Climate change is so huge, what can we do?

20 November 2015

How Volunteer Scotland is making positive changes to our ways of working and bringing that into our volunteer development work.

DM Blog ImageAs someone who has lived and worked for the natural environment my whole life I’m so happy that my organisation has finally planted the “green seed”.  But how can one guy, in one building fight against the global catastrophe that is climate change?

Well to start with, I’m not just one guy, I part of a Green Team. Yes, cue the A-Team music... come-on are you humming it yet? So our Green Team has been put together through the good practice advice from our good friends at Resource Efficient Scotland. We’ve been working with them over the last few months to look at how we’re using our energy, waste, water and raw materials.

Its confession time, we weren’t doing that well!

Now this was nothing to do with our own passions about the environment or our will to reduce our costs, it was just that we didn’t have the opportunity to take a step back, review what’s not been going so well and build our skills and experience in running a green office.

We’ve started to make some really positive changes to our office and working practice and we’re starting to see the benefits already. Saving both money and reducing our carbon emissions. But these things are just the end results. What we’re really doing is making small but meaningful changes to the behaviour and environmental consciousness of our staff.

But what about volunteering I hear you ask!

We know that each week thousands of passionate volunteers plant trees, grow local food, deliver energy efficiency advice, promote Love Food Hate Waste campaigns,  count bee’s and birds and keep beaches clean and litter free. But we’re not happy to stop at that; we’re working with Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Environment Protection Agency and other partners to look at ways in which we can increase the number of volunteers and make sure that they understand that benefits of their great work.

 So in the build up to the United Nations sponsored Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015, the great work being done by our staff and the Green Team, the partnership working across Scotland and the tireless environmental and conservation  volunteering we’re in a good place. It’s hard to take a step back and look at the bigger picture when the issue seem so massive but it clear, there’s loads going on in Scotland and I’m proud that we’re making real progress, one small seed at a time.

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