“Great changes can start from small conversations.”
Climate cafes are so important as they provide a space to support and encourage us to have these conversations regarding – What can I do? What can my community do? What can my local authority do? What can the Scottish Government do? And what can we do globally?
Our first Climate Café in Pitlochry was in October 2018 and we would, pre-pandemic, get together on a monthly basis in the HPCP Office.
Everyone is welcome whether they are familiar with climate change or not but who are interested in its effects on us and nature. We have organised presentations and events about the different issues we are facing and the solutions we can use to encourage us to create more sustainable lifestyles.
Some of the projects we have been involved with so far have been mainly focussed on waste reduction. Petitioning our local council for more mini recycling bins around Pitlochry and area. Helping out at our New Year’s Street Party event to recycle as much waste as possible. Organising a Zero waste Food and Fun Festival to highlight how delicious a plant based diet is and how many shop bought products would be classed as vegan.
Before lockdown we started to contact local businesses regarding what they did with their plastic waste. We came up with the idea of creating a Rubbish Walk in Pitlochry for visitors and residents, young and old, where businesses would use their waste to create a sculpture to display in their window like ‘Hanger Man’ in McNaughtons.
More recently, we have been running a local NeighbourFood Market to bring local producers and customers together to reduce our local carbon footprint alongside our food and plastic waste. We are also looking at garden sharing with the help of Lend and Tend.
As Pitlochry is a popular tourist destination, we have been contacting accommodation providers to look at ways to help them reduce their plastic waste, be more energy efficient and promote more active travel. We are creating a local Community Eco Hub to provide information and activities related to climate change and solutions.
Plastic Lite Pitlochry Campaign: From 2020, we began to contact local businesses and accommodation providers to discuss ways of reducing their plastic waste and using alternative solutions. The Hanger Man sculpture in McNaughton’s shop was created for a Rubbish walk through the town to highlight the amount of waste businesses amass. We discovered that some accommodation providers are using local produce, reducing plastic packaging through opting for compostable containers and using refillable eco products. Having local examples of sustainable businesses, like Handam Refill Shop, who have experienced the different issues involved in becoming more sustainable means they can help other businesses to make those changes as well.
Local Community Eco Hub: Our Climate Café and Handam Refill Shop are collaborating on the creation of a Community Eco Hub in Pitlochry. Initially, we are creating a space in the Refill shop where information will be provided through leaflets, books etc. and regular drop-in sessions with consultants on issues and solutions regarding Waste, Energy Efficiency, Food, Transport and Nature. Our intention is to extend this through time to include activities such as educational workshops, presentations, talks and larger events. We have created a short community engagement survey to discover what other help we could provide.
Local Food Sources: Lend and Tend or Garden Share: We have a number of people in Pitlochry hoping for an allotment one day, until then we are promoting the sharing of gardens either as a garden owner or a garden tender. We have been in touch with Joyce Veheary from LendandTend.com who is happy to help match owners with tenders. Have you heard about the NeighbourFood network? It is a growing network of online markets that are providing a new and more sustainable way to shop and eat well while supporting and connecting local farmers and artisan producers with local customers.