose unwanted textiles into useful items. Items such as scrub bags for NHS staff and face coverings for the public are the results of these initiatives. Transition Stirling have even used their 3D printer to make plastic protective masks for local health workers.

With physical gatherings and events to share climate related learning not an option, most CCF projects have switched to online communications, with a variety of webinars, one-to-one tutorials, recorded video, film showings and discussion sessions.

This means that there's an even larger variety of online advice available from CCF projects, with topics including food growing, clothing repair, home energy advice, cycle route planning and climate change discussion.

It it’s food you’re interested in, the Thurso Grows CCF project have a series of advice videos on how to grow veg available via their Facebook page and Youtube channel. Tron St Marys Parish Church are also providing planting and growing advice via videos on their Facebook page.

What about tackling waste? Remode in Lochwinnoch have one-to-one support available online to help you with your clothing repair projects. Over to Inverclyde, and Rig Arts have weekly online sessions through their Fixing Fashion CCF project. These offer the chance to learn clothing repair and re-design skills and find out more about how to reduce the environmental impact of your fashion choices.

For travel we’ve already mentioned online route planning available for keyworkers from Bike for Good’s VeloCommunities project. But there are many other initiatives such as The Road to Carbon Reduction project run by Peebles CAN, who organised a walking plant swap online. Local people agreed via Facebook to leave plants outside their house on a designated date that people could pickup on their daily walk, with car travel discouraged.

Most of us are spending more time at home, so our home energy use, bills and carbon emissions will be rising. The Cook, Grow, Sow, Branching Out CCF project run by West of Scotland Regional Equality Council are offering advice on demand if you message their Facebook account. They also have recorded video content online with some simple tips to save energy.

Want to learn more about climate change and have online space to discuss this important topic with others? Arran Eco-Savvy have been running weekly environmentally themed film showings, with an online discussion afterwards. And further chances to chat about climate change are available through CCF activities of Edinburgh-based group, the Shrub Co-op who are running an online Climate Cafe fortnightly on a Friday.

And what of support for CCF projects themselves? We continue to offer a variety of online training to replace physical events which we would normally run across Scotland. In addition to bespoke training for CCF projects, we also offer free training opportunities for representatives of all community-led organisations interested in taking climate action. Our guest webinars from Zero Waste Scotland covering clothing and plastics are next on the list.

Are you a CCF funded project that wants to share your activities?

Please tag @ClimateChallengeFund (Facebook) and @CCFScot (Twitter) and always use the hashtag #ClimateChallengeFund.

You can also post your news directly on the Scottish Climate Change Community Facebook Group, but again please tag @ClimateChallengeFund and use #ClimateChallengeFund in your post.

Alternatively, please share your news with your CCF Development Officer and CCF Marketing Officer, Tim Mullens.

Keep Scotland Beautiful manage the CCF on behalf of the Scottish Government and we have staff that support applicants, Grant Recipients and other community-led organisations wanting to take action on climate change

19 May 2020

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