Green awards launched in region

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THE search is on for the Borders’ greenest community.

A new Green Together Community Award scheme is inviting towns and villages who have taken environmental action to enter the contest.

The awards, to mark the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013, are part of the Scottish Government’s national campaign, Greener Together.

Scottish Government environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: “There’s no better time than the Year of Natural Scotland, to recognise and reward the achievements of our hard-working communities who are playing their part in making Scotland a greener, cleaner place to live.

“Greener living has many benefits for individuals, families and Scotland as a whole.

“Many Scottish communities are doing fantastic work to conserve, protect and enhance our natural environment – that is something we should all be proud of.

“The Greener Together Community Awards is the perfect platform to recognise their successes on the national stage.”

Winners will be presented with a Greener Together Community plaque produced by award-winning artist Kate Ive.

Ms Ive is the current medallist for the British Art Medal Society, working with the British Museum, Victoria & Albert and Royal Mint.

Her recent work includes a City of Edinburgh Council commission for Pirniehall Primary School and the Edinburgh Promenade Rubbings Trail.

To be eligible, the community project or initiative must be a operating currently and related to green home energy, travel, local in-season food, reducing or avoiding food waste, reducing consumption or increasing recycling and showing the positive effects of the scheme.

There will be a second phase of nominations for the Greener Together Awards later this year.

Nominations for the Greener Together Community Awards can be submitted online at greenerscotland.org as part of the first phase of the initiative.

A panel of judges, including representatives from the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Vegware, will decide on the winning five projects.

A variety of organisations are supporting the campaign, including WWF Scotland, Energy Saving Trust, Zero Waste Scotland, COSLA, Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre, Consumer Focus Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Retail Consortium and Citizens Advice Direct.