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‘Forget the expensive gadgets’ there are simple ways we can all improve our carbon footprint, says Highland councillor Trish Robertson who is leading the way on the climate emergency

By Louise Glen

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Simple Measures campaign logo
Simple Measures campaign logo

Frustrated by the lack of simple solutions for climate action, one Highland councillor has set out a number of ways to improve your carbon footprint.

Councillor Trish Robertson, who heads up the Highland Council climate challenge committee, argues that taking easy steps is affordable for everyone.

After being shocked at the costs of "gadget" solutions such as electric cars and bikes, Cllr Robertson said as an average mum and granny - she like most people would find purchasing one out of her price range.

She said: "We need to pay more attention to practical solutions and forget about the add-on gadgets that appeal to the minority," she said. "If we are all to convert – then these need to be aimed at everyone.

"The answer to decarbonising the heavy fleet – is hydrogen, but this is still at the trial stage.

"It was good to have the hydrogen bus trialled in the Highlands recently. But, the pandemic has resulted in a backward step as social distancing has made bus transport an undesirable option – we urgently need to find a way to get people not using cars, there is much work to be done.

She also wants to see a reduction in plastic.

"Use of single-use plastic has also increased, which was inevitable, but it cannot be sustained at the current levels," Cllr Robertson said.

"Legislation alone will not get us to the finish line. There is a lot we can do as individuals by making changes to how we live, work and play.

"We all walked more during lockdown and this can be continued as we move back to normal life.

"Now is the time for change."

Cllr Robertson suggested a list of simple changes that every household can take, that will not incur extra costs, but will help reduce carbon emissions:

  • Walk wherever you can
  • Cycle as often as you are able
  • Turn your heating down by one degree
  • Wear an extra layer if sitting about
  • Save water by not running the tap while brushing your teeth
  • Fill the kettle with only the amount you need
  • Serve smaller food portions and put leftovers in the freezer
  • Make a shopping list and stick to it

She added: "With food and fuel prices rising rapidly, taking these steps now will benefit every household. We can all take at least one of these simple steps to help our planet and each comes with personal benefit to our health and pockets.

"We can contribute and ensure a healthy environment for generations to come."

READ: NO BIG BANG: Culloden Battlefield staff say 'don't let off fireworks' on the site of Highland war graves as grazing animals could eat fragments

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