Scottish research finds many are attempting to be more eco-friendly

Cold showers, reusing teabags and renting children’s toys are among the top 50 hacks Scots are adopting to be green.

A survey of a selection of adults in Scotland revealed 97 per cent are making an effort to be eco-friendly, by doing things like installing solar panels, using energy efficient light bulbs and carpooling. Sustainably sourced tea and coffee is popular among Scots with 16 per cent making the switch, while just under four in 10 will walk or cycle instead of driving.

Line drying towels and clothes, buying loose fruit and veg, and unplugging items are also popular ways of tackling climate change. One in 20 adults asked has even bought a water meter to better track how much they are using.

While nine in 10 say becoming more sustainable and taking deliberate action to help fight climate change, has become very important to them. The study was carried out by Centrica, which is inviting communities and entrepreneurs in Scotland to apply for a grant of up to £100,000 from its Energy for Tomorrow social impact fund, for initiatives that can deliver affordable, accessible and sustainable energy solutions to help tackle climate change.

“Whether it’s simply recycling more, or going all out and installing solar panels, smart meters and heat pumps, any change we make will have a positive impact on the climate. There are also some really innovative ideas that people have to tackle climate change in their communities and our fund is the perfect way to help make their ideas a reality.” – Abi Robins, Director of Responsible Business at Centrica

Researchers found moulding leftover bits of soap together, switching to a plant-based diet and turning off the tap while brushing teeth are also key actions to become more eco-friendly. And a handful of respondents polled confessed to thinking outside the box – by making meals from leftovers, swapping clothes with friends and family and doing digital art instead of using pen and paper.

Two thirds of Scots who took part in the poll believe they have become more sustainable over the last year, and 73 per cent take at least one green action a day. And 69 per cent have installed some form of smart technology in their home in order to be more eco-friendly. The most popular are energy efficient lightbulbs (73 per cent), a smart thermostat (32 per cent), smart lighting (26 per cent) and smart showerheads (15 per cent).

Just over half (56 per cent) of all of those surveyed by OnePoll think businesses should do more to tackle climate change. And while 13 per cent would consider turning their green hack into a business for others to benefit, 75 per cent would like to see more funding for innovative ideas that tackle climate change. More than half of respondents believe that local authorities should implement more sustainable initiatives.

Although, 53 per cent have already noticed more of these in their local area, like e-scooters or bikes, charging points for electric vehicles, more bike lanes and recycling bins. Despite such positive action, 41 per cent are still very worried about the effects of climate change. And while 91 per cent of Scots believe that it is important that the UK becomes carbon-neutral by 2050, only a quarter think the country will achieve this goal.

“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we’re facing, and we believe it needs to be tackled together. By encouraging collaborative action, from local authorities, governments and businesses all the way to the individual this will bring us closer to a fairer, more sustainable future. By setting up and supporting sustainable initiatives, local communities can explore more innovative solutions to an ongoing issue, which can help lead to a better and cleaner planet.” – Abi Robins from Centrica


1. Used reusable carrier bags

2. Turned off lights when leaving the room

3. Line drying your towels and clothes

4. Shopping locally

5. Used a reusable water bottle

6. Changed to energy efficient bulbs

7. Turned off the tap while brushing my teeth

8. Unplugging devices when not in use

9. Washing cloths instead of binning them just because they are dirty

10. Chose to walk or cycle somewhere instead of drive

11. Opting for loose veggies/fruit

12. Shopping in charity shops/second hand

13. Having shorter showers

14. Taking public transport

15. Washing clothes in cold temperatures

16. Use bar soaps instead of liquid bottles

17. Opting for tins/jars that can be recycled over a plastic

18. Cutting back on meat consumption

19. Used reusable coffee cups

20. Reusing wrapping paper

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