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New Scottish campaign uses people power to tackle climate change

When it comes to reducing our environmental impact, there are a lot of things that can be done, ranging from installing thermal wall insulation to pushing for more sustainable energy production.

Although a lot of these various measures depend on the government and businesses, there's no doubt that people and communities also have a role to play - and that's why Scotland is working to encourage people power to tackle climate change.

The nation has launched a citizen engagement campaign and will be renewing green funds for community projects.

Recently, the Scottish government launched a TV and online advertising campaign with the tagline: "Saving the world isn't just for the movies".

With the campaign, the government hopes to inspire more people to look for ways they can make a difference to the environment. It also aims to demonstrate that making environmentally friendly choices is easier than many Scots might think.

"We must all do more to reduce the impact we have on the environment," said climate change minister Aileen McLeod.

"Making a greener lifestyle choice can be easier than people think. Simply washing your clothes at a lower temperature, avoiding and recycling food waste, leaving the car at home to walk shorter journeys or even turning your thermostat down by just one degree, can all help Scotland tackle climate change," she added.

Sheri Scott, a Glasgow-based business owner and lifestyle blogger explained her own experience with making small choices to go greener.

"Until recently, I thought I had washing my clothes all sewn up. I actually learned that washing your laundry at a lower temperature not only gives them a good clean, but can cut your electricity use by 40 per cent," she said, adding that other changes she has made have included turning down the thermostat and walking to work.

Ms McLeod explained that small actions may not seem like they're doing much on an individual basis. But, if they're repeated across all Scottish households, the result would be a highly positive, collective step forward.

According to the Scottish Household Survey, around half of the people in Scotland (57 per cent) acknowledge that climate change is an immediate and urgent problem, while 83 per cent believed they could do more for the environment.

"Through this campaign we hope to inspire more Scots to contribute in making Scotland a cleaner, greener place to live now and in the future. After all, saving the world isn't just for the movies," she said.

The role of communities

Recently, the Scottish government renewed a £10.3 million Climate Change fund, giving a boost to communities who want to increase their climate efforts.

The fund will be managed by Keep Scotland Beautiful on behalf of the Scottish government. It has already supported more than 750 community-led schemes since it was launched in 2008. These have covered energy efficiency, sustainable travel and food growth.

It has also played an important role in helping Scotland towards its target of achieving a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. But Ms McLeod noted that more action is required from everyone - not just the government - in order to achieve further reductions.