It’s that time of year again when people across the country will be pledging to live and eat better. But what about making some greener changes in the year ahead?
If everyone tuned over a new leaf in the New Year, it would help make Scotland a cleaner, greener place to live. Just by setting some greener resolutions and taking collective action - we can all make a big impact.
There is no better time to make positive changes than the start of the New Year.
So, let’s go greener together in 2013. If more of us do our bit to reduce, reuse and recycle in– we can benefit each other and our families to help create a greener, cleaner Scotland now and for the future.
In the spirit of breaking with tradition, here are some things to consider when making your greener resolution list for 2013.
#1 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Remember your three Rs in 2013 - there are lots of good reasons to reduce, reuse and recycle to help our environment and our pockets too. Why not start the New Year by making smarter decisions about what you buy and how you get the most out of those purchases throughout the year? The challenge is to think carefully about what you buy, reuse everything you can and aim to recycle everything else.
#2 Make a greener plan
It’s a good idea to set some greener goals for the New Year to keep you on track. Did you know you could create your own Greener Plan. With tailored advice and support, it enables you to choose green goals, track your achievements and ultimately do your bit to help make Scotland greener.
#3 Join nature’s free ‘green gym’
Scotland’s woodlands and other open air spaces are nature's own ‘green gym’. They’re great places to get active – whether it’s to go walking, cycling or running. Over 20 per cent of the Scottish population lives within a ten-minute walk of an accessible woodland so why not get out and enjoy some fresh air and burn off the excesses of Christmas?
Kevin Lafferty, Forestry Commission Scotland's health advisor said: "Losing those extra pounds you've gained over Christmas doesn't need to involve expensive gym memberships - you can simply get out to your local woodland and enjoy some fresh winter air and go walking or cycling.
“So start your New Year resolutions early this year and get outdoors and burn some extra calories with some good green exercise."
#4 Ditch the car
You could also try using your car a little less in 2013 and walk more or try cycling instead. Where possible it’s a good idea to walk, cycle or even take the bus. Choosing to do so for shorter journeys is a move towards feeling fitter and healthier, and towards cleaner, less polluted neighbourhoods.
#5 Join a community car club
If you’re planning to buy a car in 2013, you could think about joining a community car club instead? Cars can be booked online or by phone in advance, or at the last minute. They take care of insurance, tax, servicing, parking permits and even cleaning too. It’s a greener step forward.
#6 Grow your own
Why not get back to nature in 2013 and try growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs for less? It can help to cut down on trips to the shops and packaging. Food that we grow ourselves can taste fresher and you don’t need a garden either; try a window box, some grow bags or think about a local allotment.
#7 Think and buy local
A New Year means a new season and spring is on its way. Scotland produces a huge variety of foods throughout the year, so it’s always better to choose flavoursome, in season food. Give your local producers a boost by buying the best of Scotland’s natural larder in 2013.
Find out more about in season spring ingredients and find to the perfect recipe that puts them to good use.
#8 Get a home energy audit
Give your home an energy saving makeover this winter by getting free expert advice and support from the Home Energy Scotland Hotline on 0800 512 012. You can find out how you could make your home warmer and save money in four easy steps during 2013 with just one call.
#9 Choose low energy lighting
Be enlightened in 2013 by opting for low energy lighting alternatives to give your home a glow. Although they sometimes cost more than traditional bulbs, they last a lot longer – and you’ll make your money back in electricity savings. One energy-saving lamp might save you up to £60 over its lifetime.
Contact the Home Energy Scotland Hotline free on 0800 512 012 for more energy saving tips.
#10 Cut back on paper towels
Why not ditch those paper towels in 2013? You can use cotton cloths or fabric napkins to mop up spills and clean up your kitchen and bathroom instead. They can be washed and reused time after time to help cut down on the waste that ends up in your bin.