Galloway Footsteps launched last night – an initiative from the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership to support people in their reduction of their carbon footprint, partnering with the website Giki Zero, both a measuring tool and a step by step guide.
Giki is, we think, a very user-friendly and intuitive tool that is free to use. It gives a range of tangible actions to reduce your carbon footprint, identifying how difficult each step may be, and how much of an impact it has. We need to reduce our individual footprint to 2.5 tonnes by 2030 – currently, the average is far higher, at 9 tonnes. Giki wants to help us do that.
Giki also has an app called Giki Badges which scans the barcode of products you’re likely to buy in UK supermarkets, giving information on if they are sustainable, healthy, and fair.
The first of the four events was all focused around what we buy. After an introduction from Giki, thanks to Sheena Andrews, the second speaker of the evening inspired us with the facts and her story.
This speaker was none other than Anna Pitt from Zero Waste Week and perhaps even more famous for only taking the bin out once a year (although now, she says, she hasn’t taken it out since moving to Germany two years ago).
That may seem daunting to those who fill the dustbin every week, but habit building and taking things one step at the time is just how Anna started.
The big lesson here is that every time we buy something we are making a choice. We are saying yes to however this item or piece of produce was made, packaged, and so on. What are we saying yes to in our weekly shop? Local and regenerative farming? Distant monocultures? Non-recyclable plastic packaging? Certified ingredients?
She has three important tips to start us off:
Use what you already have. There is no need to buy a fancy new eco friendly lunch box if you have old Tupperware that works!
Precycle. Whenever you buy something, assess what will be waste at the end. How will you deal with that?
Ask what you’re saying yes to.
Her presentation was followed up by two members of the GGLP team – McNabb and Helen – who put this information into a personal and community light respectively. Helen listed a whole host of refill shops, repair places, teracycle stops, producers markets and more within Galloway. The resources are often available to be used – they just may not be on your radar.
Of course, it is always important when talking about the sustainability journey to emphasise that no one can do everything, all at once, and may not have the time, finances, or ability to make certain changes.
Thankfully, as Giki shows us, there are loads of different things we can do that can have impacts – there will be something for everyone. If you'd like to join the Galloway Team (you don't need to live in Galloway to join!) please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in the Galloway Footsteps initiative, the next event is on June 2nd “What We Eat.” Our own projects and communications officer Carys will be there with a short talk, and the highlight of the evening will be Abi Mordin from ‘Hidden Veg’ and ‘Propagate’, about how our decisions about where we source our food from can make a real difference.
Like to know more, or book the next event? Go to the GGLP website here. We look forward to seeing you there.
The events are being delivered by the Galloway Glens Scheme, in partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment Team, the Crichton Carbon Centre and Giki. The initiative is free to attend and open to anyone irrespective of where you live.
The Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme is a suite of projects happening across the Ken/Dee catchment in South West Scotland from 2018 to 2023. £2.7million of core funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund will be matched by a variety of partners to bring over £5million of investment into the area over the 5 years. The area stretches from the uplands behind Carsphairn in the north, through the Glenkens, past Loch Ken, through Castle Douglas and out to the sea at Kirkcudbright. 35 headline projects plus more Small Grants projects all aim to connect people with their cultural, natural and built heritage, and to support sustainable modern rural communities. For more information about the scheme, visit www.gallowayglens.org.