Sustainable island life can be a reality with Eco Savvy

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Eco Savvy has enjoyed a constructive year spreading the word about sustainability, waste reduction and the advantages of living a more eco-friendly lifestyle through its Sustainable Island Life Project.

With the support of the Arran community and residents, many facets of the project have proven to be hugely successful with the long term benefits already making themselves abundantly clear.

Split into various categories that encompass just some of these meaningful changes and developments a number of tangible milestones have been reached.

Travel and transport

Eco Savvy currently has 10 eBikes being used by Arran organisations for their Arran eBike Challenge – a scheme where Arran businesses can borrow eBikes for their staff to use for their commute to and from work. There have been nine businesses that have taken part to date with roughly 2,500 car miles eliminated. Five people have also since gone on to purchase eBikes with many more wanting to do so.

The eBike trials have proved to be extremely popular at events, with 112 people having tested them so far. Eco Savvy have expanded the project and now also have trailers and a eTrike available for trial.

Many Arran residents have also benefited from advice from Eco Savvy travel coordinators, Andrew Binnie and Emma Tracey, on the best ebike for their needs, where to buy an eBike and info on loan schemes and financial assistance to purchase one.

Energy help

The project has delivered audits for 20 per cent of Arran’s residential homes.

Hundreds of households on Arran have implemented measures such as draught proofing and installing energy monitors as a result of energy visits from energy auditor Charlotte Mann. This too has reduced a huge amount of carbon.

Eco Savvy continue to run energy drop in surgeries every Tuesday from 10am to 3pm where you can just pop in to the Eco Savvy office at Home Farm and speak to the energy auditor about any questions you might have relating to your heating, lighting, energy bills, insulation or anything home energy related.

They are also currently offering free energy audits for Arran homes, giving help on different ways for residents to reduce their energy use and bills. Contact the office on 303026 for information.

With the assistance of Eco Savvy 10 air source heat pump have been installed, four solar PV installations, both of which have helped to save 55.2 tonnes of carbon annually for Arran.

Food share

There is a food share on Arran four nights a week, Tuesday in Whiting Bay, Thursday in Brodick, Friday in Lamlash and, just newly started, Sunday in Shiskine. The food share is where food from the Co-op is collected and given out for free.

The food is nearing its use by date and needs to be used soon or it ends up being discarded. In the past 11 months Eco Savvy have held over 150 food share nights with more than 5.1 tonnes/£24,000 worth of food going to local residents rather than landfill.

Eco Savvy have also been holding food information and cooking workshops, with the most recent being the BYOPumpkin event.

There an intrepid group met to carve out their spooky Halloween pumpkins and they learned that more than eight million pumpkins – equivalent to more than 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin flesh – will be heading for the bin because the majority of us don’t eat it or use it for anything but ornaments.

Following on from pumpkin carving the group enjoyed a pumpkin cooking party, including the tasting and making of pumpkin cake, pumpkin tacos, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin soup, sweet and savoury roasted pumpkin seeds.

Eco Savvy are continuing with their sustainability drive and environmental awareness campaign with a number of upcoming events.

Sustainable Arran

What if we were isolated from the mainland? How could we cope with an extreme weather event? Or an influx of extra terrestrial tourists? With £10 million to spend you have a role to play, what would you do? Join like minded people for a fun evening of creative and collaborative game playand help tackle the challenges illustrated by these fictional disaster scenarios.

The event will take place at the Ormidale Pavilion from 5pm on Monday November 11, entrance is free and cake will be provided. See letters page.

Stay warm stay well

The xtay warm, stay well event will be led by guest speaker Barbara Atterson from Energy Action Scotland. Energy Action Scotland campaigns for an end to fuel poverty in Scotland and is the only national charity with this sole remit. This free event will begin with a presentation from Barbara followed by a lunch break with soup from Ferghan Mhor B&B in Sannox. There will be a winter wear jumble sale from the Arran Eco Savvy shop and it will conclude with an interactive energy game. This event will provide advice on how you can help to turn a cold, damp house into a comfortable and warm home, and how to handle high bills and your energy supplier, and be signposted to relevant financial grants/assistance.

Stay warm stay well – get ready for winter will take place at Corrie Hall on Tuesday November 12 between 11.30am and 1.45pm.

Secondary glazing

The zecondary glazing event will be led by guest speaker Dr Tanya Ewing from Glaze and Save. Glaze and Save is an award winning bespoke magnetic secondary glazing and draught proofing company. Tanya has, through her inventions and companies, won several awards including British female inventor of the year and Vibes environmental award. She will be available after the event for home visits to assist with reducing condensation, heating bills and noise from outside without the expensive price tag of double glazing. There will also be an opportunity to speak to a representative from Home Energy Scotland about the interest free loan available of up to £4,000 for secondary glazing improvements.

The zecondary glazing event will take place at Home Farm, Brodick, on Friday November 15, between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.

Savvy traveller drop ins

Eco Savvy are launching a new drop in service for information on all things travel from an ecological perspective. Visitors are invited to drop in at the Eco Savvy offices at Home Farm, Brodick, on the last Tuesday of the month between 10am and 3pm where they can try out an eBike, speak to the team about what ebike/etrike might be best for you, and advice on where to buy. Eco Savvy do not sell ebikes so advice is completely impartial.

The travel coordinators can also give advice on financial assistance, safety tips and accessories for ebikes, safe cycle routes, electric vehicles, driving efficiently, as well as a host of other sustainable travel and transport topics.

Attendees at the BYOPumpkin event show off their illuminated pumpkin creations. No_B45Eco01

Spreading the ethos Wallace Currie with his carved pumpkin. No_B45Eco02

Visitors used the remains of their pumpkins to make a number of tasty pumpkin dishes. No_B45Eco03

The BYOPumpkin event provided attendees with inspirational ideas to avoid pumpkin wastage over Hallowe’en. No_B45Eco04