By Sam Moir

WE’RE all looking forward to enjoying life after lockdown.

As Scotland’s high streets and malls finally reopen, shoppers and retailers are getting back to business.

Following more than a year of changing rules and regulations, everyone is keen to make the most of the freedoms we took for granted pre-Covid 19.

Shopping is one of the things we’ve had to do very differently to overcome the pandemic. With restrictions easing, it’s something we need to keep doing a little bit differently to help end the climate crisis. We need to buy better.

We’ve all got to do that because the way we’ve been living is unsustainable. The single greatest cause of Scotland’s carbon footprint is all the products and materials which we manufacture, buy, sell, use and throw away. This causes around 80 per cent of the nation’s carbon emissions and requires huge quantities of raw materials, which we don’t have.

The floods, drought and even wildfires we’re experiencing across Scotland illustrate that the climate crisis is not some distant issue lurking on the horizon, it’s already here. We need to act, and we need to act now.

So how can you buy better?

A new survey commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland found that many Scots already know the answer: around two-thirds (69 %) know that buying too much stuff is bad for the environment. A similar number (6%) realise that fast fashion causes environmental harm. Meanwhile 73% agree that buying things secondhand is an important way to help save our planet.

Switching to secondhand and buying products that are designed to last are great ways to shop more sustainably.

The survey was carried out for Revolve, Zero Waste Scotland's national quality assurance scheme for secondhand stores which gives shoppers a guarantee that the wide range of products and customer service meet high standards.

Shopping secondhand doesn’t just help save carbon emissions, it can also save shoppers’ cash and support local businesses and good causes.

Investing in long-lasting products isn’t just about avoiding fast fashion. It also means choosing reusable items instead of single-use wherever possible, from cups and bottles to bags.

Small changes to our shopping habits can make a big difference.

Could you rent rather than buy? A wide variety of outlets let you borrow or lease, including tool libraries and bicycle hire schemes.

Upcycling and repurposing are great ways to give your old things, like furniture, a new lease of life.

Making things last by first reducing and then reusing, repairing, remaking and only finally recycling is what the circular economy does. It’s a key solution to the climate crisis and we all need to be part of it.

Our survey also found that 94% of Scots think it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect the environment. As Scotland prepares to host the COP26 global climate crisis talks later this year, there’s no time to waste.

To find out more about Zero Waste Scotland visit To find out more about Revolve including details of your local store visit

Sam Moir is Programme Manager for Revolve