Do you want to live in a way that’s good for the planet and your purse, while supporting communities across Scotland?
The festive season is the perfect time to do a little good for yourself and others, and you don’t need to wait for your New Year’s Resolution to start!
We’ll help you find #CircularSolutions to celebrate and live more sustainably this winter, just follow along with our #CircularSolutions Campaign.
Do you want to:
- Learn a new skill
- Redecorate your home
- Find the perfect Christmas gift
- Support social change
- Live more sustainably?
For one week, Circular Communities Scotland is going to share and celebrate festive #CircularSolutions to all of these and more.
Explore our #CircularSolutions campaign so YOU can let go of any guilt when you spend money, and participate in your community in a way that feels good this winter.
How can I join in with the campaign?
It’s simple. Every day between 28th November – 2nd December we are going to share and celebrate festive #CircularSolutions to the goals below:
- DAY 1 Learn a new skill
- DAY 2 Redecorate your home
- DAY 3 Find the perfect Christmas gift
- DAY 4 Support social change
- DAY 5 Live more sustainably
VISIT our Campaign Page (Yes, this one!) to learn about the circular charities and social enterprises offering #CircularSoltuions. Visit their websites, learn about their work, and get involved!
Hang on a second… what are #CircularSolutions?
A ‘Circular Solution’ is an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint, support communities and help save the planet and your purse, by supporting a ‘circular’ charity or social enterprise in Scotland.
Charities and social enterprises that support the circular economy STOP waste from entering landfill and HELP communities in the process.
Take a look below to see what we mean! ↓↓↓↓
Live more sustainably
You don’t need to wait for your New Year’s Resolution to start living more sustainably. It can be overwhelming to know where to start and can feel like a drop in the ocean to combat climate change, but your actions can and do make a difference, and the mental benefits are huge. Find our #CircularSolutions below!
Sustainable Travel: Circular Solutions
Deciding to travel more sustainably is a small thing you can do with huge environmental and personal benefits. Access to a new bike can be expensive, and confidence cycling on the roads can be hard to build. Thankfully, there are some incredible Scottish charities and social enterprises built to help. Find our #CircularSolutions below!
The Bike Station (Edinburgh and Perth) has been committed to the reuse and recycling of bikes and parts for the past two decades. Bikes are donated to and either refurbished, stripped for parts or recycled. Some bikes are sold in the branches across Edinburgh and Perth while others are used in its community projects like Shifting Gears, which works with individuals who have been traditionally underrepresented or excluded from sustainable travel programmes, offering them access to a refurbished bike, cycling lessons, maintenance classes, social rides and employability opportunities.
You can learn how to fix your own bike, buy a pre-loved, refurbished bike, or get involved in its many community projects with The Bike Station, and get cycling!
Bike for Good (Glasgow) offers cycling lessons which are suitable for all ages and abilities, from complete beginners to competent riders, its skilled instructors are Cycling Scotland accredited and will guide you through the different steps for safe and confident cycling. Bike for Good also supports active travel and skills development with bike loans, maintenance classes, bike programmes and more, and health and wellbeing through group rides and confidence building. Phew!
There are lots more #CircularSolutions to sustainable travel, including engaging with Recycke-a-Bike (Stirling), Cycle Station (Newmilns), and Lochaber Environmental Group’s E-Bike Scheme (Fort William), Transition Black Isle (North Kessock), and Linlithgow Community Development Trust’s West Lothian Cycling Circuit.
Eating Local: Circular Solutions
Want to give back this holiday season? The cost-of-living crisis is impacting communities up and down Scotland. Eating local and sustainable food can feel like something expensive and out of reach, but it is possible to eat local and support local distributers and charities. Find our #CircularSolutions below!
Ullapool Unpacked is all about reducing waste in the small village and port of Ullapool in Northwest Scotland. Set up in a modern trailer, Ullapool Unpacked sells loose, dried food to customers who can buy as much or as little as they need. Even just a teaspoon of a certain spice for one recipe isn’t too small, meaning shoppers can save money by not over-buying.
Ullapool Unpacked aspires to expand to a zero waste food shop, having worked hard to establish the trailer and gain the trust of community members. Local to the area? Pop in and say hi, or check out a zero waste food shop near you.
Transition Stirling’s Stirling Community Food project in partnership with the Kitchen at 44, established Stirling Community Food in March 2020. Now based at 5 Wellgreen Lane in Stirling town centre, Stirling Community Food helps reduce food waste. Instead of supermarkets putting large volumes of excess and near-sell-by-date food in the bin, the project collects this excess food and offers it to everyone in the community for free. Customers can collect many fresh bakery goods, frozen foods and flowers, as well as a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Support social change
This festive season, there are loads of ways to give back to your community. If you want to spread a little joy, and feel good about where you spend your time and money, there are amazing charities and social enterprises that you can support. Check out our #CircularSolutions below!
Somebody Cares (Aberdeen) well-rounded services means it supports a huge variety of clients and social issues from homelessness, domestic violence and trafficking, poverty, unemployment, cancer support, loneliness, wellbeing and more for its communities, all whilst saving tonnes of waste from landfill through its food bank, furniture showrooms, clothing banks and more.
The team provides help over 200,000 times a year, and are fundraising £1,400,000 to purchase its Headquarters and secure the future of the charities work. Donate today.
Merry-Go-Round (Glasgow) not just a one stop shop for ‘all things children and parenting’ up to 5 years of age, Merry-Go-Round hosts a community led events space within its shop and provides free essential starter packs for families who need them. It also hosts free soft play sessions to help families in the cost-of-living crisis, and its Carousel programme is dedicated to families who need a little extra support, including refugee and asylum-seeking parents.
Community Reuse Shop (Stranraer) is often described as a community anchor organisation, as it runs a wide variety of projects, events and activities that give community members opportunities to engage fully in their community, regardless of economic status. It also provides therapeutic volunteering opportunities, employability skills and employment for young and older community members.
Like lots of Circular Communities Scotland members, Community Reuse Shop is an amazing furniture and pre-loved goods shop. Visit the Community Reuse Shop in Stranraer for your stocking fillers, to apply to volunteer, or find a similar organisation near you with our members map!
All of today’s featured members are in our 2022 Impact Report, focusing on our members impact throughout 2022, both environmentally and socially. View our Impact Report to learn more.
Find the perfect Christmas gift
The winter holiday season is here, and finding the perfect gift for your loved ones is top priority. Buying from the high street directly impacts the planet, and promotes poor labour conditions, with little to no social benefits. Check out our #CircularSolutions below!
Green Hive (Nairn) is an impactful, environmental community charity, with innovative and sustainable products, services, and solutions to local and environmental issues. Projects include the Green Hive Expertise Workshop which repurposes plastics, hosts an arts studio and sells upcycled products.
Discover Green Hive’s online shop and buy a piece of its incredible work, from reclaimed fabric tote bags, to upcycled plastic bird houses, bowls, clocks, coasters and more.
Govanhill Baths (Glasgow) Rags to Riches is an award-winning upcycling social enterprise that uses waste to promote environmental sustainability, community engagement and education within Glasgow and the surrounding areas. Its online shop is a hub for innovative zero-waste products and creative upcycling workshops.
Choose from a beautiful selection of upcycled textiles, recycled plastics, or repurposed wood. From one of a kind tote-bags, to earrings, bowls, candle holders, planters and chopping boards, it’s the perfect shop for modern, stylish gifts.
COPE Ltd (Shetland) is a well-established and successful social enterprise and charity which provides employment and skill development for adults with learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorders. It has four enterprises, including Shetland Home Co, Shetland Soap Company and Shetland Garden Co.
Buy handmade soap and skincare products that are inspired by the beautiful Shetland islands from the Shetland Soap Company, and support an ethical and sustainable business that provides a supportive work environment free from stigma and discrimination.
There are plenty more charities and social enterprises across Scotland which provide sustainable gift shopping alternatives, like Stirling Reuse Hub’s makers who craft bespoke pieces working in ‘Maker Pods’. They each bring their own style and creative skill to upcycling and repurposing. You can shop in person, or shop for pieces in the Stirling Reuse Hub online shop.
Check out our members map to find more sustainable Christmas shopping experiences near you.
Redecorate your home
Do you have a small, or ambitious DIY project you’d like to do before your friends and family come to stay for the holidays, but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’re worried about costs, your skill set, finding the right pieces or décor, or handling DIY tools. Check out our #CircularSolutions below!
Circular Solutions: DIY Tools and Skills
Tool libraries are libraries where you can borrow from an extensive list of tools and equipment to do up your home, or for any project you have. No buying new, or spending your hard-earned money and taking up storage space for something you’ll only use a handful of times! There are amazing sharing libraries up and down the country, including our members:
Recykillin (Perth and Kinross)
All of these tool libraries are easy to access online. Simply visit their websites and discover a world of equipment and items at your fingertips. Many also have in person lessons on how to use equipment, health and safety, as well as community focused events and pop ups for you to get involved in.
Circular Solutions: Decorating
Decorating and finding the right pieces to fit your vision can be tricky. Is browsing for expensive furniture online putting you off? Maybe you want your items to be bespoke, handmade, or you simply don’t want cheap pieces that will fall apart to make your home extra cosy this Christmas. Check out our #CircularSolutions below!
Instant Neighbour (Aberdeen) supports people on low incomes to set up home, by providing access to low-cost reuse furniture, white goods, clothing and decor. As well as its shops, its services include carpentry and joinery (from fitting kitchens to cat flaps), that are accessible to everyone.
Instant Neighbour also has an online shop of all its pre-loved items. If you live in the delivery radius and would like to buy pre-loved items at affordable prices without having to leave the house, you can.
Lots of our members offer shopping for furniture and home goods in person and online, with profits going back into the community and charities themselves. Why not take a look at the Castle Furniture Project (Cupar), the Community Reuse Shop (Stranraer), ILM Highland (Highlands), COPE Ltd (Shetland) or visit our members map to find more like this near you.
Glasgow Wood creates valuable opportunities for people in its local community and diverts precious timber from landfill in the process. With a stunning array of hand-crafted furniture made of reclaimed timber, its pieces are built to last a lifetime, which you can buy from its online shop, or order a bespoke piece just for you.
You can also buy eco-friendly, children and pet friendly paint from Nest Creative Spaces (Blairgowrie).
Learn a New Skill
Interested in learning a new skill but not sure where to start? Maybe buying the equipment you need is too expensive, you’re not sure where to find lessons, or think accessibility may be an issue. Get started on your New Year’s Resolution early by checking out our #CircularSolutions below!
Music Broth (Glasgow) is a musical instrument library, with different memberships suited to individuals, families, bands and organisations. Not sure you can afford it? Music Broth is happy to support those for whom membership costs may be a barrier.
Music Broth also hosts lessons both on and offline, as well as lots of other workshops. Sign up to the Music Broth Newsletter to find out when they are happening.
The Piano Project CIC (Glasgow) repairs, restores, tunes, and decorates piano donations from its Shawlands workspace. Acoustic pianos are open for sale and hire by appointment. The Piano Project aims to connect people and pianos with flexible payment plans.
The Buzz Project (Lochaber) supports young people in remote areas to learn new music skills. It has an office with training facilities, a high street shop used as a music and arts venue and an adapted bus with music studio and a learning, social space, which is taken out to remote areas where young people can jam for fun, learn to play an instrument and record music.
ReMode (Paisley) has an extensive education, outreach and volunteer programme which delivers workshops and events designed to both teach practical skills that extend the life of garments and fabric, as well as raising awareness and increasing agency in response to climate change.
Workshops include: ‘Meddle and Mend’ to extend the life of their garments. ‘Recycle or Dye’, where young people forage for leaves and berries and learn techniques around natural dyeing and botanical printing. ‘Open Mic and Makes’, a youth-led programme about climate change and motivating action. ‘Clout!’ A Zine making project and ‘Whether the Weather’ which looks at the history and future of weatherproof clothing.
Stitch the Gap’s (Glasgow) vision is to have a direct impact on climate change by equipping individuals with the sewing machine skills to reduce, recycle and repurpose fabric. Get involved by volunteering, donating or attending its ‘term time’ classes to suit all levels with flexible booking, including for children, adults, and an option for fully funded, free classes, too.
Falkirk Sewing Studio’s (Falkirk) spacious studio provides the right environment to promote sewing and other creative art and craft activities for newcomers, women, children, minority groups including ethnic minorities, LGBTQI+ and anyone who feels they would benefit from inclusion in the project, offering an array of classes. Falkirk Sewing Studio also offers low cost-studio space and training for those who wish to pursue a career in sewing and tailoring.
Circular Solution: Getting Crafty
Edinburgh Remakery (Edinburgh) is an award-winning environmental social enterprise committed to diverting waste from landfill, building a stronger community, and promoting a culture of repair and reuse. With an unrivalled array of workshops to attend, there really is something for everyone. Choose from book sculpture, marbling, making clutch bags, dog coats, stamp making, mono-printing, sewing, kintsugi and more.
Nest Creative Spaces (Blairgowrie) is a creative community hub committed to improving wellbeing and reducing loneliness through crafts, all while keeping perfectly good, reusable material out of landfill. With thoughtful, seasonal crafting events hosted regularly, this time of year offers wreath making, jewellery making, Christmas card and bunting crafts, and gift bags and tags.
Make Do & Grow (Glasgow) has a children’s shop, toy library and hosts creative classes for parents, children and carers. With everything from ‘Toddler Crafts’ right up to ‘Family Art Club’, there’s opportunities for children of all ages and their parents to learn how to design, play, deliver and evaluate the arts. Seasonal events are also on offer and run year-round.
You can also get crafting with Stirling Reuse Hub (Stirling), Tayside Upcycling (Perth), Remake Scotland (Crieff), Grantown Remakery (Grantown-on-Spey), Govanhill Baths (Glasgow), Ace Remakery (Alloa) and more Circular Communities Scotland members near you, in our members map.
Want to be inspired in the Arts before you jump in?
Get inspired with the amazing array of events, festivals and projects on at Shetland Arts, which aims to place the arts at the heart of Shetland, to educate, promote, support and develop the practice and enjoyment of the arts by all. You can donate to support artists, too.
Learn about circularity in the arts and sustainable art practises, from the Sculpture Placement Group and Circular Arts Network. Hear from artists drawing on their experiences collecting materials, sharing skills and the overlaps between different creative disciplines.
Thank you to everyone who joined in with our #CircularSolutions Campaign. We’re pleased to bring attention to our amazing members, who provide environmentally conscious and sustainable alternatives to almost any occasion!