Scotland’s Climate Week
This week is Scotland’s Climate Week. Throughout the week the Scottish Government’s Net Zero Scotland campaign will be highlighting the climate action already being taken within Scotland’s communities – as well as what further action we can take.
The theme this year is climate conversations. Just one conversation can have a domino effect on what climate actions your friends, family and wider community take. Here at Home Energy Scotland our advisors have hundreds of climate conversations every day. From how you heat your home to how you travel – there are plenty of ways we can advise you on how to take action against climate change.
Here are some conversations you can have with the people in your life to inspire climate action.
What is climate change?
Climate change is a complex topic that can’t be distilled into a single conversation – so let’s stick to the basics. Many human activities result in increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air. This is a greenhouse gas – which means it traps heat in the atmosphere.
When this heat is trapped it causes temperatures to rise – which has catastrophic effects on our climate. It melts glaciers – causing rising sea levels – and endangers plant and animal species across the planet.
It’s important to stick to the facts. Global temperatures have risen by 1.2C over the past 150 years – and are set to rise further. We can take action to stop this – but it means making some important lifestyle changes individually as well as collective structural changes.
What’s your home energy consumption?
Did you know that around a fifth of Scotland’s emissions come from our homes and buildings? The Scottish Government has set a target for zero emissions coming from our buildings by 2045. This is essential to cut down our overall carbon footprint.
There are plenty of ways you can help. Insulation, renewables and draught-proofing are all fantastic tools to decarbonise your homes – but so are the small things. Switching light bulbs, reducing how often you use the tumble dryer and opting for shorter showers will not just cut down your emissions – they’ll also save you money,
For more information about how you can make your home more energy efficient try out our home energy check.
How do you get around?
Want to know what the biggest contributor to Scotland’s carbon emissions is? Transport! Cars alone account for 40% of our transport emissions. More than half of our journeys are under 5km – so there are plenty of ways for us to cut down these emissions.
We recently published a blog about the benefits of cutting your car usage. Active travel isn’t just good for the climate – it’s also good for your health and your wallet.
We can help you decarbonise your transport by referring you to Energy Saving Trust’s ebike or used EV loans (funded by Transport Scotland). If you live within 5km of a Low Emission Zone you might also be entitled to funding to replace your non-compliant vehicle.
What’s your impact on nature?
Did you know that 11% of Scottish species are at threat of extinction? The way you interact with the environment has a direct impact on our wildlife. Your impact on plant life is also important when thinking about the climate. Trees reduce air pollution and cool down our cities.
There are a few things you can do to improve your impact on nature. Net Zero Scotland has a fantastic guide that includes reducing how much you cut your grass, using peat free products and help for birdlife.
You can also make sure you don’t litter when you’re out enjoying Scotland’s beautiful nature. Keep Scotland Beautiful has great tips on how to do this.
How does your waste impact the climate?
The Scottish Government has committed to reducing waste by 15% by 2025. You can do your bit by limiting your consumption. Only buy products that you need, limit how much packaging you consume and recycle the packaging you can’t avoid. You can also look at how you can reuse items you no longer need. For larger items try Zero Waste Scotland’s reuse tool.
Of course it’s not just packaging waste that we need to reduce. Food and water waste also contribute massively to our carbon emissions. The weight of potatoes wasted in Scotland per year is the same as 63 kelpie statues! Check out Love Food Hate Waste for tips on how to cut down your food waste; and Scottish Water for info about reducing your water usage.
There are plenty of ways you can talk to your friends, family and colleagues about climate change. Keep an eye on our social media feeds this week for more tips and conversation topics.