With spring in the air and the new year promising some faint hopes for better things, many people are thinking of ways to make their green resolutions stick. If you’re moving to Glasgow, you may have wanted to put your best foot forward and start with a lifestyle that puts the environment first. Here are our 10 top tips for green living, especially for those making the move to this beautiful, eco-conscious city.
Check the energy status of your new home
It’s no secret that energy inefficient homes are an enormous source of greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming. A Glasgow EPC from our local team gives you a clear idea of how much energy your new home will use, so there are no nasty surprises later on. In fact, it’s a legal requirement in Glasgow for houses up for rent or purchase to have a current EPC. You may want to plan ahead to revamp your heating or insulation solutions, so you not only save money, but reduce your emissions, too.
Buy seasonal fruit and veg from local suppliers
A great way to cut your contribution to growing carbon emissions is to eat locally and avoid produce that’s been shipped thousands of miles around the world. Avoid buying supermarket produce where possible, but even so, you can cut down on non-recyclable packaging by bringing your own bag or buying things packaged in paper or compostable plastic. Greener Scotland has a helpful seasonality calendar to help you buy what’s fresh and in season. You can also check out local veg delivery programs or explore the area for local farmers who are selling produce.
Sort out your recycling habits
When you move to a new home the last thing on your mind may be the waste collection, but it’s worth taking the time to understand the recycling rules in your new area. If you’re new to the area, you may especially have a few bulky items that need to be disposed of responsibly – contact the Glasgow council to make sure you’re doing the right thing with items like mattresses, old batteries and electronics, or bulky items like furniture. Once you’re settled, you can familiarize yourself with local recycling centres or get clear guidance on how to sort your waste properly at home.
If you can, compost!
Since January 2016, Scotland has been making compost from household food waste in most municipalities. Check if you need a small food waste bin and how to get one, or enquire if your surrounding tenement courts have facility for compost heaps. Alternatively, you can set up your own compost heap in an allotment or backyard, or if you’re brave, try your hand at vermiculture, which uses earthworms to turn kitchen scraps into nutritious fertilizer.
Grow your own
Speaking of fertilizer, you can do a lot by growing your own food right where you live, if you’re fortunate to have a green patch to cultivate. You can start very simply if you’re not sure you have a green thumb: try growing herbs and simple lettuce leaves (which can also be done indoors) or select some hardy cultivars that will grow with minimal need for pesticides. Glasgow’s growing season might not be long (from around end of May to mid- October) but with a little careful planning you can definitely produce some fresh, organic, eco-friendly produce at home without unnecessary plastic packaging.
Reconsider your transportation
Though some months of the Glasgow year are more than a little wet and chilly, there are often opportunities to walk or cycle instead of use a car. Alternatively, public transport like trains and buses might not only prove more eco-friendly but also be cheaper in the long run. If driving is essential, see what you can do to carpool or combine separate car journeys into a single, more efficient trip. With working from home now well entrenched across the country, you might find it worth your while to re-negotiate your position at work and see if fewer commuting days are possible post-lockdown.
Glasgow is a gorgeous, green city in its own right, and there are now thankfully more ways than ever to live a low waste, environmentally responsible lifestyle. Whether you’re moving to Glasgow from just down the road or are coming from further afield, it’s a great opportunity to start fresh with some easy but effective green habits that will make you feel like you’re doing your part.