Green Glasgow: 9 reasons why the Scottish city is the perfect place for COP26

Aerial view of Glasgow, Scotland.
Aerial view of Glasgow, Scotland. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By David Gordon
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Whether it's eating out, sight-seeing or shopping, tourists will find plenty of ways to tour the Scottish city in a sustainable way.


The small matter of hosting the biggest climate change conference of our generation, bringing together 30,000 delegates and uniting world leaders, would cause a headache for most cities.

But Glasgow has always been ahead in the environmental stakes and already has a strong commitment to a sustainable future. It was the first city to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index in 2016 and has committed to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Whether they are dining, sight-seeing or shopping between negotiations - delegates, guests and tourists will find plenty of ways to tour the city in a sustainable way at COP26.

We’ve made a list of nine eco-friendly things to do and places to visit to add to your Glasgow itinerary.

9. Visit the ‘Dear Green Place’

Glasgow has nearly 100 parks and gardens in and around the city. The Pollok Country Park has cycle tracks, heritage trails and a herd of Highland Cows. Nearby, Queens Park is a focal point for people on the south side of the city and hosts regular farmers markets and family-friendly events.

The Botanic Garden is renowned for its extensive collections of tropical plants. The Necropolis is a “garden cemetery” which has historic architectural styles and stunning views across the city, while Glasgow Green is where visitors will find the largest terracotta fountain in the world.

Pollok Country ParkCanva

It’s no surprise that the city has the moniker the ‘Dear Green Place’.

8. Get on your bike

Guided and self-guided tours are a great way to see the city on two wheels. OVO bikes have established a bike-sharing scheme from rental points situated across the city.

Their specially curated “Green Route” guides riders to the city’s favourite local eco-friendly businesses while they enjoy a healthy way of discovering the city.

Nicola Sturgeon is an avid cycling campaigner.JANE BARLOW/AFP

7. Walk and talk

There are a number of guided walking tours of the city centre too. They cover the architecture, the city’s industrial routes, the present-day murals, food and drink and some of the less salubrious stories of the past.

It’s a great way to enjoy fresh air and see the city at a slower pace.

Glasgow is a walking cityAFP

6. Stay at a green hotel

Glasgow hotels are making great efforts to become more eco-friendly.

From using locally sourced produce on their menus, to ethically sourced furniture and bedding, they know that guests now appreciate the sustainable model.

The new Maldron Hotel asks staff to bike to work, encourages guests not to use single-use items to reduce waste - and sources local suppliers for food products.

5. Zero waste food shopping

Many shops in the city are supporting zero-waste initiatives. The Good Choice is a social entreprise which sells organic, local, ethical and plastic-free groceries - and customers are encouraged to bring their own containers to refill and cut down on packaging.

The business works with local charities to make good use of any surplus products. Locavore is a similar entreprise which operates on small organic farm sites within 10 miles of Glasgow city centre to supply their network of city shops and a café. This café is also the only fully organic place to eat within Glasgow.

There's also the Zero Waste Market to visit, pictured below.

4. Jump on an electric bus

Transport Provider, First Glasgow, has started to introduce Electric vehicles to its fleet of buses.


The group is currently redeveloping one of its depots into the UK’s largest bus area with charging points. It will have the ability to charge 300 buses on site.

First Glasgow is also on track to introduce 150 electric buses into service by the end of 2022.

Jump on an electric bus to get around in Glasgow.Canva

3. Go veggie

There has been a proliferation of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in recent years in Glasgow. Momo is a vegan café and bar in the Merchant city area which has built a reputation for good vegan food, good beer, good gigs and good times.

The Hug and Pint is renowned for its vegan sharing plates and the conviviality that it offers too. The Asian-inspired menu has been critically acclaimed and combined with a great live music programme has led to the restaurant featuring in many top 10 listings.

Then there’s Milk Café, which was set up as a social entreprise to empower and support refugee and migrant women living in Glasgow. The small eatery supports an ever-growing number of people in the local community.


2. Go to an eco exhibition

The Riverside Museum has curated a display called “Driving out Emissions” which explores the electric vehicle movement and is also developing a programme on ‘Drive for Energy Efficiency’.

The well-established Glasgow Science Centre has also come up with a programme of events around “Our World, Our Impact” with five climate themes looking at Climate Justice, Our Planet, Food, Transport and Travel and Our Green Futures.

1. Shop second-hand

Glasgow has a huge number of vintage and up-cycling shops, which are a great way of combining retail therapy with recycling and allowing consumers to shop guilt-free.

The Clydeside Collective is one such emporium which represents the long and proud history of artists, makers and crafters in the city. 

The store in the centre shows that many items can be reused, recycled, reclaimed and re-sold.

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