Hello and welcome to the February edition of the Voice for Arran!
We hope you have had a good start to 2019. At the Voice we are feeling inspired by all community activity going on here and by the many people doing a lot of amazing work, and which is creating the feeling that the potential for Arran to become more sustainable, even self-sufficient in some areas, is increasing. While the UK government remains in deadlock over Brexit and continues to take inconsistent policy positions on climate targets, the folk on Arran in contrast have been getting things together in very tangible ways.
In this issue we report on the work of TAP-Arran, the island’s campaign against single use plastic, which has just been designated Scotland’s first ‘Plastic Free Community’ by the Surfers Against Sewage national campaign. In other exciting news, Eco Savvy and Visit Arran have received funding to start putting their ideas for an on-island waste disposal system into practice. And Arran resident and graphic designer Simon Ross-Gill, shares his vision for how we can all live more sustainably, with an abundance of suggestions for how each of us can find ways to make the island (and world), a more ecologically happy place to be. On his newly launched Arran Green Map, Simon gathers together all the local initiatives, businesses and small scale producers that are working on Arran to make this happen.
We also hear from an ex-Arranite about her recent adventures with the climate action group Extinction Rebellion in Wales. Living and working in Carmarthenshire now, Sue Weaver was instrumental in the early work of both TAP-Arran and Eco Savvy and fundamental to the results of these efforts we see today. Now she is putting her energy and experience into the rapidly growing global movement of XR, alongside the many others who are taking up the call to rebellion in the face of government climate inaction. XR may not have reached Arran yet, but with a UK wide School Strike for Climate happening in the middle of this month, you never know!
Finally we also have Part Two of Sally Campbell’s detailed case study on the effects of the salmon farming company Marine Harvest in different parts of the world, some news from local MP Patricia Gibson and MSP Kenneth Gibson, and some previews for upcoming Arran events.
The stories here show it is a positive and exciting moment for Arran, a geographical point in time where the start of some real change in the way societies are organised might be possible. But perhaps even more motivating is the fact that wherever we may be, when we are either reading about these initiatives or working in practical ways to make a more sustainable future, we are also connected to this same exciting moment. Hope you all have a lovely, frosty February!