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Help tackle the climate crisis by considering shopping more ethically, says boss of New Start Highland


By Val Sweeney

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James Dunbar, chief executive of New Start Highland.
James Dunbar, chief executive of New Start Highland.

Individuals can play a role in helping to tackle the climate crisis by shopping more ethically, says the boss of a leading Highland charity.

Against the background of COP26, James Dunbar, the chief executive of New Start Highland, urged people to think about how they shop.

The charity, which works to tackle poverty, homelessness and long-term unemployment in the region, has six retail outlets selling a wide range of goods from quality second-hand furniture to household items.

It has also developed an upcycled range of unique items while its warehouse in Carsegate Road North, Inverness, also has paint and recycled bikes for sale.

Mr Dunbar acknowledged it could sometimes be difficult for individuals to feel they can make a difference.

"Sometimes as a citizens, we can feel pretty disengaged as to what we can do - that I am one of billions so what difference can my behaviour make?" he said

"One of the things we can do is shop more ethically.

"Instead of looking to make Amazon richer and the convenience of picking up the phone and you might get a piece of furniture arriving in a day or two, you could get one of our items which is good quality and has been lovingly refurbished – and you are not increasing the carbon footprint."

As well as creating income for the charity, it was also a way of making a difference to overall carbon emissions.

He said individuals could make a choice between zero carbon increase or carbon emissions.

"If everyone takes that on board, it can make a difference," he said.

"We can do a lot and make a difference putting the environment ahead of convenience."

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