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30th March 2024

International Day of Zero Waste – 30th March 2024

Today we’re celebrating the second annual International Day of Zero Waste, an observance which highlights the importance of sustainable consumption and production, and which champions zero waste initiatives at local and global levels. Waste pollution disrupts ecosystems, wellbeing and economic growth, and globally we generate between 2.1 billion and 2.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste a year, of which only 61–62% is managed in controlled facilities. With a survey from Zero Waste Scotland highlighting that 81% of Scots are worried about the impacts of climate change and waste on the natural environment, we’re looking at some of the ways we can reduce consumption and waste here in the GSA Biosphere. 

Did you know that 80% of Scotland’s carbon footprint comes from all the things we make, buy, use and ultimately throw away? From the clothes we wear, to the food and drink we enjoy every day, all these have a carbon footprint, and all the choices we make in consumption have an impact on the planet. One of the best ways to minimise environmental impacts is by engaging in the circular economy. This promotes sustainable use of natural resources, through creating better quality products with longer lifetimes, and by reusing, rehoming, recycling and repurposing. Our recent Creatives & Sustainability workshops introduced the Circular Arts Network (CAN), an online platform for redistributing spare, used or surplus materials, exchanging skills, and coordinating transport. CAN also offers pathways for individuals, companies and organisations to support their local arts community by providing the opportunity to reclaim waste materials or find project resources.  

Another way we can help is by trying to reduce food waste. The Scottish Government is aiming for a 33% reduction in food waste by 2025 nationwide. A fantastic example of positive action in the GSA Biosphere is the Whithorn Community Fridge. Located at the South Machars Community Centre (SMCC) in Whithorn, volunteers work in partnership with local supermarkets to collect surplus perishable food items, which are made available in the community fridge for anyone to help themselves. This stops good food going to landfill, while any leftovers are available for compost. Non-perishable donations are also welcomed and a pop-up café takes place at the community centre every week, incorporating donations as well as locally foraged and grown ingredients. Food is a great way of bringing communities together, and initiatives to reduce waste have multiple benefits for everyone. Check out the Whithorn Community Fridge on our Youtube channel.

Opting for second-hand instead of new and finding ways to repair and reuse can help keep items in use for longer. Our Biosphere is lucky enough to have a great range of places where you can rehome pre-loved goods, like the Community Reuse Shop (CRS) in Stranraer. Since it was set up in 1998, the CRS has gone from strength to strength, operating as a social enterprise, providing local jobs and preventing thousands of unwanted items from entering landfill. In recent years, they’ve opened another shop on Castle Street in Stranraer to sell clothing, books, electricals and more. Repair and mending workshops are also on the rise, with Girvan Library’s Lend and Mend Hub being one of the first under a new scheme to provide communities with free access to a variety of resources and equipment, including sewing machines and workshops. This allows members of the community to repair, reuse, and upcycle everyday items that would otherwise be thrown away – and provides another reason to visit the library! 

Finally: don’t forget that the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere hosts the D&G Climate Hub, part of the Scottish Government’s new national network of Community Climate Action Hubs. This network supports community climate action through funding and resources embedded in local communities. The D&G Climate Hub can advise on reducing waste, either as an individual, community or a business; find out more about their work on Facebook, X and Instagram. You can also get in touch with our friendly Climate Hub officers by email: Sarah covers Wigtownshire and Stewartry and can be reached at and Steven covers the Nithsdale, Annandale and Eskdale, and is contactable at 

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