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8 in 10 'could do more' for environment

Published: 29 Jan 2016 09:42

New campaign encourages Scots to help fight climate change.

Saving the world isn't just for the movies. That's the message of a new national campaign from the Scottish Government to encourage more people in Scotland to help tackle climate change.

It comes after recent surveys revealed that around half of people living in Scotland acknowledge climate change is an immediate and urgent problem – and eight in ten could do more to care for the environment.

The campaign will seek to raise awareness of how making greener and cleaner lifestyle choices is easier than many Scots think, through taking action like washing clothes at a lower temperature, avoiding and recycling food waste, leaving the car at home to walk shorter journeys and turning your thermostat down by just one degree.

Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod said:

"Our climate is changing, as demonstrated by the recent severe weather conditions and flooding. Last month the world community – almost 200 countries meeting under the United Nations in Paris – made history by agreeing to act together on climate change because it is such an urgent threat to us and our planet.

"Thanks to the efforts of everyone in Scotland, we have already cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 38 per cent since 1990 – that's three quarters of the way towards achieving our world-leading target of a 42 per cent reduction by 2020.

"But we must all do more to reduce the impact we have on the environment – and making a greener lifestyle choice can be easier than people think. Simply washing your clothes at a lower temperature, avoiding and recycling food waste, leaving the car at home to walk shorter journeys or even turning your thermostat down by just one degree, can all help Scotland tackle climate change.

"These small actions, if repeated across all Scottish households, would be a highly positive collective step forward. Through this campaign, we hope to inspire more Scots to contribute in making Scotland a cleaner, greener place to live now and in the future. After all, saving the world isn't just for the movies."

Notes to editors

The national campaign kick-starts with an 'action-packed' advertising campaign with the strapline 'Saving the world isn't just for the movies' and will launch on TV and online from Monday February 1, 2016.

Making greener lifestyle choices can be easier than people think: everyone can play their part in helping Scotland fight climate change by washing clothes at 30 degrees, driving less and walking shorter journeys, avoiding and recycling food waste, as well as turning the thermostat dial down by one degree. To find out how you're doing and what you can do more of to help Scotland fight climate change visit www.greenerscotland.org/climatechange

Around half of people living in Scotland acknowledge climate change is an immediate and urgent problem, according to The Scottish Household Survey (45 per cent) and a survey by 2CV (57 per cent) for the Scottish Government. The 2CV survey also found 83 per cent could do more for the environment.

Materials from the campaign are available to download from this link: https://scottishgovernment.presscentre.com/ImageLibrary/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=28&SubjectID=388

Case study

Sheri Scott, a 29-year-old, Glasgow-based business owner and lifestyle blogger of Forever Yours Betty, recently discovered just how easy it is to go greener. After years of not understanding the impact of her choices on the environment, Sheri decided to do something about it.

She said: "Through my work in the fashion industry with my lifestyle blog, I realised about four years ago, just how short the lifespan of clothing was. Having heard stories from my Mum and Gran about their fashion experience, I would hear how they would re-use and alter their clothing to increase the lifespan of their favourite pieces.

"It was through looking at fashion waste that made me think about the other waste in my life and how this impacts on our environment. Through the blog I started to get creative and think about more ways to use what I already have, such as using magazines for wrapping paper. I got a real buzz out of not throwing something away and putting it to another use.

"Until recently, I thought I had washing my clothes all sewn up. I actually learned that washing your laundry at a lower temperature not only gives them a good clean, but can cut your electricity use by 40 per cent. I also found that for some items like jeans and jumpers, there's less need to wash them so often. Washing at low temperatures and some items less often not only saves the planet, but also saves pennies and another household chore.

"After washing at 30, I also looked into reducing my energy elsewhere at home particularly turning the thermostat down a degree. Walking to work is also something that I enjoy – it's the best way to start the day, clearing my head ahead of a busy day in the office or at appointments.

"I've loved my greener journey so far – it's been a lot easier than I thought. I'm looking forward to getting to grips with the contents of my fridge a little more in 2016 and making the most of what's in there to reduce food waste that ends up in the bin. I'll definitely be looking for some recipe inspiration.

"For me it's important for us all to play our part in helping Scotland to fight climate change, as the planet is ours to love and live in. As I've made changes to my daily routine over the past few years, I've realised that I'm not only doing it for our global environment, but for my local community too helping to improve the place I live."