VING Our guide to green living continues with all you need to know about environmentally friendly travel within Scotland, a trip to one of Edinburgh’s reycling centres and the List editor’s final green blog
LIVING GREEN BLOG
Volunteers’ pathway work along the Kintrye Way or a hands-on holiday with Trees For Life, working to restore the Caledonian Forest?
National Trust for Scotland: outdoors membership from £13.25 per person per year; 0844 493 2100, www.nts.org.uk
Wilderness Scotland: activity trips from around £435 per person per week; 3a St Vincent Street, Edinburgh, 0131 625 6635, www.wildernessscotland.com 2 Wheel Tours: guided holidays from £255 per person; guided day tours from £50 per person (minimum two people), 07900 365 769, www.2wheel-tours.com
Galloway Cycling Holidays: guided holidays from £310 per person per week; guided two-day tours from £115 per person; Summerhill, Abercomby Place, Castle Douglas, 01556 502 979, www.gallowaycycling.co.uk Velodays Cycling Holidays: guided holidays from £1259 per person for eight days (including bed and board); Aberdeen, Scotland, 0781 041 0084, www.velodays.com
BTCV: volunteering holidays from £100 per person per week; 01302 388883, www.btcv.org.uk
Trees for Life: volunteer work weeks from £70 per person per week; The Park, Findhorn Bay, Forres, 01309 691444, www.tflvolunteer.org For more ideas on green things to see or do, visit www.greentraveller.co.uk, www.ecoescape.org or www.green-business.co.uk
WHAT TO EAT From Arbroath smokies to Shetland lamb, food instils a sense of place better than any travel guide. But eating local isn’t only enjoyable, it’s also environmentally preferable. Forgoing imported food and drink in favour of local (ideally organic), seasonal alternatives cuts down on food miles and puts money into local pockets. In Scotland that can often mean opting for fish – but choose carefully. With many of the world’s fish stocks becoming endangered, stay on track by packing a copy of the Marine Conservation Society’s Pocket Good Fish Guide (www.fishonline.org) to refer to on your travels, or first at www.fish2fork.com, which lists several places to eat fish with a clear conscience across the country. You might also want to avoid certain foods on ethical grounds. Compassion in World Farming protests against the production of ‘posh nosh’ involving the inhumane treatment of animals (frogs legs and foie gras being two obvious examples). researching your options
Some of the most ethical Scottish restaurants include The Real Food Café in Tyndrum, the Captain’s Galley in Scrabster, Inver Cottage Restaurant in Argyll and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles. While brewing is never going to be the most green of industries, you can at least toast your green travels a little more gently with a pint of organic beer from the Black Isle Brewery, a Soil Association-registered independent brewery in Ross-shire.
The Real Food Café Main Street, Tyndrum, 01838 400235, www.therealfoodcafe.com
The Captain’s Galley The Harbour, Scrabster, 01847 894999, www.captainsgalley.co.uk
Inver Cottage Restaurant Strathlachlan, Strachur, Argyll, 01369 860537, www.invercottage.com Restaurant Andrew Fairlie Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Perthshire, 01764 694267, www.andrewfairlie.com
Black Isle Brewery Taeblair, Munlochy, Ross-Shire, 01463 811871, www.blackislebrewery.com
For more ideas on sustainable places to eat and drink in Scotland see www.greenguide.co.uk
Rhiannon Batten is the author of Higher Ground: How To Travel Responsibly Without Roughing It, out now, published by Virgin.
Jonny Ensall’s final blog after a fortnight of green living
After two weeks it’s time to do the sums and put the stamp of factual authority onto my green project. The CO2 emissions calculator on the government’s Direct Gov website (carboncalculator.direct.gov.uk) tells me that, prior to my eco-conversion, I had been producing approximately 6.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Comparatively, this is a lot better than the 12 UK resident average, a difference accounted for by the fact that I don’t drive. Still, I’m interested to know how much extra saving I’ve achieved for team green. Some things are easy to calculate. For
example, by replacing all my light bulbs with energy efficient types, remembering to turn off my TV, Freeview box and DAB radio at the socket at night, turning my washes down to 40° and kicking out my convection heater (which was costing up to 20kg of carbon emissions per week) I’m cutting down on about 400kg of CO2 a year. A green win! More significantly, as mother nature decided to wreak havoc with the airlines I had a short- haul flight cancelled and avoided around 120kg of emissions over the return trip.
And what about the one lonely courgette plant I’m desperately trying to grow in my back yard? That hardy little photosynthesising powerhouse must be reducing the level of carbon in the atmosphere? A quick Google search reveals that a small tree can take about 15kg of CO2 out of the atmosphere per year. My chap might manage 5kg at a push, but I’m still proud of him.
In total then, at least 200kg of carbon saved this fortnight, possibly more. And the experience has been relatively painless. A little bit of extra outlay on electric light bulbs will be recouped through cheaper energy bills soon enough, plus it’s hard to put a price on a warm sense of smugness. I have no regrets and, for my pains, a few more proud convictions.
READ ABOUT SOME IMPRESSIVE GREEN FOLKS AT WWW.LIST.CO.UK/ GREENPEOPLE
29 Apr–13 May 2010 THE LIST 21