For the Arran Eco Savvy, this Earth Day marks a double celebration! Not only are they honouring the planet, but they’re also commemorating a significant milestone: 10 years of the Eco Savvy Community Shop!

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is a reminder of the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability, encouraging us to come together and take action for a healthier planet and brighter future.

It takes place on April 22nd and the official theme this year is Planet vs Plastics!

Think About Plastic Arran work to reduce plastic waste. In January 2019, Arran became the first community in Scotland to receive the ‘Plastic-Free’ accreditation. Of course Arran is not ‘plastic-free’ (just yet!) But this was the first step on Arran’s journey in reducing plastic footprint.

A Decade of The Eco Savvy Community Shop

The Eco Savvy Community Shop is growing up fast and is now into double digits! This can only be accredited to the many hard-working volunteers in the shop throughout the last ten years.

From Humble Beginnings: The Founding of Eco Savvy

It all started in Whiting Bay with Barbara I`Anson and Esther Brown and the realisation that something must be done about the amount of waste heading to landfill. The shop to date has saved more than 100 tonnes of waste going to landfill!

Eco Savvy Volunteers

What one person considers to be worthless or unimportant can be highly valued by someone else. This now sustains a thriving charity shop with 17 volunteers and a part time shop manager. Working behind the scenes sorting donations, fixing and PAT testing electrical items, helping transport waste to the recycle centre (not everything is salvageable), running creative workshops using materials donated to the shop, washing and ironing, in short going the extra mile! 

Projects Driving Change: Eco Savvy’s Impact Beyond the Shop

Eco Savvy has been fortunate to receive different types of funding over the years. This allows a variety of project work to take place in addition to the shop’s activities. This has been to reduce waste and to support Arran residents in carbon reduction and in promoting low carbon lifestyles. Most recently the project work includes;

Zero Waste Café – The mobile ‘pop-up’ cafe is a social event offering healthy soup, homebaking and refreshments in Arrans outlying villages. Zero Waste dispensers with bulk goods provide an opportunity to shop packaging free. The cafe makes locally grown veg available and is supported by NAC to provide low cost tinned items. With the use of the e-van the cafe reduces food miles and is a space for fun and informative sustainable food workshops.

Active Travel Hub based in the Ormidale Pavilion on a Tuesday, the staff provide bike maintenance, e-bike loans,  a health walk programme and inclusive cycle skills sessions. Our staff are here to help you with all your active travel enquiries so whether you are cycling, wheeling, walking or bussing, drop by for a cuppa and chat!

Green Islands Net-Zero Project (Phase 1) developed in partnership with North Ayrshire Council. The aim is to support Arran and Cumbrae to accelerate their path to Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2030. A second phase was developed by AES focussing on data to provide an EPC (Energy Performance Certification) assessment service and provide testing of heating and energy saving products.   

Join Us for a Celebration: Earth Day Festivities

Celebrating Earth Day and 10 Years of Eco Savvy in Whiting Bay

Please join our 10 year community shop celebration on Earth Day. Monday 22nd April in Whiting Bay from 12.30 til 4.30pm!

There will be something for everyone! From delicious Zero Waste Café refreshments in the village hall, lots of community shop pre-loved goods available with 10% discount, to the Travel Hub’s e-bikes to try or bring your bike over to get checked by bike mechanic Wally Wallace. 

We also have some fun competitions for you to enter on the day! For example, a ‘Fancy Dress up your Kids Bike’ competition using decorating items from our decoration station in the hall. Plus, our popular ‘Bake Off’ competition – make a showstopper cake (or whatever baked goods you prefer) in the theme of `10 years celebration of Eco Savvy` OR `Earth Day`.

Baking will be displayed in the hall from 12.30 and winners will receive a selection of our community shop eco products. As if that’s not enough, we also are running a one hour health walk stroll starting opposite MBS at 2pm and finishing at the hall at 3pm. There will be lots of information in the hall for those wanting to learn more about and help Arran’s Green Islands Net Zero mission.

Looking Ahead: Towards a Sustainable Future

As we look ahead to the next decade, we invite you to join our mission! Whether through volunteering, participating in projects, or simply embracing sustainable practices in daily life, everyone has a role to play in building a greener, more resilient future. With 10 years behind us, Eco Savvy is ready to embark on the next chapter of our journey towards a more sustainable Arran. Here’s to another 10 years of innovation, collaboration, and positive change!

Eco Savvy is a great place to volunteer, providing variety and support in whatever aspect of AES interests you; the shop, the travel hub, the zero waste café, the green islands project or the reuse/recycle creative workshops. 10 years done, now let’s go for 20!

For more information or to volunteer with a particular project please contact:  – Shop  – Active Travel – Zero Waste Cafe – Green Islands Initiative

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© Arran Eco Savvy 2024