Granton’s getting greener as eco-initiative helps locals save cash

Granton Parish Church
Granton Parish Church
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A new project that aims to help people save money while tackling climate change in an Edinburgh seaside community is set to launch later this month.

Granton Goes Greener will be opened by MP for Edinburgh North and Leith Deirdre Brock on Saturday, June 30 from 12pm to 3pm at a jam-packed event that will show locals how to combat environmental disturbances while holding on to their pennies. Launch day will include a clothing swap shop, a guided walk of the local area, cycle maintenance sessions and entertainment including poetry and children’s stories and crafts. Refreshments will include home-made soup and bread and cakes donated by Baynes Bakery. The event takes place at Granton Parish Church which last year became an Eco Congregation, joining a worldwide movement which helps churches make the link between environmental issues, Christian faith and demonstrating their commitment to better stewardship of the earth’s resources.

Earlier this year the church was awarded funding from the Climate Challenge Fund to set up the Granton Goes Greener project which will look at ways they could reduce CO2 emissions within existing buildings locally and to work with the local community of Granton to go greener.

The project, based at the church on Boswell Parkway, aims to help people cut down on food waste, reuse clothes and improve their cycling skills as well as supplying information on everyday actions they can take to tackle climate change and includes work to make the church building more energy efficient. The eco-initiative is supported by a grant of £88,734 from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and includes a maximum contribution of £29, 912 from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) is a Scottish Government grant programme, managed and administered by charity Keep Scotland Beautiful. The CCF has awarded 1,097 grants totalling £101 million to 658 communities since its introduction in 2008, for projects involving energy efficiency, sustainable travel, local food and resource efficiency.

Juliet Wilson, Granton Goes Greener’s climate change officer said:“Our launch event promises to be a great day out for everyone in the local area to find out more about our work and how they can save money and help the environment at the same time.”

Juliet dedicates three days a week to the project while also working as an adult education tutor and volunteers for the Water of Leith Conservation Trust and The Woodland Trust.

As part of the ongoing project regular bike rides around the local area, including cycle routes that track former railway lines, will be run regularly. Rides will be lead by trained cycle ride leaders and will offer the chance to get outside, meet new people, get to know the local area better and improve thei cycling skills. Organisers hope to highlight the environmental, economic and health benefits of cycling over choosing to travel via car or public transport.

The flexibilty of hopping onto a bike over walking or waiting for a bus or hailing a taxi cab is promoted.

Every Tuesday evening a swap shop is held in the church hall with three rails of clothing for men, women and children. Donation boxes will be there weekly and attendees are invited to contribute any items they no longer wear.

With textile waste expected to be a bigger problem than plastic in the oceans by 2020, according to some experts, it is hoped that reusing and donating unworn clothes will go some way to tackle the impending crisis. Volunteers ask that donations are weighed so they can calculate how much carbon is being saved through sharing rather than throwing away.

Granton Goes Greener is always on the lookout for volunteers who can donate their time and expertise to their cause. They are looking for cycle leaders; swap shop volunteers and delivery drivers with their own cars to collect bakery items from local businesses and help distribute them to local primary schools.

For more information on the project go to www.grantongoesgreener.org.uk.