COP26 arrived last week and all eyes (particularly the green ones, obviously) have been fixed firmly in the direction of Glasgow.
And the host city is leading the way with pioneering individuals and enterprises that are tackling the climate crisis head on.
‘Glasgow is at the forefront of the green revolution,’ says chemist Jo Chidley, founder of local start-up Beauty Kitchen.
‘Boundaries are being pushed and bold steps are being taken by forward-thinking people and businesses in the most refreshing ways. There is still a lot of work to be done but we are heading in the right direction for a truly sustainable future for Glasgow.’
Beauty Kitchen is working towards creating the most sustainable beauty products in the world.
A big part of that is its Return, Refill and Repeat initiative, which aims to change the sobering statistic that 95% of cosmetic product packaging is thrown away after just one use and only nine per cent is recycled.
Elsewhere in the city, The Good Choice is a zero-waste grocery store, while another social enterprise is working to change people’s attitudes towards the hard stuff.
By that, we mean wood. Glasgow Wood Recycling collects wood waste and saves it from going to landfill by repurposing it as furniture and bespoke design pieces. All ofthese projects are being embraced by Glaswegians.
‘We are excited and proud for Cop26 to be in our home city, putting Glasgow’s leading sustainability innovation work on to a global stage,’ says Don McLean of IES, a local company that uses digital technology to assess the sustainability of buildings. ‘Glasgow, like all cities, has a key role to play in addressing the climate crisis.’
The hospitality industry is doing its bit with restaurants chipping in (pardon the pun) to contribute towards the city’s green wave of change.
Trendy basement eatery Gamba is loved by locals not just for its contemporary setting and tasty fish dishes but also for its ethics. Chefs serve only sustainably caught and non-endangered species in a bid to protect local waters.
The natural world is also getting a helping hand from Dear Green, Glasgow’s first community-run flower farm, which focuses on producing native species to heavily reduce the growing (again, pardon the pun) problem of ‘flower miles’, which sees petals being transported to vases hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles away.
Things are still green even in the black of night. Nightclub SWG3 is trialling a new renewable heating and cooling system that’s powered by ravers.
Collecting body heat expelled on the dancefloor via 150m-deep boreholes beneath the ground, the scheme aims to save around 70 tonnes of carbon each year and produce enough to power the entire venue, including the all-important sound system. Now, that’s surely something to smile (and dance) about.
And when it comes to bedding down after all that bumping and grinding, there’s only one place to go.
The luxurious Kimpton Blythswood Square hotel has introduced biophilic design and a nourishing forest-bathing concept to one of its rooms to aid connectivity to the natural world.
The room, known as La Chambre Verte, is a firm favourite of Juliet Kinsman, author of The Green Edit: Travel, who says it is ‘as green as Glasgow gets’.
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Metro.co.uk's #Just1Change campaign
During COP26 and beyond, we will be sharing stories, ideas, and advice about one common theme: The climate crisis.
At a time when the weight of environmental issues feels very heavy and overwhelming, our aim is to deliver content that will not only inform and educate but also offer hope and inspiration.
Here are some of our #Just1Change highlights so far:
- Introducing Metro.co.uk’s brand new climate series: #Just1Change
- Quiz: Do you know what the most commonly used recycling icons actually mean?
- Easy upcycling tips and tricks from experts in sustainable crafting
- Dumpster diving, foraging and composting: A day in the life of a freegan
- Why tote bags can be problematic for the environment
- Opinion: Boris Johnson is saying the right things at COP26 – but it doesn’t mean anything