Our G.E.T. Local Project.
You may be aware of the recent UN Report on climate change, which really fired the starting pistol on the race to stop impending climate chaos – giving just 12 years before we reach a tipping point that would be impossible to reverse. While it presents a scary picture on a global scale, we mustn’t forget that lots of smaller scale, local actions, can contribute towards meeting this huge challenge.
NDT’s GET Local project helped educate and demonstrate to the people of Neilston and East Renfrewshire how they can make small lifestyle changes that will ultimately contribute to the fight against accelerating climate change. GET Local encouraged you to Grow, Eat and Travel in a manner that allowed you to make your own, personal, positive contribution.
Growing food locally helps fight climate change in several ways. Think how much more ethical and beneficial it would be to eat a lettuce grown in your own garden, compared to one flown over the day before from Spain, having been washed in a country where water can be scarce, before being wrapped in plastic for us all to throw away. Convenient? Well not as much as one grown in a planter at your front door. Responsible? No.
We engaged a project partner, TCV, who carried out extensive work within selected school grounds in East Renfrewshire. We encouraged schools, their pupils, their teachers and parents to participate in a food growing initiative using school grounds as the location for raised planters, poly tunnels and orchards. Under guidance, pupils were involved in the whole food growing process from plant selection, ground preparation, planting, plant care and harvesting. The food grown was used in school cooking lessons, and by our Community Chef. Local people benefited too, as we tried our hardest to make sure that none of the food went to waste.
Of course, growing food for yourself need not only happen in school grounds. We offered gardening skills classes for those interested in food growing. Through the classes, we distributed the materials, knowledge and skills to allow people to grow food in their own gardens, on patios, window ledges and walls.
They say you are what you eat. Well, in terms of climate change our reliance on meat in our diets has played a big part in leading us to where we are at the moment. So one small contribution you can make is to try to eat meat-free meals at least twice a week. The worry often expressed is how you replace the protein you would normally get from meat, and also the taste and texture that meat brings to a dish. GET Local ran a series of free cooking classes designed to give you the skills and knowledge to make happy, healthy and nutritionally balanced dishes, free of meat.
As the programme progressed we worked with our food growing activities to bring recipes featuring the food you grew at home. Using home grown vegetables also allowed you to save money, an important consideration in itself. If you feel that you can’t do without some meat in your meals, try to shop locally. It helps local businesses thrive, helps you reduce your own food miles, and contributes to your own local community spirit.
You can also save money and help the planet by reducing food waste. Thus a number of our classes focused on reducing food waste, encouraged you to buy less packaged food in the first place and then using all you have.
Its double trouble, sitting miserably wasting your time in a traffic jam while your car contributes to climate change. Not even the dulcet tones of Classic FM, Talksport or Radio Scotland can make it better (other radio stations are available).
Why not think about reducing your stress levels, and improving your fitness, by travelling actively? You could walk or cycle to the train station, walk the kids to school, cycle round to your friends –there really are lots of opportunities within a typical lifestyle to leave the car at home. So, why aren’t you?
Don’t have a bike? We do! We take donated bikes and have them reconditioned to approved standards which are then available to buy at a much reduced cost.
By doing this you save on the carbon involved in the construction of a new bike, you stop a bike that would normally be thrown away from going to landfill, you save significant amounts of money and you give a sad bike a happy new home.
Can’t ride a bike? Lots of people can’t, but we can teach you. Get in touch for a lesson.
Unsure of cycling on the road? We offer a series of classes and social rides that will improve your confidence and teach you skills necessary to cycle safely and enjoy the ride. Not sure of your fitness level? Electric bikes are the answer! We have an e-bike which is available for you to have a try out on. Hills become a doddle, but you still have to work a bit so you do get the benefit of exercise.
If you want to travel actively, whether it be for fitness, ethical or affordability reasons, we can help you. Get in touch for more information and to find out more about upcoming cycling events, training sessions and bike repair services.