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Scotland Win Circular Economy Award

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Scottish Ministers Approve Hydro Power Station

Scotland has been commended for its work in making things last and named one of the world’s top circular economy nations.

The Scottish Government – representing itself and its key agencies – was the recipient of an Award for Circular Economy Governments, Cities and Regions at last night’s Circulars Awards, presented at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos (Monday 16 January, 2017).

Billed as the world’s premier circular economy awards, the programme saw Scotland one of six finalists alongside organisations from China, Canada, South Africa and Europe. The award recognises partnership working between the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland, SEPA and Scottish Enterprise to further the circular economy.

It’s a clear endorsement for Scotland as a leader on the circular economy

Commenting on the announcement, Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive Iain Gulland said: “This award is testament to the hard work that’s going on in Scotland to make the most of the valuable resources we have and make them work for our future. It’s a clear endorsement for Scotland as a leader on the circular economy and signifies that our commitment to making things last is valued by the global community.

“Working together is key, and this is also a fantastic opportunity to share models and ideas to progress the circular economy across the globe. Zero Waste Scotland will continue to work with the Scottish Government and our partners to influence and enable change – advancing Scotland towards a truly circular future and maximising the economic, social and environmental benefits that will bring.”

Linda Hanna, Managing Director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Winning this award is recognition of Scotland’s status as a global leader in the transition to a circular economy. Scottish businesses are at the forefront of a new global opportunity to change how they do business and become more sustainable, innovative and international as a result. This is why we are committed to embedding circular economy practices across all of our support as it provides new routes to business and economic growth.”

Terry A’hearn, SEPA’s Chief Executive, said: “This award is not only great recognition for the ground breaking steps taken by our government to implement a truly circular economy, it also highlights the importance of partnership working to achieve this vision. Most importantly, it empowers SEPA and other organisations such as Scottish Enterprise and Zero Waste Scotland, to help business and industry make practical changes.

“There is no shortage of circular economy speeches and documents. Our Government’s policy stands out because it enables real action, in real markets, to drive real resource efficiency gains. Our own approach to regulation is driven by the importance of One Planet Prosperity and of living within our planets ability to sustain us, which is impossible without the solid foundation of a resource efficient economy.”

The Scottish Government has placed the circular economy at the core of Scotland’s Economic Strategy and Manufacturing Action Plan, and its Making Things Last strategy highlights priority areas with the greatest opportunity to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.

Scotland’s circular economy achievements to date include flourishing collaboration between business and academia through the Scottish Institute for Remanufacture; two large-scale re-use and repair hubs in Edinburgh and the Highlands; and widespread support for Scottish businesses to develop circular economy models and services, including through the £18million Circular Economy Investment Fund.

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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Environment

6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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