A Climate Chat with Moments of Freedom

Over the last few months we have been having some informal Climate Chats with the women of Moments of Freedom during their group sessions. The women decided to do a climate audit to find out what small changes they could make to ensure the group is more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The group swapped out bottled water to reusable jugs and cups. They also bought reusable travel cups instead of single-use paper coffee cups that get thrown away after the session. The women purchased their own kettle and hot water flask. Once a month the group stock up on tea bags, coffee, sugar etc. This means that they are not wasting takeaway cups and it saves the group money each meeting.

The women have been thinking about what food they are buying and how long it will last. Individually wrapped cakes and biscuits will last longer but create more packaging waste. The group purchased air-tight Tupperware so that opened packets of biscuits and cakes will keep fresher for longer.

At our last group session the group had a discussion about everyday changes you can make to be more environmentally friendly and reduce your carbon footprint.

The group had never heard of laundry eggs before. Our south east team have talked about these with families in Eyemouth and they have proved really popular. Laundry eggs replace detergent and softener. The egg lasts for 70+ washes and costs around £9. Once the egg is empty you just buy a refill and the egg is ready to go again.

The women also spoke about reusable period products like pants and pads. Reusable period products are kinder on the environment and often kinder on your body whilst saving you money. Period pants can generally be worn for up to 12 hours and the pants themselves can be kept for up to 5 years. These can be washed by putting in your washing machine at 40 degrees. 

After chatting about air fryers for the first time last year a few group members have now purchased their own for their families. Air fryers are small convection ovens and can be used as an alternative to a standard oven or a deep fat fryer. Air fryers are about 50% more energy efficient than ovens and use less time to cook. The women raved about how the air fryers have made cooking for their children quicker, easier and cheaper!

The women also chatted about the new deposit return scheme that has started in Lidl stores across Glasgow. The scheme only started in February and customers receive 5p per eligible item that is returned to a Lidl store. The 5p can then be redeemed against a shop or it can be donated to a Glasgow children’s charity. The women started chatting about similar schemes that they used to use in Syria and they were excited to be able to recycle in this way in Glasgow whilst also get some money back off their food shop.

The group talked about food waste and how it is a great idea to use the food waste bins but there needs to be more options for people. Back in Syria, food waste used to be collected and used for fertiliser and animal feed. The group talked about how it was nice to know where the waste was going and how useful it was going to be for farmers. We talked about how there used to be similar initiatives in Glasgow decades ago and it would be good if it restarted.

The women all agreed that more needs to be done to encourage people to recycle and reuse in Scotland.

This work is funded the Scottish Government’s Climate Engagement Fund and The Robertson Trust.