November update

Well that is our year up for the NESTA competition as our final report was lodged on the 9th of October and now it’s a case of keeping our fingers crossed in waiting for the results to be announced some time in the New Year!! Of course just because the Big Green Challenge year is up doesn’t mean we stop with our greener habits and go back to leaving all the lights on, washing at 60o and stoking the fires full of coal! Everything over the last year has been a learning experience and we look forward to continue building on everything we have learnt so far to keep on going greener! We have found some things that have worked and others that didn’t and then there was really exciting projects seeing solar panels going up and insulation being fitted. Then we have other projects that are only just beginning like the feasibility study for a car club based in Mallaig for the Small Isles and surrounding area and a study looking at woodfuel business on Eigg. These two projects if they prove viable on completion of the studies will be another exciting venture for the future. In the immediate future we are in the final stages of completing our solar panel pilot. So far we have fitted a solar water heating panel to a household that currently uses kerosene and another that uses coal to heat their water. Now to finish this pilot we need a household that uses solely wood. We will then be able to compare all fuel types and the saving that can be made through monitoring fuel consumption prior and post installation. We will hold a draw at the beginning of December to ascertain the lucky household.      

The insulation programme on the two largest households belonging to the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Laig Farmhouse and Crows Nest have been completed with both tenants looking forward to their first warm winter. Now the insulation programme will continue with the 6 other Trust properties with minor insulation work.

Over the year we have seen some exciting new builds, bringing our population to 96!!

Damian's house      Straw bale build so far

Straw arrival The arrival of the straw

Ben & Joe's     A fine bit of community spirit!!

 Ben & Joe'sRenovation to a ruin by two Eigg born brothers.

Jenny's House    New build with all the up to date technologies

Karl's HouseRound House built from wood sourced on Eigg

Other things on the go is a few events on and off island. Here on Eigg we have a guest speaker booked to come and talk about Peak Oil on Friday the 13th of November. We will be joined by Dr Mandy Meikle of Depletion Scotland who has been giving talks on peak oil for 5 years. Peak oil is the other side of the climate change coin – we talk about reducing carbon when we need to be reducing energy demand. Energy will become more expensive in the future and that means that everything will become more expensive. Communities need to be working on increasing their resilience to future economic changes. On the 23rd of November in Glasgow there is a conference, Human Rights and Climate Change in the Science Centre. Lucy Conway will give a talk and Eigg has also been invited to have a stall for a chance to network. We will share our stall with Eco Drama an exciting Eco Dramainnovative group providing educational shows and workshop to primary schools, high schools, festivals and community venues across Scotland. Uniquely touring in The Magic Van, a vehicle run on renewable bio diesel, Eco Drama aims to liven up core environmental topics and motivate children, young people and the community towards leading greener, healthier lifestyles. From recycling workshops to interactive theatre shows about sustainable living, we engage & educate in the values of caring & being responsible for the natural world.  Eco Drama can even help on your journey to becoming a top class Eco School! For more information have a look at

Two of us will also be going to London for the 19th and 20th of November. NESTA have organised a reception for all the finalists at the House of Commons to celebrate the end of the Big Green Challenge year. Joan Ruddock MP, Minister in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has been invited to give the keynote speech, and the reception will be attended by Members of Parliament and other environmental and climate change stakeholders. There will also be a finalist learning seminar the following day to discuss everyone’s projects in full. It will be a first chance to meet everyone that has worked so hard over the competition year and exciting opportunity to discuss trials and tribulations!

 A few things we have researched for our newsletter on food waste we thought should be shared:

Waste Aware Scotland
Scottish householders throw out around a third of the food we buy and over half of this could have been eaten. Potatoes, apples and salads are dumped in vast numbers but also unopened pots and bottles. According to this campaign this amounts to £410 worth of food per year for the average household.  If we stopped wasting all this food, we could prevent the equivalent of 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year in Scotland. This is the same as taking 1 in 4 cars off the road. Go to:

Another similar campaign, Love Food Hate Waste, helps make some easy changes in your home, and view a range of tips on how to plan, shop, store and cook your food in order to minimise what you need to throw away. The website also includes seasonal hints, tips and recipe ideas.
Go to:

The Fife Diet
The Fife diet is a local food experiment. A number of people from Fife have pledged to eat only locally produced food for a whole year. You can find out how they are getting on at:
Go to:


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