Scottish Government’s Ten Key Behaviour Areas
The Scottish Government have identified four themes to focus activities to create a Low Carbon Scotland. Individuals and households account for 70% of Scotland’s consumption – this can be broken down into:
- Housing – 29%
- Transport – 29%
- Food – 21%
- Consumption – 15%
- Other – 6%
These four themes can be split down further into what they call the Ten Key Behaviour Areas (10KBAs). They highlight where people can really make a difference when it comes to Climate Change.
- Keep the heat in through insulation, draught proofing and double glazing. Check your insulation – a good place to start is in the loft, but also check your pipes, walls and curtains.
- Better heating management. Turn down your heating thermostat to between 18° and 21°, reduce the number of hours your heating is on, and turn down your hot water thermostat to a maximum of 60°. Turning your thermostat down by 1 degree is one of the best energy actions you can take. If we all took this action then together we could reduce housing emissions by 10%.
- Save electricity. Buy energy efficient appliances, lightbulbs, TVs and other products when they need to be replaced, and wash clothes at low temperatures. If everyone in Scotland washes their clothes at 30°, together we will save 56,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year which is the equivalent to taking 20,000 cars off the road.
- Install a more energy-efficient heating system or generate your own heat by replacing inefficient boilers with condensing boilers and/or microgeneration (e.g. solar water heating, biomass boiler, heat pump). A poorly maintained boiler uses up more energy. Monitoring it will help you manage it. Solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
- Become less reliant on the car. Walk, cycle, use public transport and/or car-share instead of driving. If everyone in Scotland drives 5 miles less every week, together we will save 190,000 tonnes of CO₂ annually which is the equivalent to taking nearly 70,000 cars off the road. If you’re going to the local shops for only a few things then why not ditch the car and walk. Also if the school is in reasonable walking distance from your home then take the kids to school on foot. Car sharing is a good idea if you have work mates living in the same area.
- Drive more efficiently. Use a low carbon vehicle such as a hybrid, alternative fuel or electric car, and/or follow fuel-efficient driving principles. If everyone in Scotland drives more efficiently we can save up to 15% of fuel use which means together we can save 1.3 million tonnes of CO₂ This is equivalent to taking around 440,000 cars off the road.
- Use alternatives to flying where practical. Use the train rather than going on a plane when possible and use teleconferencing for business if you can.
- Avoid food waste. The food we waste in our households creates 1.7 million tonnes of CO₂ each year. Stopping this waste will be equivalent to taking around 475,000 cars off the road in terms of cutting emissions which is one in five.
- Eat a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables.
- Reduce and reuse in addition to recycling. If everyone recycles one more newspaper or magazine a month then together we will save over 11,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year. This is the equivalent to making over 16 million cups of tea. When buying food, buy smart and use any leftovers you might have.
For the 10 KBA’s to be successful, it is important to recognise that all our behaviour needs to put into some sort of context. It should be applied within the values and attitudes we hold, the habits we have learned, the people around us, and the tools and infrastructure available to us in our day-to-day lives.
Would you like to put some of these behaviour changes into action yourself?
- Book a Cosy Kingdom energy advice visit for tips on lowering your energy use at home
- Come along to one of Greener Kirkcaldy’s events and activities and pick up skills to help you reduce waste, grow your own food and cook with local and seasonal food
- Try lowering your car use by borrowing a bike, attending cycle training and route planning or learn to drive more efficiently and/or purchase an electric car – keep an eye on Greener Kirkcaldy’s website for more information about their new Transport Project.