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Energy-Saving Audit

Energy-Saving Audit

A small example of the creative spark applied to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” competition through Moray College

It’s a catchphrase that will become increasingly important as budget cuts bite across Scotland.  We can throw-up our hands in despair, waste time playing the blame game or all help each other to save money and important resources wherever possible.

As part of various sustainability initiatives at Moray College, we have successfully applied for a competition fund – from Lloyds Banking Group and the College Development Network – that enables us to offer cash prizes for those with the best ideas, as well as communication skills. 

We’re looking for two-minute videos or radio adverts, bullet-pointed lists or text messages, websites or posters that successfully pass on to your fellow-citizens, tips and advice on the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” theme.  These should be aimed at the local context, whilst tying in with the excellent advice available from government sources.  For example, did you know that every tonne of waste in landfill costs Moray Council £64, a price tag set to keep on rising?  Why do people keep buying bottled water when they could just re-fill for free at the nearest tap, or water cooler? 

All entries will receive honourable mentions on this blog and the College website.  Top prize is £300 with four “highly commended” submissions receiving £50 each.  We’ll be carefully checking all the entrants to see what ideas we can share with the community and in the wide range of courses we offer at College, so what you do could make a real difference.

The key criteria are quality and quantity of information communicated on the theme, as well as effectiveness in engaging the audience’s interest, all contributing to positive results.  Your deadline is 8th March, 2013 with entries submitted to Stephen.Duff.Moray@uhi.ac.uk or at College reception.

So, who’s willing to give this a go?  If you don’t enter, you can’t win.  As a wise friend told me recently, “if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

Intro – what’s the point?

Reading Gen Eval I2+

Communicating clearly, concisely and successfully is a vital skill.  Just think of all the situations where reading, writing and speaking matter – here’s just a few for starters:
  • Giving a speech at a wedding – confidently entertaining guests, telling anecdotes and spreading charm
  • Writing a complaint to the Council – staying calm, focused and achieving results
  • Reading a credit card’s small print – avoiding the numerous potential pitfalls of those terms and conditions
  • Marriage (or living with anyone!) – daily interactions where what we say (or ‘forget’ to mention) can break or make relationships
So, literacy is important.  Increasingly, this is recognized by governments who are responding to demands from businesses/organisations for employees already kitted out with the necessary Core Skills.  There is considerable evidence of this need to improve teaching and learning.  One case in point is the

500 businesses (questioned in 2011) of which almost half were found to have paid for remedial English and Maths lessons for school and college leavers.  Similarly, according to a 2009 report by the Literacy Commission, nearly
 one million Scots are/were unable to read and write properly.  Finally, on 29th August 2011, a Cambridge electronic firm – the Prima Group – reported  applications littered with spelling and punctuation mistakes, or that just made little sense.  Here jobs were available but the candidates proved to be simply not suitable.

You see, we are initially judged by our words – what we say or write makes a big impression, which often cannot be corrected after the event.  That’s why it’s worth brushing-up your communication skills and taking on board some expert advice.  If you fix you mind on the prize, prepare yourself to practice systematically and listen to feedback, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve…