Phoebe Cullingworth: Simple ways to go green

Have your say

Go Green Week is the 
biggest programme of its kind in the UK, with thousands of events in universities, colleges and schools around the country.

Students from the campaigning network People & Planet have joined forces with their university and college staff and student unions to hold creative green events. Together they aim to raise awareness of the simple changes we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint and tackle climate change. Their message is clear – the future’s ours, let’s make it greener.

More than 160 universities, schools and colleges have signed up this year to run creative and practical activities – such as swap shops, vegetarian cooking classes, energy-saving advice clinics, Big Green Bake-Off events and University Climate Challenge quizzes – that promote sustainable living.

Go Green Week raises awareness of small steps we can take all year to reduce carbon emissions. Are you inspired by the actions of students participating? See the tips below for making your life a little bit greener.

• Phoebe Cullingworth is the Scotland Manager of People and Planet. For more information about People & Planet’s work in Scotland, visit “Rich Man’s World? The global crisis and Scotland’s role in fixing it” at Augustines United Church, George IV Bridge, on March 2 and 3.

Meat-free Monday

Meat and dairy farming produces 18 per cent of the planet’s climate-changing gases – that’s more than all of the emissions from the world’s planes, cars and lorries put together. Even cutting back on how many times a week you eat meat and dairy and eating better, locally sourced meat is a good way to reduce your impact.

Why not try having a meat-free day once a week?

Turn-it-off Thursday

Fed-up of rising fuel bills? Time to get serious about switching off appliances and lights in your house. Turn it off rather than using standby options, turn it off when you are not using it and turn it off when others in the household forget.

Are there times where instead of turning the heating up, you could put on another jumper and turn it off? Check if your property is insulated well – no point making your home toasty and then losing all that heat.

Foodie Friday

Did you know that 95 per cent of the fruit and half of the vegetables in Britain are imported? Or that locally sourced carrots have 20 food miles whilst conventionally sourced have 1838 miles?

Try to buy locally produced seasonal vegetables and produce wherever possible. Scotland has a wide array of farmers’ markets, urban food growing projects and allotment networks. Are you already growing your own? Could you set up a food co-op in your community to reduce costs for you and other families?