I’m in Locavore in Govanhill, a social enterprise trying to build a more sustainable local food community, famous for their excellent veg boxes. Specifically, I'm down the back of the shop where they have tall perspex containers full of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and every type of flour you could dream of (buckwheat anyone? No, me either…). I'm filling up little bags so I can smugly make my own muesli – goji berries, pumpkin seeds, cocoa nibs. We’re not in North Lanarkshire anymore, Toto.

When I was a kid growing up in Airdrie and Coatbridge, we had shops like these but they were called bucket shops. And they didn't exist for the sake of the environment, in fact, all the plastic bags are probably still floating about landfill somewhere now. No, they existed for the sake of economy.

We would go there and my mum would buy just the amount of flour she needed to make some scones. Two spoons of nutmeg for rice pudding. Precisely the amount of red lentils to thicken up a sad soup. When your money is given to you weekly, and designed to be just enough to keep you alive to the penny, you can’t afford to buy even a gram more than you need.

Looking back, my mum was actually a pioneer of zero waste because there was often nothing in our cupboards but a few slices of dry toast by Sunday, eaten on that night dreaming of the next morning when the next benefits book would be cashed. We cut up old clothes for rags. Plastic bags were used for clingfilm and, mortifyingly for eight-year-old me, I was once sent on a school trip with a washed out HP Sauce bottle to drink my orange squash from.

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It seems Scotland is having a moment for wild food and sustainability and not the patchouli-scented kind with knitted hemp knickers and whittled spoons. This weekend saw the fifth annual Scottish Wild Food Festival take place, billed as ‘a gathering and a celebration of wild food and foraging’. I must say, it sounded pretty hip, with long table lunches, activities for kids, including forest school, and workshops on medicinal mushrooms, axe throwing and creating a wild larder. As someone who’ll scratch herself silly in the brambles to come out victorious with enough blackberries for a crumble, I was disappointed to miss it. But I will certainly invest in the festival’s Foraging Recipe Book.

I was interested to learn too that one of the 2022 Scottish influencers of the year was Laura Young. Known on Instagram, where she has 42,000 followers, as @LessWasteLaura, she has been instrumental in campaigning against single use e-cigarettes.

It seems that she has had an impact, because by lobbying and awareness-raising along with other individuals and organisations, it looks very likely that ministers will ban single-use vapes in the UK over health and environmental concerns. The amount of e-cigarettes that are consumed in Scotland over 52 weeks is estimated to be on average 21 to 26 million units, even though many of the lithium polymer batteries commonly used for them could easily be recharged 500 times if the product was designed to so.

Not only that, but Britain is, it seems, far behind the global community when it comes to their legislation around vapes. Last week it was reported that Australia has banned all vaping without a prescription, Germany prohibited flavoured e-cigarettes and New Zealand has outlawed most disposable vapes. So it feels like we're headed in the right direction.

The Herald: Sustainable and tastySustainable and tasty (Image: free)

I have to be honest and tell you, except for recycling my bottles and cans and ditching plastic bags, I've been woefully slow on the uptake of sustainability. It’s only now we’re about to move on to a boat that I realised that single-use products that conserve nature, fuel and water wouldn't be a choice or a signal of virtue but a necessity. In a tiny space where you have to find clever ways to dispose of all your rubbish, where every cup of water is measured by how long you'll have to go to your next water point to fill the tank and every bit of fuel you burn you have to replace yourself in diesel pumped or gas cans lugged onto the boat.

To get myself started, I turned to Zero Waste Scotland who have fantastic resources for anyone wanting to become more sustainable including a list of every plastic-free shop in Scotland (apparently there are at least 51). You can also learn how to have a more sustainable Christmas.

Overall, Zero Waste Scotland provide excellent guidelines to start whether as a citizen or business, slowly, bit by bit, towards less wasteful practices along with some very sobering statistics, such as the fact that, 82% of Scotland’s carbon footprint comes from products, resources and waste materials and 50% of food we bin in our homes is wasted because we didn’t use it on time. So if this is sustainability, for the sake of my son's future, for the sake of the planet, for the sake of my own purse strings too then, sure, I'll make my own muesli and keep it in a Kilner jar.

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After I'm finished at Locavore and I’ve packed my seeds and nuts conscientiously into the canvas bag that I brought along with me, I cross over the road. Because I'm happy, delighted even, to be sustainable and particularly if that involves tasty breakfasts and parties in the woods with campfires and good Scottish whisky.

But I'm also still Scottish, working-class and not made of money. So I'll buy my yoghurt at Lidl. It’s a question of balance.