You can play a big part in Scotland's future
- 31 January 2008
Everywhere we look in Scotland we're surrounded by stunning natural life, from beautiful landscapes to a varied plant and animal life.
In fact, we're very lucky to have such an amazingly diverse environment right on our doorstep.
However, Scotland's environment faces significant challenges from climate change. We are already seeing a decline among many of our native species of plants and animals due to loss of habitat and the introduction of invasive non-native species.
Our understanding of how best to adapt to these challenges is evolving as our knowledge improves.
As the world heats up, harmful climate change is knocking the natural balance of our biodiversity out of kilter and leading to problems.
Increasing numbers of currently benign non-native species moved here by human agency are becoming so called 'invasive species' moving into our natural habitats and causing problems to the native species which live there. Think red squirrel versus grey squirrel.
Changing climate affecting the migration and hibernation pattern in animals and blooming times in plants - as spring comes earlier and winter later - knocking nature's clock out of sync. This means that a lot of the plants and insects that certain species rely on for food aren't around at the correct times of year.
Warming of our seas, rivers and lochs harms the wildlife and plants living there.
But it's not all doom and gloom. We can still all do our bit to protect and improve Scotland's natural heritage and help preserve it for our children.
The 10 greener pledges, listed below, are a good place to start.
And even if you can't take all 10, why not play your part in preserving Scotland's unique biodiversity by promising to organise or volunteer for an environmental project in your local community?
Given the busy lives we all lead nowadays, this may seem like a big ask, but there are many opportunities for you to get involved - and as well as contributing to safeguarding the planet, it can be fun too!
There are hundreds of these projects up and running across Scotland, involving everything from tree planting to river cleaning, wildlife monitoring, to setting up local nature reserves in urban areas.
You could also get involved from home by planting native trees and shrubs -particularly those that produce nectar, seeds and berries - in your garden to attract and support native insects and birds.
And if you don't have a garden, why not add a window ledge bird seed table to help feed a wide range of birds through the harsh Scottish winter?
By each playing our part to protect and enhance our nation's natural life we can all contribute towards building a greener, more sustainable Scotland - now and for future generations.
So check out the 10 pledges below and see what you can do.
10 Greener Pledges for 2008
- Recycle household waste using locally-provided facilities
- Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
- Switch to using energy-saving light bulbs
- Leave the car at home at least once a week, and cycle, walk, share a car or use public transport more often
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones
- Reuse carrier bags when you shop
- Buy more seasonal and unpackaged food
- Hang your washing up to dry rather than using a tumbler dryer
- Organise or volunteer in an environmental project in your local community
- Pay back the environmental impact of any flights you take and choose not to fly when there’s a suitable alternative
For more information on biodiversity in Scotland log on to: