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Plastic Free July – is it possible to avoid single-use plastic for one week?

July 22nd, 2017 Posted by Blogs, Newsletter No Comment yet

As part of Plastic Free July, Kate Chambers tried to avoid single-use plastics for one week. Here’s how she got on…

 

PREPPING

Avoiding single-use plastics for one week was going to take planning. I knew that a last minute dash to the supermarket was out of the question, as everything is wrapped in plastic film. My veggies were taken care of – each week, I order an organic vegetable box from East Coast Organics. This gets delivered to my office, and every Thursday I look forward to seeing what locally-grown goodies I’m going to eat.

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Last week’s veg box, all free of single-use plastic (East Coast Organics take back the plastic container for reuse!)

But one box of veggies wasn’t going to cut it. I headed off to the supermarket in search of plastic-free produce. All the most delicious things (chocolate, sweets, butter, CHEESE!) were off limits but I was pleasantly surprised to find some glass jars and cardboard packaging hidden amongst the plastic. On the walk home, I popped into the Indian supermarket just along from my flat, and found loads of great herbs and vegetables – all packaging free!

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Plastic-free haul

I had lots of lovely beetroot (see my veg box above!), so decided to rustle up some beetroot hummus…

…which turned out much tastier than expected, and was a favourite throughout the office on Monday. I’d been given a bunch of homegrown rhubarb from my boyfriend’s mum, and I decided to make this into a (very basic) rhubarb and ginger jam. Again, I was shocked by how good it was – no modesty here! I ate this all week, on homemade bread and with my morning porridge.

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EATING

No amount of plastic was going to stop me enjoying my food. I was determined not to give up good grub along with the single-use plastic. And I quickly realised I didn’t really have to. My office have two large fruit baskets delivered each week, so there was plenty of natural sugar to keep me going…

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There were also lots of apples and pears left over from the previous delivery so the whole lot went straight home with me, and I made poached pears and apple compote…

I realised that I was much less wasteful. I made far more of an effort to use every ingredient, when I would usually be snacking on convenience food like crisps and sweets.

Each night, I was looking forward to making my dinner, always excited to see what I could rustle up from limited ingredients.

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The beginning of beetroot risotto

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Zero-waste lunch in the sunshine – hummus, bread & kedgeree

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Tasty! & NO PLASTIC!

 

LIVING

Things were going well, and I didn’t feel like I was missing out too much. I realised that there are plenty of nice chocolates that are wrapped in foil and cardboard, so this satisfied my very sweet tooth. I really missed tea! But I decided to go cold turkey, since teabags are made with plastic. However, it wasn’t until halfway through the week that I discovered some more expensive tea brands, such as Pukka are in fact plastic-free, so I could have the odd cuppa again! Good times. It wasn’t until Friday morning that my regular shampoo (packaged in a plastic bottle!) ran out… until now I had only focused on food and drink, but I had to think more carefully about my cosmetics. I decided to buy a shampoo bar, which I am loving so far!

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WHAT I LEARNED:

  • Making stuff is fun. Once I realised that I had to make all my meals from scratch, I got really into it. I would spend any free minute looking up recipes, and thinking about how I could use up all my plastic-free ingredients. I was a lot more creative in the kitchen, and the quality of my cooking improved.
  • My diet improved. I have never eaten so much fruit and veg in my life! Almost all sweet treats were off limits, since most chocolate and biscuits are packaged in plastic. Suddenly, I was snacking on fruit and high quality chocolate (which tends to be packaged in card/foil)
  • Local is best. I was encouraged to use all the small businesses near my flat. The Indian supermarket next to my flat sells high quality veg and herbs, all loose. The fishmonger was happy to put everything into my reusable glass container, rather than using plastic wrap/bags.
  • Plastic is everywhere! And it’s difficult to avoid. Even my glass jars of peanut butter was sealed with non-recyclable plastic. This is frustrating when you have gone to the effort of seeking plastic alternatives.

 

Kate Chambers

2050’s Communications Chair 

@rarerthanbooks

The 2050 Climate Group launches the second year of their Young Leaders Development Programme

May 4th, 2017 Posted by News No Comment yet

The 2050 Climate Group is excited to announce the launch of the second Young Leaders Development Programme (YLDP). Following the success of last year’s YLDP, a new intake of 132 young professionals aged 18-35 will be given the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and knowledge of climate change, equipping Scotland’s next generation of young leaders with the skill set needed to drive Scotland towards a low carbon future.

 

Richard Dryburgh, Chair of the 2050 Climate Group, said, “Last year’s inaugural Young Leaders Development Programme exceeded all of our expectations and has given us an impressive platform to build on. This year’s programme has been designed to have even bigger and better impact across our themes of engaging, educating and empowering leaders. With the support of our funders, partners and volunteers, I am very excited to begin ‘YLDP2’ so we can expand our growing network of young leaders in climate action across Scotland.”

 

The second Young Leaders Development Programme will follow a year-long programme consisting of six modules held across Scotland, as well as an Induction event and a Summit at the end of the year. The core modules cover two specific themes: improving climate change knowledge and enhancing leadership skills. Throughout the programme, participants are also encouraged to actively implement what they have learnt through a range of “actions”, which aim to provide the necessary steps to a more sustainable Scotland.  

 

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP at the induction of the Young Leaders Development Programme last Thursday, said, “It’s great to launch the second year of the Young Leaders Development Programme. I look forward to seeing this innovative programme go from strength to strength, helping us ensure that Scotland remains at the forefront of climate change action. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the 2050 Climate Group for their valuable contributions to Scotland’s action on climate change through the engagement, education and empowerment of future young leaders.

The 2050 Climate Group has been shortlisted as ‘NGO of the Year’ by BusinessGreen’s Leaders Awards 2017

May 2nd, 2017 Posted by News No Comment yet

The 2050 Climate Group work with young people across Scotland, engaging, educating and empowering them to take action on climate change and lead Scotland’s transition to a low carbon future. Through their Young Leaders Development Programme (YLDP), the 2050 Climate Group provides climate change education and leadership training to young people, aged 18-35. It is through this programme that the group hopes to inspire young people to take action on climate change and be catalysts for change in Scotland. Last year, the group successfully ran their first year of the YLDP with 150 young leaders taking part.

The fact that the 2050 Climate Group has been shortlisted for the BusinessGreen ‘NGO of the Year’ award, part of the BusinessGreen Leader’s Awards 2017, recognises our valuable contribution to building young people’s confidence to be leaders on responding to the challenges of climate change. The Group itself is made up of students and young professionals based across Scotland volunteering their efforts to a truly energetic and purposeful movement. The 2050 Climate Group hosted Scotland’s Youth Climate Summits in 2014 and 2016, as well as represented Scotland at the UN Climate Change conferences in Paris and Marrakech the past two years.

Richard Dryburgh, Chair of the 2050 Climate Group, said “We are delighted to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award. This shows the huge impact we have made in such a short time and is a credit to our volunteers, young leaders and supportive partners. Having only incorporated earlier this year and to be nominated alongside such impressive, established organisations speaks volumes for the need for climate leadership across our generation.”

On the nomination, Ann McKechin, Trustee and Executive Officer of the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “Our charity Foundation is delighted to have financially supported the inspiring work of the 2050 Climate Group over the last two years. This nomination rightly recognises the leadership potential amongst young people in the fight against Climate Change and this innovative project will hopefully allow many more of them to reach their potential.”

Louise Macdonald, CEO of Young Scot, said: “For Scotland to become a low carbon nation, we need to look to our young leaders to inspire action on climate change. Programmes like The 2050 Climate Group’s Young Leaders Development Programme offers excellent opportunities for young people to make their voices heard. Young people are best placed to take the lead on climate action and I’d encourage all young people who want to see a greener future for all to apply.”

View BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2017 Shortlist

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