Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humankind has ever faced and is already having devastating effects. We have all contributed to the cause and must therefore all be part of the solution.
East Dunbartonshire Council is responding to the challenge by preparing a Climate Action Plan (CAP). Climate change is everyone's responsibility and, to support the delivery of the CAP, this page sets out what you can do to cut carbon in your home, your office, your local community and further afield.
Do your bit as an individual
- Calculate your carbon footprint – there are various tools online
- Make your home energy-efficient: wall and cavity insulation, double and triple-glazing and draught-proofing of windows and doors all help to keep the heat in. East Dunbartonshire Council can provide local homeowners with low/no-cost insulation measures. The Council also accesses funding under the Scottish Government's Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland: Area Based Schemes to support higher-cost energy efficiency measures such as external wall insulation.
- Switch to green electricity - the Energy Saving Trust can provide further information
- Generate your own energy! Carbon-neutral technologies such as heat pumps and solar panels reduce your carbon footprint. They can also help you to save money and to generate income.
- Low-tech solutions are sometimes the best - thermal underwear, crockpots/hay boxes, door stoppers, drying greens and pulleys can all be simple ways of reducing your energy use
- Cut your own air miles, especially for journeys within the UK - air travel is 95% more polluting than rail travel
- If you must fly, consider offsetting: Climate Care is one option. Find out more about the cost of flying at Choose Climate.
- Consider switching to an electric car
- Reduce food miles by buying locally
Further advice - free and impartial - is available from Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 or by visiting the Energy Saving Trust Scotland website. Your energy supplier should also be able to provide advice.
Do your bit as part of a collective
In the Community
You can reduce your individual and collective footprints by joining – or creating - a carbon-cutting group. Visit the Community Environmental Action webpage for more information. Grant funding and support for community groups engaging in carbon reduction is available from various sources.
- Walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work and to meetings where possible.
- Hold low-carbon meetings – make use of online meeting facilities where appropriate and, for in-person meetings, choose venues accessible by public transport, and arrange start and finish times to fit in with bus/train timetables.
- Help others in your organisation to change
Encourage others to do their bit
Spread the word to friends, family, the local church and school, local businesses and any groups in which your voice will be heard! Extend the message to governments and corporations too - lobby your MSP, MP and MEP. Several national campaigns can help you take action on a large scale, a few popular ones are: Friends of the Earth and Friends of the Earth Scotland; Oxfam; enoughsenough; change.org; 38 Degrees; Christian Aid’s ‘Climate Changed’.
Be ready to adapt
While it is vital that we limit future climate change, we must also be prepared to deal with the effects of climate change which are already in the pipeline. Adaptation Scotland provides data on climate trends and impacts in Scotland and works with others to help them prepare for these changes.
Climate Ready Clyde is a cross-sector initiative funded by the Scottish Government and 15 member organisations, including East Dunbartonshire Council, to create a shared vision, strategy and action plan for an adapting Glasgow City Region.
Climate Ready Clyde recently undertook a public consultation as part of producing Glasgow City Region's first regional Adaptation Strategy. Visit http://climatereadyclyde.org.uk/our-adaptation-strategy-and-action-plan-v2/
Be assured that you are not alone!
Many individuals and groups across the country - and beyond - are committed to making a difference, e.g.
- Stop Climate Chaos Scotland - a coalition of over 50 organisations in Scotland campaigning against climate change
- Take One Action - Scotland's global action cinema project
You can link with such networks to add value to your actions.