Climate Change: Key Behaviour Changes
In September I spent two days on Carbon Literacy Training provided by the Climate Challenge Fund, part of Keep Scotland Beautiful, who campaign, act and educate towards environmental improvements. In that training we spoke about subjects such as:
- The scientific basis for climate change
- The potential impacts of greenhouse gasses and a changing climate
- Communicating climate change
- The Scottish Governments Low Carbon Behaviours, the anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gasses, and how our everyday lives relate to them
- The behaviour changes we can make to help fight climate change
There was a lot of interesting discussion and activities throughout the two days, but what caught my eye the most was when we were talking about simple behaviour changes we can all make to make a difference. In this blog I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the key behaviour changes we discussed.
Action 1 – Keep the heat in
- Draught proofing
- Double glazing
Check your insulation. A good place to start is in the loft but also check your pipes, walls and curtains. Also to keep the cold from coming through the gaps in your doors try draught proofing.
Action 2 – Better heating management
- Turning your heating down
- Turning down hot water thermostat
- Reduce the number of hours your heating is on
One of the best energy saving techniques you can do is turn down your thermostat by 1 degree. We would reduce housing remissions by 10% if everyone in Scotland took this action. Also only have the heating on when you feel it is essential for it to be on.
Action 3 – Installing more energy efficient heating systems
- Replace inefficient boilers
- Solar water heating
- Heat pump
- Biomass boiler
A poor maintained boiler uses up more energy. Monitoring it will help you manage it. Solar water heating will lower your carbon footprint. Solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
Action 4 – Save electricity
- Buy more energy efficient appliances
- Wash your clothes at a lower temperature
- Don’t leave things on standby
Together we can save 56,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year if everyone in Scotland washes their clothes at 30°. This is the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off the roads. It’s never good to just leave something on for the sake of it. Once you are finished using something the best thing to do is switch it off.
Action 5 – Reducing and Reusing
- Reduce, reuse, repair recycle
We can save over 11,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year if everyone recycles one more newspaper or magazine than we already do. This would be the equivalent of making over 16 million cups of tea. Even better is too reuse and repair items where you can. Or reduce what you buy in the first place. When buying food buy smart and use any leftovers you might have.
Action 6 – Become less reliant on your car
- Public transport
- Car sharing
If you’re going to the local shops for only a few things then why not ditch the car and walk. Also instead of dropping the kids off at school why don’t you take them up on foot? Public Transport can be a bit of a pain at times but a full bus is more efficient per passenger. Car sharing is a good idea if you have work mates living in the same area.
Action 7 – Drive more efficiently
- Adopt fuel efficient driving principles
- Use a low carbon vehicle
Car owners in Scotland can drive more efficiently – this would save up to 15% on fuel use. Also we can save up 1.3 million tonnes of CO₂ annually which is the equivalent to taking around 440,000 cars off the road.
Action 8 – Use alternatives to flying when possible
Obviously this is not about flying to places across the world but more to destinations where taking the train is possible like going down south to England. Even if you are needing to see people on the other side of the world teleconferencing could be an option to get around travelling by plane.
Action 9 – Avoid food waste
- Reuse leftovers
Each year in our households the food we waste is equivalent to 1.7 million tonnes of CO2. Stopping this waste is the same as taking around 475,000 cars off the road in terms of cutting emissions.
As you can see there are lots of different ways that you can make a difference. This is only a select few but hopefully this blog will give you some ideas for you to try out in the future.
Source for facts and figures: Natural Scotland
Greener Kirkcaldy run lots of events and activities, and give tips and advice on all of the above behaviour changes. See the projects and events pages for more information. Our Cosy Kingdom energy service has a brand new website! Click the link to check it out and see how we can help you, book a visit and pick up tips and advice.|