Category Archives: news

LEAP update

You may have noticed some changes at LEAP this past month.

LEAP have not received support from Scottish Government Keep Scotland Beautiful Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) this year. This has unfortunately meant some changes in our team and impacted the support available to our communities.

We had hoped Climate Challenge Fund would support our planned Brighter Warmer Renfrewshire Project including activities for energy advice in local homes, environmental education with schools and groups, and a focus on single use plastic and litter reduction in Renfrewshire. This outcome has resulted in 8 valuable dedicated members of LEAP team being subject to compulsory redundancy.

Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP) SCIO (SC044019) voluntary Board of Trustees continue to run LEAP as an environmental charity and social enterprise. LEAP Carclub and LEAP business consultancy continue long-term as sustainable social enterprises. In the short-term our energy team will continue to deliver our committed energy efficiency measures for those at risk of or living in fuel poverty. We will endeavour to secure further funding to continue to deliver this very valuable and needed work for those most vulnerable in our communities.

We are committed to our dedicated practical climate change action through supporting individuals, families, groups, organisations and businesses across Renfrewshire to reduce our carbon footprints. We are actively seeking new business and funding opportunities to support this work into the future. Our huge thanks to our fantastic LEAP Team over the years, all our voluntary board of trustees past and present, and all of you in our communities who have taken part, supported and inspired us to collaboratively deliver our actions on climate change.

Any questions, ideas or joint working opportunities, please do get in touch!

Thank you

Edhan’s Blog: A Change in Recycling Bins

On the 15th of January together with LEAP I visited with Renfrewshire Council at Renfrewshire Recycling Centre in Paisley. This was to gather more information surrounding the change in bins regarding the new green and blue split recycling system, to allow us to understand and spread the reasons why this change has been made. The reason Renfrewshire Council now separates paper, card, and cardboard recyclables from plastic, cans, and glass is due to the council now sending these different recyclable materials to different recycling plants. This is designed to reduce cross-contamination and increase overall levels of household recycling. This aligns with Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan to reduce the overall waste going to landfill and increase the percentage of waste recycled. Renfrewshire Council household recycling rate is currently 47.8% by weight, at time of print, with the target being 70% by 2025. League tables of household recycling rates per council are regularly published by SEPA so you can compare how different council areas are doing.

For everyone, of course, this is a learning process and we learned that common mistakes can be made with wrong items going in the wrong bins. There is an item search facility on the Renfrewshire Council website where you can search for common items and which bin they should go in. I asked what were the main issues found with things in the wrong bins and some common items were Pringles tubes and other similar products made from mixed materials joined together which cannot be recycled, shredded paper which should be composted or put in the grey waste bin if you don’t home compost, garden items such as plastic pots being put in garden waste, and plastic bags which can be recycled locally at supermarkets but not in the council bins. In the context of recycling and garden waste, there is an issue if you put grass clippings and general recycling into plastic bags before putting it into the bin itself. This means that the contents of the bag can no longer be processed as recycling or garden waste and must be put into landfill.  This can be frustrating for everyone involved, it is an easy mistake to make but try to avoid placing items for recycling and garden waste into bin bags.

After picking up your bins your waste goes through further screening processes to reduce contamination. These include hand picking and processing machines to increase further the amount of waste that is recycled. The waste is randomly sampled at processing facilities and the council are charged for contaminated waste within a percentage band of contamination – this charge increases with the percentage. At time of print this percentage is 17% for Renfrewshire Council. So it makes financial sense for us all to reduce the amount of waste cross-contaminated and going to landfill, as this would mean less council budget being spent on waste, and more available for other services.

It was also interesting to find out the challenges that the Renfrewshire council face with waste. Around 30% of households in Renfrewshire do not have a single entrance front and back door per property, for example high-rise flats and terraced housing with closes. This can produce waste storage issues where high densities of people live. To support the rollout of the new bins Renfrewshire Council surveyed residents living in these homes (~18,000) to ask for their contributions to developing solutions and some examples include shared bins allocated where appropriate to allow more space in shared outdoor spaces, and the option of a half bin if residents tend to not fill a full bin on a regular basis, these options can all be replaced by individual bins on request if you subsequently need to. There is also the exception given to larger families or families with three or more children in nappies; a 60L bin if required. Renfrewshire Council have waste officers who will work with individual households on request so if you have any specific bin issues to your household you should get in touch with them.

Next month I will be writing about my diet and being beef and dairy free, the challenges involved, and thoughts on why we might all make a move towards veganism.

Thanks for reading.

Edhan.

Scotland’s 2025 waste goals:- https://www.gov.scot/policies/managing-waste/

Renfrewshire Bins Webpage:- http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/2155/Bins-and-recycling

What is LEAP and who am I?

Edhan for LEAP energyLEAP is a charitable, non-profit making organisation operating throughout Renfrewshire, delivering carbon cutting projects and initiatives which offer cost saving in your home and encourage people to take positive action within their own lives for the environment. Established nearly 10 years ago, LEAP was set up when climate change was a more marginal issue.  As LEAP has grown so too has the public awareness about the impact of climate change on the environment. LEAP also focuses on helping people on lower incomes, tackling fuel poverty in local areas, reducing people’s energy bills which also in turn links to climate change.

In partnership with LEAP I will be writing about various topics throughout the year. I’m Edhan, I’m 20 years old and currently in my third year at St. Andrews University studying Geography with a focus on human impacts and sustainability. I grew up in Lochwinnoch and have always been keen to be involved in projects close to my heart near to home.   I am going to be releasing articles on the LEAP website every month, talking about up-and-coming projects and ways in which you can make small changes to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

This month I’d like to talk a bit about what I found out when I visited the LEAP team at their Bridge of Weir office, to understand better what they do locally.

One of LEAP’s main services is to carry out Home Energy Checks in people’s homes. These are free of charge and take around an hour, they involve one of LEAP’s energy advisors coming to your house to assess ways in which you could make your home more energy efficient. These changes in the home can often be subsidised or made free with government and other grant funding.  LEAP is able to offer a variety of subsidised solutions from insulation and draught proofing to making changes in energy sources which I will go on to speak about in more detail in future months. These home energy checks are very worthwhile and I would encourage anyone to take advantage of having one done in your home as soon as possible. They reduce your own home carbon footprint as well as saving you money and make your home more comfortable to live in. Simply get in contact with LEAP and express an interest!

I have also found LEAP very capable of providing advice on energy use in the home, encouraging people to use different sources of energy such as heat pumps, solar panels, wind turbines and even grants to change old, inefficient boilers. The organisation also works alongside Citrus energy, a social enterprise energy comparison site, which removes the bias which can be found on other comparison sites due to the pressure of the larger energy suppliers, and really does find the best value energy plan for you.

Another area of LEAP’s community work is the Car Club – the road to car freedom! This allows members of the community to hire electric and hybrid cars by the hour.  These cars often have a much lower carbon footprint compared to each individual owning vehicles and avoiding the added costs and hassles of car ownership. There is a lot of evidence to show this has a positive effect on the environment, members are more likely to take public transport and more conscious of journeys they are making and if they are necessary or could be done on foot or bike. Along with the Car Club, LEAP is also promoting more bike use with an E-bike scheme as well as bike swaps which have been very successful organised across Renfrewshire.

LEAP is a great project to get involved with, they work alongside many other sustainable living organisations within Renfrewshire and beyond;

Over the coming months I will be writing about many different topics linked with LEAP and sustainable living;

  • Recycling and the change in bins
  • Dietary choices and going Cow free
  • Eco bricks
  • Palm Oil
  • Dog Food and Insects
  • Gum drop bins
  • Single use plastics
  • Sustainable home living: what works?
  • Music Broth musical instrument library
  • Tree Planting and Conservation with EADHA
  • Tradable energy quotas
  • Sustainable Christmas

Look out for my next article on Recycling and the new Renfrewshire bin scheme!

Edhan

KLAS Care CiC Energy Efficient Family Centre opens with LEAP support

KLAS Care C.I.C Linwood Family Centre official opening took place this Weds 12th Sept.

We at LEAP are delighted to have been part of the journey to creating this beautiful eco-refurbished space for flexible childcare supporting Linwood families and the wider community. We started our joint working with KLAS Care on this project way back in 2016 securing funds through British Airways Carbon Fund and PureLeapfrog to carry out eco-refurbishment and energy efficiency upgrades to the former East Fulton Primary School Janitors house; the bungalow which KLAS Care obtained through council asset transfer after it had lain derelict for many years.

Through the skills and determination of KLAS Care directors Lesley Compston and Kirsty McKenzie; match funding and securing further investment against the initial BA Carbon Funding through LEAP meant the project could grow and add an extension to the building and transform it into the fantastic hub it now is, for childcare and the wider Linwood community. Well done all at KLAS Care C.I.C!

Don’t forget our LEAP Linwood Family Support Project offers free practical assistance focused on Linwood and Johnstone residents who are struggling with fuel bills and comfort at home. If you think you or someone you know could benefit from this programme, please contact LEAP in confidence via our contact form or call us on 01505 612 034.

LEAP Linwood Family Support Project

LEAP Linwood Family Support Project offers free practical assistance focused on Linwood and Johnstone residents who are struggling with fuel bills and comfort at home.

Supported through Scottish Power Energy People Trust, the programme aims to reach a minimum of 80 households in partnership with KLAS Care CiC.

If you or anyone in your family is struggling with fuel bills, health conditions, or living in cold, damp, or draughty homes  LEAP’s Energy team will carry out practical actions to help to improve your home’s warmth and comfort and save money in the long term.

The types of FREE practical energy efficiency actions LEAP can provide may include fitting draught strips, letterbox/ keyhole seals, chimney balloons, minor repairs (structural draught proofing), pipe lagging, tank jackets, window seals, secondary glazing, loft insulation including coombed ceilings or tricky areas, loft hatches, and introducing the use of low energy/LED light bulbs, power down plugs, energy monitors and radiator panels to reduce the energy used for heating and lighting in the home. 

If you think you or someone you know could benefit from this programme, please contact LEAP in confidence by email to ruth@myleapproject.org via our website contact form or call us on 01505 612 034.

LEAP will consider and support everyone who gets in touch and if you are ineligible for this specific programme LEAP can provide other help, advice or referrals.

We’ve updated our Privacy Policy

At Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP) we are committed to protecting your personal data and to handling it responsibly. 

Because of the new data protection law that’s coming in on 25th May – ‘the General Data Protection Regulation’ (GDPR), we’ve updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about what we do with your personal data and about your rights. 

You can click here to see our new Policy and if you have any questions or concerns about how we use your personal information please contact us.

Bike Swap Lochwinnoch – Saturday 2nd September

The next Bike Swap event is on this Saturday 2nd September, at Castle Semple Loch in Lochwinnoch, from 12pm to 3pm.

What’s a Bike Swap?
It’s as simple as it sounds. You bring in an bike that no longer suits you and leave with one that does. Swap an adult bike for a kid’s bike; a mountain bike for a road racer – whatever works for you.


If you don’t have a bike at the moment, that’s ok. Come at the end of the session and take a look at what we have left over to see if we have one to suit you.

Is it just swapping bikes?
No, there’s more – we have guided cycles, bike maintenance workshops, bike safety checks and more all happening during the swap with the brilliant team from RT Cycles.

Well that all seems too good to be true, what’s the catch?
No catch. By taking part you’re actually helping us achieve our goals:
1. To promote healthy living and get more people on their bikes
2. To help people learn to take care of their bikes so they can ride them safely
3. To help the environment by saving bikes from landfill, and encouraging people to choose a bike over a car.

Alright, I’m in – how do I get involved?
To sign up, or for more information, email lesley@myleapproject.org or phone 01505 842530. See you on Saturday!

Save

Lochwinnoch Primary School World at Work and Thermal Image Competition

Alasdair and Jen had a great time at Lochwinnoch Primary School World at Work week. Thanks to all the students and teachers for making us feel welcome and asking lots of interesting questions.

We brought in our Thermal Imaging cameras for students to try them out and talked with all the classes about Thermal Imaging and it’s many uses and in particular how LEAP use it to help people locally to find where heat is escaping from their homes.

We also held a Thermal Image Competition where students drew a picture of their own homes and where they thought heat might be escaping.

The overall competition winners are Reece Munro (P4), Daisy Guidiatis (P2T) and Kier Sheradan (P2T). Congratulations!

It was really tough choosing winners as we had such fantastic entries, check out all our entries in the wee video clip below.

If you’d like us to come and take thermal images of your home to help find any issues such as cold spots, damp, blocked pipes, air locked radiators, structural damage or heat escaping, we’d be very happy to, please just contact us.

If you’d like us to come and talk to your school or group we’d be very happy to, please just contact us.

Swish Event – Sat 1st July 7pm – McKillop Institute

Clothes swap event with hands-on workshops, film screenings and refreshments.

Tickets – suggested donation of £2

Donate gently worn or new clothing, shoes or accessories in return for tokens – 1 garment/item in return for 1 token which you can spend in our Swish boutique on the night! Please drop off your donations and collect your tokens at ReMode, High Street, Lochwinnoch, PA12 4AB before the night – see our opening times on ReMode Lochwinnoch Facebook.

Also you can take part in one of our hands-on ‘Meddle and Make’ workshops from 6-7.30pm, gain some ‘make’ skills and find out more about how we can all love our clothes that little bit more! These can be booked via this link:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/remode-swish-hands-on-workshops-tickets-34820758827.

B.Y.O.B (for 18yrs plus)

BikeSwap, Castle Semple Loch, Lochwinnoch, Sun 19th March (1-3pm)

Old outgrown bike lying unloved in the garage? Looking for a replacement bike? Donate your old bike to be used by someone else or bring it along to SWAP for another. No bike to swap? Come along at 2.30pm to see if we have one that suits you.

While you’re there learn how to do a basic safety check on your bike with RT Cycles. For more information visit www.facebook.com/myleapproject, call 01505 842530, or email susie@myleapproject.org.

LEAP projects benefit from new Climate Challenge Fund Awards!

More than one hundred organisations across Scotland are to benefit from almost £10 million of funding to support local action to tackle climate change, and two of LEAP’s projects are included!

Project number 1 is YEP! (Youth Engagement Programme) which will include the ReMode shop. The shop will continue to produce and trade redesigned clothing, as well as holding a learning hub and workshop space.

YEP! is devised by and for young people across six rural Renfrewshire communities and will develop ReMode as a circular economy enterprise engaging the young and wider community in workshops, pop-up events and social gatherings to achieve textile waste reduction. The project has been awarded a fantastic £77,990!

Project number 2 is Brighter Warmer Renfrewshire, which is going to be run by the energy team at LEAP. It will support individuals, families and community groups across Renfrewshire to improve home energy efficiency, helping to reduce carbon emissions and tackle both fuel poverty and climate change.

Brighter Warmer Renfrewshire will also help people to gain new skills and work together to make better use of the resources they have to realise a vision of a Brighter, Warmer Renfrewshire. This amazing project has been awarded £148,900.

It’s fantastic news for the team, as it means we can continue and extend our work over the next year, but it’s also great news for the communities who will directly benefit from the funding.

Join LEAP Car Club Now and receive £25 worth of free driving

LEAP Car Club offers convenient, 24/7, not-for-profit community car hire and can help you cut the costs of driving. Cars can be hired for as little as an hour or for as long as you want. The Car Club has helped members by allowing them to sell additional cars or to not have to buy one. What our members say:

  • “Reliable cars there when I need them.”
  • “For someone who does not own a car it is very useful to have access to a car at any time for short periods.”
  • “It is so easy to book online. Great value for money too.”

To find out more contact Car Club Coordinator Mike Callaghan T: 01505 842530 E: mike@myleapproject.org

LEAP supports residents to MAKE IT HAPPEN

LEAP has launched ‘Making It Happen’ – a programme of FREE practical assistance for Renfrewshire Residents who are struggling with fuel bills and comfort at home this winter. Supported through Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty Programme, the service aims to reach a minimum of 80 fuel poor and vulnerable persons, who are struggling with fuel bills, health conditions, or living in cold, damp, or draughty homes, across urban and rural Renfrewshire by 31st March 2017.

A Lochwinnoch resident who has already benefited from the ‘Making it Happen’ service recently commented, “Thank you so much for fixing my house door so quickly, I can’t believe the difference it has made it is so much warmer, and no more howling wind and water getting in. My family and I are delighted”

LEAP’s Energy team will carry out practical actions to help to improve warmth and save money in the long term The types of FREE practical energy efficiency actions LEAP can provide may include fitting draught strips, letterbox/ keyhole seals, chimney balloons, minor repairs (structural draught proofing), pipe lagging, tank jackets, window seals, secondary glazing, loft insulation including coombed ceilings or tricky areas, loft hatches, and introducing the use of low energy/LED light bulbs, power down plugs, energy monitors and radiator panels to reduce the energy used for heating and lighting in the home.

Don’t delay, get in touch. If you think you or someone you know could benefit from this programme, and you are Renfrewshire Residents then please contact LEAP in confidence by email to energy@myleapproject.org, via our website or call 01505 612 034. LEAP will consider and assess everyone who contacts them and if anyone is ineligible for this programme LEAP may be able to provide other help, advice or referrals.

LEAP – Making It Happen – FREE Practical Help for Renfrewshire Households

LEAP has launched ‘Making It Happen’ – a Renfrewshire-wide programme of FREE practical assistance for residents who are struggling with fuel bills and comfort at home this winter.

Supported through Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty Programme, the service aims to reach a minimum of 80 fuel poor and vulnerable persons, who are struggling with fuel bills, health conditions, or living in cold, damp, or draughty homes, across urban and rural Renfrewshire by 31st March 2017.  LEAP’s Energy team will carry out practical actions to help to improve warmth and save money in the long term.

The types of FREE practical energy efficiency actions LEAP can provide may include fitting draught strips, letterbox/ keyhole seals, chimney balloons, minor repairs (structural draught proofing), pipe lagging, tank jackets, window seals, secondary glazing, loft insulation including coombed ceilings or tricky areas, loft hatches, and introducing the use of low energy/LED light bulbs, power down plugs, energy monitors and radiator panels to reduce the energy used for heating and lighting in the home. 

If you think you or someone you know could benefit from this programme, please contact LEAP in confidence by email to energy@myleapproject.org, via our website click here or call 01505 612 034.

LEAP will consider and assess everyone who contacts them and if anyone is ineligible for this programme LEAP may be able to provide other help, advice or referrals.

We anticipate being oversubscribed, so don’t delay, get in touch!

Top Tips for Keeping Warm and saving money this Christmas

As winter starts to bite, LEAP has prepared a few tips to help you to manage the winter months and energy bills in your home through the Festive Season.

– Check your heating programmer/ timer and make sure it’s coming on at appropriate times for the colder weather. £150 per year can be saved by only having your heating on when needed.

– Adjust your thermal radiator valves – using the heating controls appropriately can help you to heat the areas of the home that are needed.

– Measure your room temperature – the recommended temperature for a room thermostat is between 18 and 21o C. Turning your thermostat down by just 1o C could save you £85 per year

– Maximise heat from your radiators with radiator reflective panels. These foil sheets fit down the back of radiators and reflect heat back into the room, meaning you get more heat from your radiators for less money. Come and get yours from our LEAP shops.

– Switch lighting off– we need more lights on for longer periods in the winter, but don’t forget to switch them off. £15 per year can be saved by switching lights off when not in use. For even better savings switch to LED lightbulbs available from our LEAP shops.

– Draught proofing your home – gaps around windows and doors allow heat to escape and let the cold draughts in. Heavy thermal lined curtains will help to keep the heat in. Draught proofing of windows, doors, letterboxes and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can save up to 13% of your heating bill each year. If you’re struggling with time and skills to draught proof we can do it for you.

For further information and advice or to purchase your radiator panels, chimney balloons and LED bulbs, contact LEAP Energy Advisors on 01505 612 034, email info@myleapproject.org or visit our shops at Advance place, Bridge of Weir or Church St, Lochwinnoch. Visit www.myleapproject.org/contact.