A Key Moment for The 2 Minute Foundation

The 2 Minute Foundation has appointed its new CEO, Nicky Green. She takes over from Founder, Martin Dorey, to propel the charity’s strategic aims into this crucial decade for climate action.

The newly formed core team brimming with passion, heart and fresh ideas, will take its followers on a journey to help clean up the planet together – 2 minutes at a time.  

Nicky is no stranger to 2 Minute. In 2010, she joined Martin’s writing business and was at the side-lines when it all started but it was in 2015 that her background in project management and communications set her in good stead to first work on stations and online shop sales. As the concept grew, she took on the corporate relations, new business, accounts, recruitment of the wider team, then headed up the operations as COO when The 2 Minute Foundation was set up in 2019 and was instrumental in navigating the charity through the pandemic.

Nicky and Martin have seen a lot of growth and change over the past 12 years – a point that was raised at the charity’s Q1 meeting. Nicky addressed the trustee board and Martin with a personal speech:

I’m conscious that I’m following in the footsteps (or a nice pair of brogues) of celebrity and founder of #2MinuteBeachClean Martin Dorey who’s actions have inspired thousands of individuals over the years.

I will approach this new role, of which I am the custodian, with a clear head, honest dialogue, steady plan, integrity, authenticity and commitment.

It’s an empty phrase to say it’s an honour to take on this role. I feel it is my purpose to be working in this space. I care personally. The team is now full of competent people who I trust, and I will build them up as we grow to help them illuminate their own paths.

I want to thank  Martin for giving me this opportunity in the first place! Sleep deprived with a 1-year-old, I went for an interview back in 2010 and got the job. I did my 1 days’ work, went home to be Mum for the rest of the week and did the same each week for 4 years.

It was in 2015, a year after the first #2MinuteBeachClean post, that my ears pricked up at a conversation Martin had with Dolly about the traction of the hashtag. It was growing. Really fast. I wanted to be part of it. From the many offices we have shared (from garden shed to kitchen table) Martin  allowed me to spread my wings, built me up and allowed me to progress in a career I never thought I’d ever have after having my 2 girls.

At times we have disagreed – it’s no lie…but we are both head strong and determined which I believe has contributed to the success of the charity since 2019. But I look back at the 12 years with fondness and friendship and I look forward to a pint in the near future.

Martin leaves behind a lasting legacy that will continue to create a ripple effect for generations to come, not only from that very first hashtag, which is still growing at an exponential rate, but also through his awe inspiring children’s books. I am proud to have worked for Martin, and with him. He sparked a whole movement that ignited the globe into direct action and that simple act appeals to young and old. I read this that was apt regarding Martin’s tenure: “Human ingenuity is the ultimate renewable resource”.

Martin – I’ll steer this ship that was built by you . Its foundations are made from blood, sweat and tears, passion, heart and a deep love and respect for the natural world.

As Dolly would say – it’s been a helluva ride. Enjoy your next adventure!

Martin will become trustee of The 2 Minute Foundation and will sit on the board alongside the 7 other trustees – brimming with expertise.

The continuing strategy led by Nicky will drive The 2 Minute Foundation’s litter picking app to be a leader in its field, grow the 2 Minute Beach School offering and take it inland, launch the Academy where students can achieve accreditation to support them on their career paths into the sector, and nurture and support the existing Guardian Angel cohort for those dedicated volunteers to spread the 2 Minute ethos to their communities. All of the activations aim to inspire and educate the general public on the impact that plastics have on the environment and to mitigate plastics reaching inland watercourses, that eventually lead to the sea.

“The ocean is our greatest ally in combatting climate change” says Nicky. “It’s the biggest carbon sink on the planet, constantly sucking up naturally occurring carbon, and since the Industrial revolution, the carbon from burning fossil fuels. The microscopic plants and organisms in the ocean photosynthesise to give us oxygen – it’s brimming with life and biodiversity. So, by adding in a heady mix of anthropogenic plastics that find their way into the ocean at an alarming rate, and after years of leaching chemicals into the atmosphere or breaking up into smaller pieces (microplastics), the misuse of, and single use of plastic abuses the very thing that gives us life’.

The charity will issue an annual impact report to share with its followers, prospects and partners, take The 2 Minute station concept overseas, work on an overhaul of its growing campaigns and work on an internal training drive for the talented team of marketeers, teachers, campaigners, plastic-free experts, marine biologists, data analysts, app builders, designers, social media heroes and fundraisers.

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The 2 Minute Foundation Academy

The 2 Minute Foundation Academy is dedicated to education. Under the Academy umbrella, we offer all sorts of programmes, catering for everyone from school groups to hen parties, and from beach clean volunteers to corporate away days.

Some of the Academy branches are already thriving and successful, while others are still in the planning stage. We’re raising money to continue building and progressing The 2 Minute Academy.

Training academy

A 1-2 year programme offering learning, both on the ground or online. Our training academy courses are suitable for anyone: from teens doing their D of E award, to adults, from people in employment to retirees and from people looking for a change of career to those who just want to expand their environmental knowledge.

The 2 Minute Angel Academy

We are currently raising money to develop our Angel Academy. Offering a structured training program that not only helps to promote the work of The 2 Minute Foundation, but provides our local ‘Guardian Angel’ volunteers with the skills, experience and qualifications that will benefit them in any future employment.

During the academy year, Guardian Angels (GA’s) will have the opportunity to join a whole host of free training events (remotely or face to face) – from how to run a beach clean to carrying out surveys, and from finding microplastics to public speaking courses. 

The volunteers will have a designated tutor who will work with them individually to help them achieve their targets, and a strong support network of other Academy volunteers in their area, along with the team at HQ, helping them along the way.

Our Guardian Angels come from all stages of life – we welcome everyone from students, new graduates, to people wanting a career change later in life.

The 2 Minute Foundation GA’s will move on from the Academy with the skills to be an asset to any company or environmental charity they join.

We also offer formal qualifications throughout the academy year – aiming to partner with other organisations such as Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the MCS, and BDMLR to provide those certifications.

The 2 Minute Expeditions

Offering day-long or week-long activity-packed retreats.

Our 2 Minute Expeditions incorporate a whole day of activities focused around enjoying, understanding and looking after our natural environment

Expeditions may include a walk across the cliffs, a talk about climate change, cliff erosion, extreme beach cleaning or boulder scrambling…

We can tailor anything to anyone: whether it’s snorkel or Scuba cleans, coasteering, surf lessons, foraging, fire-making. What’s more, we are working with local activity suppliers to develop activities with an environmental twist, enhance learning opportunities and support the local economy.

Our bespoke expeditions and retreats are suitable for all adult groups, including:

  • Business away days, team building and CSR trips
  • Adult learning groups
  • Birthday parties, hen / stag events

Online and Remote Activities

Our 2-minute TV channel is all about educating people – 2 minutes at a time.

  • 2 Minutes on the Beach – Bite sized info including fun stuff to do at the beach for children and adults, that isn’t just building a sand castle or digging a hole… There’s a big focus on the science side of things, too – bringing education into your next trip to the beach.
  • 2 Minute Solutions – a series of short videos about things that are going wrong in the world – and what you can do about it.
  • 2 Minutes of Positivity – environmental issues don’t have to be all doom and gloom. Our Positivity videos inject 2 minutes of positive thinking into your day.

The 2 Minute Beach School

Our 2 Minute Beach School is all about getting kids outside learning. Currently running on Crooklets Beach in Bude, Cornwall, the 2Minute Beach school is free for everyone, all year round.

Our ambition is to have 2 Minute Beach Schools all over the country, with the flagship school in Bude. Our current offering includes:

For Schools:

  • Series of lessons for local schools – regular visits over any given period of time
  • One-off school visits – a school group can come to the beach school for one day
  • Local regular sessions – sessions designed for home educated students, parent and toddlers, families and adults only.
  • Virtual field trips in the classroom – ideal for schools outside the area
  • 12+ club – after-school club for teenagers: equivalent of Scouts or Guides with activities related to the beach environment, for children aspiring to be the ultimate beach warriors.  

For Individuals 

  • Local regular drop ins – Sessions designed for Home Educated students, families, parent and toddlers and adults only.  
  •  After-school clubs, for Primary or Secondary aged children. Equivalent of Scouts or Guides with activities related to the beach environment, for children aspiring to be the ultimate beach warriors. 

Our 2 Minute Academy has received funding from outdoor clothing brand Fjällräven for our first six months.

We are currently seeking funding to build up and develop all branches of The 2 Minute Academy to provide amazing environmental education opportunities and beach activities for everyone all around the country.

Donate via The Big Give from 30th November to 7th December, and whatever you give to our Academy campaign will be doubled by The Big Give!

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COP26 and what does it mean?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Glasgow 2021 – the climate conference where the world’s leaders came together to stop the planet heading for disaster. They had one job: to stop the average global temperature rising more than 1.5 degrees. They knew how to do it – cut emissions, cut dependence on fossil fuels, and do it fast.

What happened was a lot of promises, a lot of information sharing, a lot of pleas from those already being affected by climate change. But no real commitments leave us jumping for joy. The big emitters (that’s us in the UK – along with China, India, the US and the EU) do need to be held accountable if they fail to stick to their pledges and pacts.

So now what?

It’s down to us. We can’t rely on the big businesses and the politicians to make a change, but they are dependent on us. We are the consumers. We are the electorate.  And every single one of us can make rapid, small adjustments that will force a change.

What can you do?

We can make significant changes in our lives in a matter of minutes. It just takes a conscious decision and a shift in habits. The main thing to remember is that we are not alone. We lead by example, tell our friends and family about it, teach our kids how to do things differently.

Switch to green energy. A quick Google search will bring up dozens of options. Try a green energy comparison site like The Big Clean Switch to help you decide which service works best for you.

Cut down on plastic The oil industry wants you to buy plastic! Be conscious about what you buy. It just takes a moments more thought – keep a shopping bag in your car boot, grab a water bottle before you leave home, search for second-hand plastic toys… We all know what we SHOULD do, it’s just about pressing pause, being conscious about what we buy and how we consume.

Drive less We know it’s hard, especially in winter. But for local journeys, just think – being wet or cold for a few minutes, planning to leave a few minutes earlier, putting a waterproof or an umbrella by your front door – they’re momentary inconveniences that all add up.

Green up your pension pot You can choose how the money in your pension pot is invested – yes, even if you only have a state pension. Have a look at Nest to find out how you can switch to sustainable, ethical investments.

Buy second-hand clothes Modern clothes don’t just contain a lot of plastic (in the form of elastane, Lycra, nylon, fleece), but they take a whole tonne of energy to produce. Save money and cut down on fuel consumption by browsing Facebook Marketplace, Ebay or the likes of Vinted.

Eat less meat The meat industry is the biggest producer of methane, and the biggest driver for rainforest destruction. Reducing the amount you eat, or cutting it out altogether, will have a huge impact on that industry. With the money savings you make, choose grass-fed or organic meat – with lower methane emissions, lower impact on the environment and better for you. Win-win-win.

Buy second hand or sustainable-wood furniture It really is that simple. If we reduce the amount of new wood products we buy, the market that drives deforestation shrinks.

Change your bank Choose a bank that doesn’t bankroll deforestation or have links to the oil industry. Guides like this at Money Expert or Green Choices are a good place to start.

Not much COP?

A brief digest of some of the big topics at COP26

Oil and gas

Denmark and Costa Rica set up the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, pushing for countries to commit to cutting dependency on oil and gas. A dozen signed up to it, but it was snubbed by the UK and most of the other big emitters and the world’s oil producers.

Coal

At least 23 nations made a commitment to phase out coal power, including five of the top 20 users: Indonesia, South Korea, Poland, Vietnam, Chile and Ukraine. The world’s biggest polluters are not part of the efforts, and the UK is refusing to rule out opening a new coal mine in Cumbria.

Plastics

The government said that recycling plastics is a red herring, and that we have to cut down on our use of plastic in the first place. But plastics originate as fossil fuels, and greenhouse gases are emitted at each stage of the plastic life cycle. With no hard commitment to reducing fossil fuel extraction, or on cutting down production of plastic, the government’s ‘hard truth’ about plastics now look like empty words because plastic and climate change are intrinsically linked.

Methane

More than 100 countries pledged to reduce planet-warming methane emissions by 30% by 2030 in the “Global Methane Pledge.” Farming industry demonstrated methods for reducing emissions, like a cattle-feed supplement that stops cows from producing as much methane. This supplement has been cleared for use in some South American countries and imminently in Europe. As for the US, the biggest beef producer, there’s no sign of improvement.

Deforestation 

Cop26 got off to a strong start with more than 100 nations agreeing to end deforestation by 2030. Brazil, where vast areas of the Amazon rainforest have been chopped down, was among those to commit. The agreement includes almost £14bn of public and private funds. 

Whilst COP26 may not have produced exactly what we were all hoping for. Let’s not forget to stay positive. We should all remember to take 2 minutes to reflect on how we as individuals can make small behavioural changes that will add up to make a big difference for our planet.

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Four ways to have a green Halloween 

It’s spooky season! As if anyone can avoid it. Pumpkin spice is everywhere, and the supermarket aisles are groaning with spiderwebs and sweets.  

It’s not necessarily good news for the planet though. Halloween sadly means a serious amount of single use plastic is coming for our oceans.  

But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

We’ve got four quick ideas for minimising waste this Halloween, and having a brilliant time while you do it.  

Second hand costumes  

OK, we were going to suggest homemade costumes here, and if that’s your thing, we’re so onboard with you. BUT we know that not everyone has the time, creativity or mental capacity to be thinking about cutting out patterns and sewing on sequins. And we’re not here to tell parents that instead of buying a readymade witch outfit while doing the weekly food shop, they should be getting the sewing machine out and labouring for hours over a homemade version.  

So hit up eBay, Facebook Marketplace, charity shops, ask a friend with a child who’s bigger than yours if they’ve got a spare. Beg, borrow and buy second hand, and you’ll be amazed at what you can find. Chances are it’ll be lighter on the pocket too. You can even stick it back up for sale or donate to a charity shop when you’re done so that someone else can wear it next year. Winner.  

Save the pumpkin! 

Going to be carving a pumpkin this year? Don’t bin the flesh! There are SO many good ways to use it up.  

Roast it in a sheet tin with some black beans, cumin and garlic and stuff into tacos with some cheese, blitz it up into puree for pumpkin pie. Or take a look at 2 Minute founder Martin Dorey whipping up pumpkin soup in his campervan!  

Big pumpkins can be a little watery, so if you’re carving a whopper, maybe pick a recipe that involves a bit of roasting. Roasting will dry out some of the wateriness and the flavour will be more intense. Most pumpkin dishes freeze really well too. Winner.  

So get searching for pumpkin dishes and serve up a Halloween feast with all that lovely pumpkin flesh.  

Give a modern nod to ancient traditions 

Forget Halloween altogether! And revisit the ancient Samhain traditions that preceded it.  

Samhain was one of the most important dates on the ancient Gaelic calendar, and it marked the end of the harvest season and the darkening of the days.  

The veil between the human and spirit worlds was thought to be at its thinnest, and doorways between the two were thought to open, letting in fairies and spirits.  

The original traditions of bonfires, feasts and rituals might be a little tricky in our modern lives. But why not share a meal with friends, light some candles and use natural decorations to mark the moment? We like the idea of using leaves, branches and candles for decoration, and cooking up some seasonal treats to celebrate the end of the harvest in a tasty way.  

Hit up your local Refill Shop – or make your own treats 

One of the biggest culprits for plastic at Halloween has got to be the endless bags of sweets, some with little bags inside big bags, others with individually wrapped sweets, don’t get us started! The plastic packaging is endless.  

If you’re expected little hands knocking on your door, maybe pop down to your local Refill Shop (if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby), and fill up on sweet treats without the plastic.  

And if you’re really feeling dedicated, you could always make your own sweets. We like The BBC Good Food Guide’s Halloween recipe section. Choose from creepy cookies, eerie eyeballs and candy apples. So much fun and tastiness! 

Happy Halloween!  

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Electric cars: electric dream or green screen? 

As the UK fuel crisis inspires more than ever to think about going electric, are they really the answer for our planet?  

Ok. Busted.  

Hands up if you too have been caught with your proverbial pants down by the Great Fuel Crisis of 2021.  

Yes, we’re all trying to use our cars less, and walk/cycle/ride unicorns* to work more. But honestly, most of us still need our car to do the school run and get to work. Not to mention those critical hospital appointments and caring commitments. Especially if you live in Cornwall (other rural areas are available), where public transport is…well let’s call it fashionably minimalist.  

Whether it’s the fault of the government, the media, the panic buyers or the fuel industry, the fact is that if you drive a car and it takes petrol or diesel, you’re probably checking your fuel tank anxiously. Or wondering how hard it actually would be to siphon some out of Terry next door’s Mondeo in the middle of the night. (We’re absolutely not condoning this.) 

And if your car is electric, well, you’re probably feeling just a tiny bit smug.  

So, is it time for us to finally start thinking properly about electric cars? Or are all cars inherently so bad for the environment that we should all be getting on our bikes instead and giving up journeys that we’re not willing to walk?  

Consider this your official 2 Minute lowdown on the pros and cons of electric vehicles.  

Are electric cars better for the environment? 

Yes. Definitely. If you’re comparing them to diesel and petrol cars they absolutely are. We really need to be moving away from fossil fuels. And they don’t generate harmful CO2 emissions. They’re also quieter than diesel and petrol vehicles (as anyone who’s been surprised/crept up on by a stealthy electric Uber will know), so noise pollution-wise, it’s a yes.  

They sound brilliant! Let’s make more of them! 

Well hold your horses, they’re not perfect. They may not make emissions on the road, but the production process certainly does. Those batteries take a lot of work to create. One study puts CO2 emissions during production at 59% more than traditional combustion engines.  

There’s also the fact that most car batteries are currently made in China, South Korea and Japan, where the use of carbon in electricity production is high compared to other parts of the world. In other words, they’re being manufactured on some seriously polluting grids.  

Oh, that doesn’t sound too good 

It’s not. BUT if these countries adopt more renewable energy going forward, these emissions will drop significantly. In China this is expected to rise sharply between now and 2025. So that figure will hopefully come down by a lot.  

What about the materials used to make the batteries? 

Yeah, honestly, right now, that’s not a great situation. Batteries rely on lithium as well as copper, iron and aluminium. All of these rely on carbon and water-intensive means of extraction. And there are human rights issues here as well as environmental, with conflict between international mining companies and indigenous communities and biodiversity habitat loss.  

On top of that, there’s no clear plan for recycling the massively increasing number of car batteries, which we reeeaaally don’t want to see as yet more waste.  

So what’s the skinny?  

Electric cars are better for the environment than petrol or diesel cars, that’s for sure. But there are some major issues in their production when it comes to the planet. We’ll need to see a huge swing to renewable energy in production, and a clear plan for recycling batteries before they come close to being the green dream. Better regulation of relationships with local communities as well as an obligation to protect habitats and sensitive ecosystems and watersheds would ideally be in place too.  

We like how Thea Riofrancos, associate professor of political science at Providence College, Rhode Island puts it

“A transportation system based on individual electric vehicles, for example, with landscapes dominated by highways and suburban sprawl, is much more resource- and energy-intensive than one that favours mass transit and alternatives such as walking and cycling.” 

In other words, hopping on your bike, the bus, the train or your own two feet is going to be a heck of a lot greener than driving anywhere in your electric car.  

And right now, doing any of those things is going to stop us being part of the problem, and free up some fuel for those who really need it. Win win!  

*If anyone has a spare unicorn, can we borrow it for the school run plz?  

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Code Red for Humanity (plus the top ten things you can do about it today)

How do you feel about the news from the IPCC this week that we are to blame for the climate crisis and that our climate is changing as a result of human activity? I know how I feel.

I feel relieved.

Why? Because finally, maybe, our governments will begin to act on climate change. Maybe we’ll start to make some rapid moves towards a low carbon future and will begin to tackle the problems caused by pollution, plastics, carbon dioxide, consumption and greed.

The news has also served to strengthen our resolve here at 2 Minute HQ because we know that, however you look at it, plastic is climate change. At every stage in the life of a piece of plastic it emits climate gasses. Its extraction as oil, its production into plastic and its transportation emits huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, helping to fuel the climate crisis. And with the use of petrol, diesel and jet fuel lessening due to Covid, the oil industry is pushing more plastic on us than ever, citing, for example, that plastic has a lower carbon footprint than paper packaging. It doesn’t, when you consider the industry that’s behind each piece of plastic.

Global plastic production is expected to emit 56 billion tonnes of carbon between now and 2050.

Once it’s been used and discarded plastic continues to emit climate gases in the form of methane and ethylene, with polyethylene, the world’s most prolific plastic, emitting the most of these gasses out of all plastics. In sea water plastic also emits these gasses as it breaks down, so further threatening the health of our oceans. Never mind the fact that plastic attracts pollutants in seawater, kills seabirds, fish and sea mammals through ingestion, poisoning and entanglement in their hundreds of thousands each year. Oh yes, and it takes energy to recycle plastic too.

If you ever needed a new reason to reduce your plastic consumption, this news is it.

And that’s why, as always, we will continue to say that every #2minutebeachclean matters.

While we cannot forget that we have been failed by our governments, industrialists and the coal, oil and gas industry for many decades, we still need to roll up our sleeves and do all we can to reduce our own carbon footprints and persuade others to reduce theirs. We have been gaslit into believing that our own consumption, travel and lifestyles are OK and, actually, that’s not OK.

It’s time to vote with our feet and wallets.

When I said that I felt relieved, I meant that I felt some kind of reassurance that we haven’t been working for nothing. The 2 Minute Beach Clean was always about encouraging people to take the first easy steps towards living a life that’s kinder to the planet. I had a feeling that somehow dirty beaches were just the tip of the iceberg. Now we know. And now we know we can start to act, based on the fact that we have proven that small actions can add up to make a big difference. Now it’s time to apply those principles to other aspects of our lives. Properly, with purpose, and like there is no tomorrow. Because, if we don’t… well, you’ve already heard it before.

What can you do today to combat climate change?

There are so many things you can do, really. Each one might not seem like much, but, when you add them all up, it can make a difference. Here’s my top ten.

  1. Do not forget that governments and corporations also need to act and this list of things to do is not supposed to let them off the hook. Make your first mission be to boycott polluting companies and governments who don’t act. Use your vote and your wallet to save the planet.
  2. Don’t drink bottled water again. Everything about water as a commodity is wrong. It is 500 times more expensive than tap water, 92% of it has plastic in it and it emits climate gasses at every stage of its life. Even cans of water emit climate gasses in their production.
  3. Turn off the tap. The water industry, through filtering, pumping and treatment, emits about 1% of the UK greenhouse gases. Using less of it will save you money and help reduce your footprint and that of the industry. Shower, turn off the tap when you clean your teeth. Simple, easy things to do, right?
  4. Change your bank. Lots of banks use your money to invest in fossil fuels. The quickest way you, as a punter, can stop this is to stop supporting those who do. Don’t let them use your money to continue contributing to climate collapse. Try Co-Op, Tridos or Santander.
  5. Change your pension pot. Again, the people who invest your pension pot may not give two hoots about anything other than money. Changing your pot to an ethical fund will give them a clear message that you don’t approve of their odorous investments. If you have a Nest pension it takes about 5 minutes to change your pot to an ethical one (be aware that the return may not be as good, for now – but those are the choices we face. Planet or profit?).
  6. Eat local, seasonal and fresh veg. Food miles contribute hugely to global carbon emissions. Take a look at the origin of what you eat. The more local produce you buy, the better it is for the planet. Eating seasonal food also reduces the need for artificial growing conditions that require huge amounts of energy.
  7. Stop using so much plastic. The less you use, the lower your carbon footprint. Simple. All that stuff that we’ve been banging on about for ages has come home to roost. Lower your plastic consumption and lower your footprint.
  8. Stop eating so much fish and meat. The majority of plastic we find on the beach comes from fishing. It is an industry that has taken too much and destroys as it goes. If you must eat fish, eat local and sustainably caught fish or that which you catch yourself. Watch Seaspiracy. If you eat meat, eat meat that’s reared locally, on permanent pasture and that isn’t fed on soya or silage from ploughed fields.
  9. Travel more wisely. Think about how you travel and when you travel. Leave the car at home more often. Take the train. Write to your MP about ticket prices. Get your bike out of the shed and give it a spin. Walk a bit more. Work from home and resist going back to commuting. Enjoy your life instead of rushing about.
  10. Let nature into your life. Nature needs a hand because climate change is causing havoc with the natural world. 60% of insects are under threat of extinction, along with countless other mammals, reptiles, fish and birds. The more you give nature a hand the better. It’s easy and fun. Set up a bird feeder, let the lawn grow wild, stop using weed killer (it kills bees, hedgehogs, birds and invertebrates) and try to plant insect friendly plants.

FINALLY: what if climate change is a hoax?

It’s a good point. What if you…

  • eat more healthily
  • have a garden full of insects, birds and animals
  • cycle a lot more
  • walk in the countryside
  • give up the car
  • move your investments to more ethical pots
  • stop buying products from greedy corporations
  • support local businesses
  • drink clean water from the tap
  • get to see your children growing up in a healthy and clean planet

….AND IT’S ALL FOR NOTHING?

You get the point.

Good luck and thank you.

Martin

Founder of the #2minutebeachclean

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Turning Trash into Treasure

The biggest breakthrough in beach cleaning in 15 years?

Hello. It’s Martin Dorey here, founder of the #2minutebeachclean and CEO of the 2 Minute Foundation. I have some amazing news to share with you all that I believe is a real step forward in our fight against beach litter. After harbouring dreams of turning beach litter into something useful for many years we have finally been able to make something that we believe is the biggest step forward in beach cleaning in 15 years.

Beach clean stations made from marine litter.

In time, the stations could be made from the litter you pick up from your beach. The station could then go back on your beach to help and inspire others to pick up more litter. We think that’s a real innovation.

If you’ve got 2 minutes I’d like to tell you how it came about, why it’s taken so long and why it’s so important.

I have told the story of how I became enraged by beaches knee deep in plastic many times. The year was 2006 and the location was a beach in North Devon. Having just moved to a house in the hamlet above the beach I discovered a section of coastline that was knee deep in plastic bottles, fish crates, rope and net. It was truly horrendous. I vowed there and then to do something about beach litter, whatever it was. I honestly had no idea it would turn out to be this!

I organised a beach clean with the help of Torridge Rangers, The National Trust, my local primary school and friends and neighbours. We cleaned as far as the eye could see, made art from the finds with my friend Mrs Recycle, took the kids on rockpool rambles and, most importantly, gave each of the children a gift I had blagged from a plastics recycler and manufacturer. It was a ruler, made from recycled plastic. Afterwards we set up a BBQ and bar (adults only) on the beach and celebrated a job well done.

The ruler, a seemingly small thank you for the kids who worked so hard, was hugely significant. I wanted the hard work of the kids to come back to them in the form of something truly positive. It was a symbolic closing of the loop. Making good things out of litter, treasure out of trash.

From that one day of action many good things have happened. We are a charity. We have set up a beach school. We have inspired lots of people to go out and pick up litter, 2 minutes at a time. It took a while to get going, of course, as it wasn’t until 2013 that the #2minutebeachclean idea was born. But that beach clean was a seminal moment.

However, it’s been bugging me for all these years that we haven’t been able to do much with the litter we pick up. We certainly haven’t been able to chart its course from useless and dangerous pollutant to something useful.

Until now.

The brilliant team here at the 2 Minute Foundation have been working for years on turning beach litter into something useful. In fact, it was a conversation early in the development of our beach clean stations in 2014, that inspired the research: what if the stations could be made from the litter on the beach? As an idea it was too pure, too good. And besides, the infrastructure to make it happen did not exist yet. That’s why we have been making them out of wood and laminate. It wasn’t ideal but would have to do for the time being.

Now I am happy to report that we have achieved what we thought would be impossible in 2014.

We have made a prototype beach cleaning station out of marine litter. It’s been a long road, has taken an army of people to organise, with lots of dead ends and twists and turns, but it’s finally happened.

The short story is this:

Plastic can be recycled. We know this. But plastics that are contaminated are not easy to recycle. Plastic also gets downgraded the more it gets recycled, which is why your average drinks bottle never turns into another drinks bottle. It always ends up as insulation or a bench or something of a lower grade. Riz Smith, our friend at Riz Boardshorts, has been making shorts from recycled bottles for a while now. So we know good stuff can come from trash, for sure, just not OUR trash.

The trouble with beach plastic is that it’s already really low grade and is worth nothing to recyclers. While nets and nylon can go to become kayaks, as made by our friends at Fathoms Free and Odyssey Innovation, or by Econyl, most of what we find is too degraded to become anything else and, ultimately, becomes landfill or goes to be incinerated for energy. Both of these solutions are one-way streets. The end is the end.

However, recently the Ocean Recovery Project, headed up by long-time supporter and all round beach cleaner extraordinaire Neil Hembrow and Matt Hulland from ORP Recycling, have been able to shred hard beach plastics and get them pressed into boards. They did this for the stage at Glastonbury in 2019. This was the breakthrough needed to work on our dreams. It was the missing link, if you like. After much research, our COO Nicky found a company, Reworked, that could take beach plastic from us, press it into sheets and then CNC cut and shape the sheets into products. They jumped at the chance!

All the while we had been dreaming of doing something with the plastic we gather – the elephant in the room – we have been building a network of stations around the country and an army of volunteers (both official and unofficial) to gather plastic. We have over 900 stations, thanks to you, Surfdome, Keep Britain Tidy’s BeachCare project and Deb Rosser and Kim Stevens. Thanks to Fjallraven and Bunzl we also have more than 20 Guardian Angels in Devon, Cornwall, London and Dorset who look after our stations and who, we hope, in time will be able to help us gather and store marine plastics to go to recycling. We now stock stations with reusable bags made from upcycled discarded festival tents, with our partners Rooted Ocean. We have a few bins (made from fishing nets gathered by Odyssey Innovation) around the coast to gather the litter and we hope to put out even more in 2021. This is the infrastructure – or the beginnings of it – that we need to begin rolling out recycled marine litter beach cleaning stations in 2021.

We think this innovation has come at the perfect time. We’re all in need of a little good news at the moment. Once lockdown lifts it’ll feel great to get out and about in the spring sunshine. What better excuse to spend the whole day at the beach, in the park or in your local green spaces than litter picking? Let’s look after the planet as well as our bodies and minds.

The most exciting thing for me is that we should be able to turn a beach clean into a beach cleaning station to place back on the beach. It is truly circular and fulfils a dream to make useful things out of stuff that’s worth nothing. Not only will it save us from using new materials to make beach clean stations in the future but it will also inspire people to go and collect their own stations! That means we are turning beach waste into a resource that can be used for good instead of going to landfill or continuing to choke our oceans!

Turning trash into treasure!

We are excited.

What next?

  • We are looking for sponsors to help us roll out the stations all over the UK and beyond.
  • We are looking for green transport to help us transport marine litter to our processor.
  • We are looking for volunteer beach cleaners who can gather and store marine plastic.
  • We are looking for funding to make the first 100 stations.

Contact nicky@2minute.org if you can help us in any way.

OUR CHALLENGE

It takes 3 tonnes of marine plastic to make 100 stations. So we’ve set ourselves a challenge. The 2 Minute HQ team have pledged to collect these 3 tonnes before the end of lockdown, meaning we’ll be able to crack on with the first 100 stations by spring. We’ll be out collecting as much beach litter as we can find during our lockdown exercise time!

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LOCKDOWN 2: Time to take 2 minutes. Again.

Hello.

We’re back here again. Back in a national lockdown situation in England and under restrictions in Wales and Scotland. Ireland is under lockdown too. When I wrote about the first lockdown back in April it felt as if we had had our wings clipped just as we were about to fledge. We felt like we were on the brink of doing wonderful things and were thwarted.

Now, as we face another period of lockdown, and the uncertainty that goes with it, we feel like we’re old hands at this now. It might not make the prospect of being at home any easier, but at least we know what to expect. Whatever it means for you, I sincerely hope it’s manageable and that you will be able to get through it unscathed.

We will continue to campaign, will continue to run our social media accounts and will continue to prepare for 2021, whatever form that may take. Sadly though, it does mean delays to some of our projects, particularly our Guardian Angel project.

However, it won’t stop us starting to develop our new Beach School Programme here in Cornwall or delay us in recruiting more Angels for Dorset and beyond. If you want to get involved with us as a local Angel, get in touch with Claire HERE.

You and litter picking

The government rules on exercise are clear this time around so we’re hoping we won’t experience the uncertainty and misinterpretation of the rules like last time. The rules on volunteering are clear too, which means you may leave home to volunteer for charities.

We can go out to exercise as much as we want or need, and may travel to do so, as long as it is locally. We may visit parks and gardens, beaches and open spaces that are within easy reach of our homes. We are being encouraged to walk or cycle too, which is no bad thing. Leaving the car at home can help us to connect with our local area, get more exercise and help the planet breathe a little easier.

What the new lockdown rules mean is that litter picking, beach cleaning and street cleaning is possible, as part of your exercise, as long as you are able to do it safely and locally. As we know, picking up litter can be a great distraction and therapy in times of stress and anxiety. It’s helped me a lot over the years, to take time out to focus on something else. That break, even if it’s just for a few minutes, can help you breathe, mentally, physically and spiritually.

And if you need me to spell it out, here are a few reasons why litter picking is so great:

  • You focus on a small, regular task and not on your health or self or the world around you
  • You get a sense of satisfaction from improving the world
  • You feel connected to the place where you litter pick
  • You feel ownership for the place you litter pick
  • You can see the results instantly
  • You can inspire others to do the same
  • It’s great exercise

So, if you can, get out there and look after yourself and the planet with a #2minutelitterpick, #2minutebeachclean or #2minutestreetclean while you exercise. Take a bag from home, wear gloves or take a litter picker and remember to wash your hands afterwards. That’s important. Wash your hands. And please, if you can, use our APP to log your finds and post images of them to social media to help inspire the rest of the team.

Our #2minutebeachclean and #2minutelitterpick stations will be out of service for the time being (unless the Guardians are able to provide you with sanitiser) which means we’ll be back to basics. It’s up to us, as individuals, to get out there and do what we can for the planet and for ourselves.

2 Minutes of Positivity

During the last lockdown you may remember we posted videos every day under the hashtag #2minutesofpositivity. We will be revisiting our this campaign again, every day, at 2, if you need a little love and positivity from other members of the 2 Minute Family during this stressful and tricky period in our lives.

Thank you.

Stay safe. Be well. Take 2 minutes out for yourself. Get in touch if you need help.

See you on the other side.

Martin. Founder of the 2 Minute Foundation.

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2 Minutes of Positivity on World Mental Health Day

The concept that just 2 minutes can make a whole world of good, is one that we live by. 2 minutes of picking up litter can clean up our earth. 2 minute solutions can lead to entire lifestyle shifts towards more eco-friendly existences. 2 minute regeneration projects can plant entire forests. And 2 minutes of positivity can make a massive difference to our mental health.

We believe that taking care of your mental health, is just as important as taking care of your physical health. You wouldn’t go to bed without brushing your teeth, so why go to bed without emptying your mind? In a time when we are absolutely bombarded with information, distractions and advertising, take 2 minutes out of your day, every single day, and take a step back. Take a deep breath. Go outside. Do yoga. Meditate. Sing. Dance. Cook something delicious. Cuddle your cat. Walk your dog. Learn an instrument. Call a friend. Chat to your neighbour. The smallest of actions can make the biggest of differences, and it’s important to take the time, even if it’s just 2 minutes, to do something that makes your really, truly happy.

Over the lockdown in Spring we launched our #2minutesofpositivity campaign, and were inundated with responses. Big wave surfers and sports coaches and celebrity’s and members of our very own 2 Minute Family recorded little messages to spread some positivity across our social media channels – sometimes it was singing, sometimes it was exercise, sometimes we were even taken to the mountain tops in Norway! Whatever it was, we were aiming to make you smile, to encourage you to move your body, and inspire you to do something that makes you happy, too.

The 2 Minute Foundation is so much more than a charity. It’s a network of people. It’s a family. We want you to feel like you are a part of something, achieving something, and supported the entire time. Our aim is to not only help the planet, but to help you! When your eyes hurt from the screens, the walls feel like their closing in, when your mood is sinking lower and lower, we couldn’t recommend getting outside enough. Fresh air, Vitamin D, stretching your legs and listening to the birds is, in our opinion, the best medicine. Anxiety and depression levels have skyrocketed over this unpredictable year, but heading outside for a walk and taking part in just 2 minutes of litter-picking and street or beach cleaning, can make a world of difference! You’re doing something good for the world and something good for yourselves, and it makes US so happy knowing you’re caring for your own mental health at the same time as taking care of our amazing planet.

So, let this Saturday be a conversation starter, not just a date on the calendar. World Mental Health Day should be EVERY DAY. Ask your friends how they are, really. Call your family if you’re feeling down. Drag yourself out of bed for an early morning dog walk. Jump in the sea for a swim. Take a couple of minutes to do something that makes you happy EVERY SINGLE DAY!

If you’re struggling with mental health issues and don’t know who to talk to, there are some amazing charities that offer 24 hour support, priceless advice, a listening ear and some great resources, such as Samaritans and Mind.

https://www.mind.org.uk

https://www.samaritans.org

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It Takes Just 2 Minutes to Sow a Seed

But a whole family to plant a forest.

We need you. The planet needs you. And now is the time to act.

We have plans to plant a forest, right here in Cornwall!!! I have to say it is very exciting and fulfils an ambition for the whole team here at 2 Minutes. We’ve been wanting to do this for ages, not only for ourselves but for the planet. And what’s the point of having a tight knit family of followers if we can’t get everyone involved? We are going to turn a hashtag into activism!!!

So let’s plant a 2 Minute Forest together. It will be our very first #2minuteregeneration project.

We’re all about tidying up the planet 2 minutes at a time. Part of that, we think, is to help the planet to heal. Planting trees helps to restore nature, capture carbon and create an ecosystem for insects, birds and all kinds of species to thrive in. Planting trees is also very cost effective, easy to do and the more people who help us the better.

How can you get involved? By planting UK Native seeds at home! Now – between September and November – is the time of year to gather the seeds of many of our common trees – acorns, conkers, hazelnuts, beech masts and ash samaras – to plant out at home. To gather seeds, all you have to do is go for a walk in a wood of native species, in your local park or out in the countryside and search for seeds on the ground (or on the branches). If you can’t get to trees there’s more in a bit.

To plant the seeds out, collect toilet roll tubes, fill them with earth (or peat-free compost) and plant one seed in each. Planting at least 20 seeds will ensure you end up with at least a few healthy shoots and then, soon, a few saplings.

When the time comes to plant out the trees next year, we’ll be ready, at our friend’s  plot in Cornwall to either plant them for you or help you plant them yourself. Yes! We’re going to have a planting party!!! We have access to a few acres, which means we’ll need lots of trees! If you can’t make it we’ll plant your saplings for you. You can visit them later, when they have grown a little bigger!

Okay? We hope you love this idea as much as we do. Share it with your friends, school, kids, work place or sports club.

Get collecting, planting and growing!!

DON’T HAVE TREES NEAR YOU? You can always go for a walk in the forest or in your local park. See what seeds you can gather and plant them out.

For a donation of just £10 we will send you a bag of 25 Cornish sessile acorns (from our own gardens) to plant out yourself at home. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

Want to support us and our 2 Minute Forest without growing? You can donate HERE.

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APP DATA: What can you do about marine litter?

How our APP data guides us

We’ve been looking at the data coming from our APP recently. So, firstly, thanks to everyone for using the app and helping us to get a picture of WHAT IS WASHING UP and WHAT YOU ARE PICKING UP.

Now that you’ve logged almost 75,000 items in more than 1500 separate beach cleans we can look at the data with relative confidence that it’s representative. Check ins have come from all over the world, with the majority of them based in the UK, which is unsurprising, considering we are based in Cornwall. That said, we are aware that lots of people don’t log their #2minutebeachclean using the app or tend to pick up certain types of litter, or that different beaches produce different types of litter. From our app data we can see that microplastics and nurdles make up just over 11% of all finds and yet we know that these items are to be found in their millions. Expecting our family to log each and every piece of plastic that’s under 5mm is too much to ask. It’s also difficult to classify microplastic as coming from any one source. It could have been anything in an earlier life. Likewise with HARD PLASTIC pieces, which are often broken up fish crates and the detritus of industry, but still hard to source effectively.

Plastic pollution from fishing

As time goes on we’ll be able to assess one location against another so we can compare one beach against another and by date. Until then, preliminary checks suggests that FISHING WASTE accounts for around 35% of litter picked up on the north coast of Devon and Cornwall, but that on the south coast that figure is more like 18%. Interesting.

For the time being, however, we have looked at the overall numbers of separate items washing up.

We have been able to attribute certain items to certain industries, and while this isn’t 100% foolproof, our experience tells us that it is reasonable to attribute 19.8% of all items logged to FISHING. Some of the most often picked up items included NET PIECES (6.82%), FISHING LINE (3.38%) and ROPE (5.9%). Other items included POTS (0.64%), BUOYS and FLOATS (0.27%) and GLOW STICKS (0.11%), which we know are used to illuminate nets and lines at night.

If we add items like FOAM (1.59%), POLYSTYRENE (3.34%) and HARD PLASTIC (6.97%), which are used by the fishing industry, but not exclusively, the figure goes up to 31.48%.

What you can do about it

If FISHING causes at least 19.58% of all waste picked up on beaches, it seems perfectly reasonable to consider how you buy and eat fish. Eating line caught fish removes the need for NET PIECES to be in the ocean. Giving up fish entirely will mean you no longer participate in the industry. Incidentally, prawn fishing practices, in some fisheries, result in as much as 90% or more bycatch.

You can also avoid buying items like fertiliser made with fishmeal or fish based products, including cat and dog food. These are often made with juvenile or forage fish that have little eating value.

Demanding the industry cleans up may help too, as will helping the industry to recover nets and recycle them. Buying products made from fishing net will help to inflate the demand and value of discarded net, encouraging schemes like Fishing for Litter and the brilliant Odyssey Innovation.

Plastic pollution from our lazy ways

The rest of the plastic that was logged pretty much comes from the way we live. It’s at once disheartening but also presents a picture of hope. Why? Because, if we stop using those items then we stop them from entering the oceans. It’s as simple as that. Of course, there will always be residual plastic floating about but at least, by giving up plastics, and helping to clear up the rest, you are stopping the flow. That’s what we need desperately.

Okay so let’s take a look.

DRINKS BOTTLES (6.86%)

CRISPS AND SWEET WRAPPERS (6.73%)

WET WIPES (3.07%)

BOTTLE TOPS AND LIDS (8.71%)

COTTON BUDS (3.15%)

PLASTIC BAGS (3.35%)

CIGARETTE BUTTS (3.13%)

STRAWS AND CUTLERY (4.41%)

COFFEE CUPS (1.22%) and LIDS (1.18%)

FOOD CONTAINERS (1.34%)

APPLICATORS (0.73%)

Together these items make up 43.5% of all the litter picked up and logged by APP users globally. The fact that any of these items are on the beach in the first place is inexcusable but it does give us hope because each and every one of us can EASILY live without plastic bottles, plastic food containers, plastic bags and coffee cups. All we have to do is change our habits.

What you can do about it

It isn’t easy to change your ways but we hope that this kind of data will help you to make those choices and changes. If we all carry a REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE and COFFEE CUP then we could help to reduce marine litter, ultimately, by over 20%.

And if we switch to paper cotton buds, stop using tampons with plastic applicators and get those wet wipes out of your life? 6.95% less crap on the beach on our watch.

Giving up crisps and sweets and carrying your own reusable bag? 10.8%

Stop smoking and give up plastic straws and cutlery? 7.54%

It starts to add up doesn’t it?

The best of the rest

While 1% might not seem like a lot of stuff in the grand scheme of things, it actually is. 1.21% of the total number of items logged, which is CLOTHING, is 901 items that could have been recycled, reused or not bought in the first place.

We are careless, aren’t we? Our playful ways also left 416 balls for the #2minutebeachclean family to pick up, along with 317 pieces of footwear, 632 beach toys, 158 Tetra Packs and 304 toothbrushes, razors and pens. And this slice of data is JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

It’s not good enough is it? We can do better. And we will.

If you would like to hear more about our app and campaigns, please subscribe to our newsletter here.

If you’d like to support us with a donation, please do so here

For those essential plastic-free swaps, visit out shop here.

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Support Treen, Support Us.

There are times when the love and dedication of our followers blows us away. Treen (Katrina Ayling) is one of those who constantly amazes us with her tenacity and fight, the will to do the right thing and a fearless voice. She has decided to do something special for herself and for us and, for that, we are truly grateful. We are also extremely humbled to be part of her journey and thrilled that we have been. Our family wouldn’t exist without people like Treen (and you). They are what makes us who we are and what makes us different. We help the earth and oceans, and in doing so, we help each other too.

This is the story in her own words. Treen we love you!!!

“Two and a half years ago I couldn’t walk. Severe pelvic dysfunction in my second pregnancy left me housebound for the last 4 months of my pregnancy, in chronic unrelenting pain day and night, fearful, alone and definitely not blooming in my pregnancy. The ocean has played a huge part in my recovery, mother ocean has been there every step of the way. From the early days of mini beach cleans to surf, body boarding and sea swimming. Little did I know how important doing a #2MinuteBeachClean was going to be in my rehabilitation, my recovery and my struggles to come to terms with what happened to me. Beach-cleans became my exercise to build my strength, my physio to aid my muscles, but also my therapy. My pregnancy and birth trauma left a mark, one that needed time and care to fade enough to move on. What I didn’t expect from picking up plastic on the beaches was the added bonus of a community of like minded individuals, a family and in some cases true friends. At a time when I felt my most lost, confused, invisible, faded I found caring, loyal and genuine individuals who have been a huge help in my rehabilitation. So as a thank you to @2minutebeachclean and the #2MinuteBeachCleanfamily at a time when they now need support, because let’s face it the COVID 19 pandemic has not been kind to small charities, I am challenging myself to walk the entire length of the River Itchen between 21st to 24th September 2020. It’s 30 miles in total, and to some it does not sound a lot, but to someone who couldn’t walk 2.5 yrs ago it’s an epic journey. As I head off into this challenge I want to raise money for @2minutebeachclean and would like to ask you for your support and sponsorship. The link is below, if you can and would like to donate. If not then don’t worry then please just share my post, I understand how difficult these times are for all of us. I have set a target of £500, but wouldn’t it awesome if we could smash that! Whilst I am walking I will also raise awareness of the health of our Rivers, plastic pollution and the importance of our individual actions in the fight to save the rivers, the sea and ultimately the planet.Thank you for reading. Treen✌️❤

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/step-by-step-to-the-sea

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The hidden truth behind hand sanitiser

Before March this year (pre Covid-19), hand sanitiser was not even on my radar. To be honest, I hated the stuff. Bringing up two kids without it was, in fact quite easy. We just used the trusty old sink. 

Now, in the current climate, I am forced to use this stuff when I go out every day. When I walk through the school gates, before I walk into a shop and when I get back into my car from the supermarket. The sticky residue not only reeks, but it stings my hands. I know I’m not alone. But, it’s safe, right? Unfortunately not. 

During lockdown, one of my tasks was to look at hand sanitisers for our beach cleaning and litter picking stations. We wanted to ensure that when our stations were put back out again, it would be safe to handle the litter pickers and the reusable bags. So, we got to work on a concept to prevent cross contamination.

We did the product research, we overcame obstacles, we trialled a product, we shared it on our socials and thanks to a follower on Twitter, we were asked for the ingredients list. We checked it. We were horrified. The hand ‘gels’ that we looked into have an ingredient called ‘carpobol aqua’, which is a, wait for it, MICRO PLASTIC. It means that 99% of the gel-based products are likely to contain plastics or ingredients that harm the environment.  This is serious. We can’t accept that. 

Remember those pesky micro beads that were in our toothpaste and facewash? They were abolished, and they were visible, but it’s heart-breaking to know that hidden microplastics such as carpobol aqua, part of the acrylates copolymer family, still exist in our everyday products. These polymers (plastics made up of two or more monomers like acrylic acid and methacrylic acid for example) are used to make products look transparent, shiny, smooth looking, ‘bedazzling’ and give products their elasticity. 

We asked plastics expert, Professor Richard Thompson his opinion. He suggested we could “minimise the risk by introducing control measures to limit the extent of a spill”.  We concluded that if a spill occurred, and usage was not monitored, finding an eco-friendly sanitiser was our only option. 

We at The 2 Minute Foundation are programmed to be ingredient aware and we push this mindset onto others via our #2minutesolution campaign. I want to know what goes into my shower gel, my washing up liquid, my soap, so when buying hand sanitiser, it’s no different.

Let’s ask for clearer labelling. Let’s change our thinking and heighten our awareness on what actually goes into the products we so rely on during this pandemic in particular, and everyday life. Join us in making this a #2minutesolution right now.  Just because a label says ‘vegan’ and ‘biodegradable’, does not mean that it’s eco-friendly. The eco-friendly options are out there – we know. 

We hope that we can be the driving force behind banning microplastics in hand sanitiser and other household products for that matter. It’s a big ambition, but we know this can be done. 

What’s next? We are working on finding a planet positive brand to recommend to all of our station guardians. We are going to be trialling eco-friendly options and help drive change by persuading manufacturers to eradicate the micro plastic element. We’ll keep you informed. In the meantime, watch this space for our homemade hand sanitiser recipes. It’s the perfect #2minutesolution. You never know, we may even start manufacturing our own eco friendly brand – anyone got a spare factory?

We’d love to have some feedback, so get in touch and start the conversation. 

Keep washing your hands!

Nicky and The 2 Minute Foundation team

If you would like to hear more about our campaigns and how we can all do our bit to clean up the planet 2 minutes at a time, please subscribe to our newsletter here. If you’d like to support us with a donation, please do so here

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Where. We. Stand.

It has been well documented that the people who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are those who have the least: low lying, poor nations who risk having their homes flooded; fishing reliant communities who find it harder and harder to feed themselves because stocks are crashing; poorer parts of our own communities who face food insecurity already.

It’s the same with plastic pollution. It affects those in poorer countries more than it does us here in the west because of the way we have been shipping our waste abroad. It often affects those who cannot help themselves.

Here at 2 Minute HQ we campaign to help clean up our planet, 2 minutes at a time. We have a global family who pick up litter each and every day from beaches, town and cities all over the world. We don’t see colour. We see people. However, as we head towards 2 Minute Day this Sunday, we realise now is the time to make our stand in the fight against inequality, just as we fight for environmental justice, so we must also fight for racial justice. The two are often closely linked.

What do we do? We are based in Cornwall in the UK and enjoy the privilege of living in a nice place. We might face a risk from rising sea levels but we do not suffer prejudice. Our location might hold us back economically, but, for many of us, it’s our choice to be here. We have choices. Others, we know, have none and have their choices removed by the way our society operates. We abhor that.

So what do we do?

Firstly we would like to extend a welcoming hand to anyone of any colour, and especially minorities, as we always have done.

Secondly, and most importantly, we would like to do what we can to help communities right now. We are working on a project to put hand sanitisers on as many of our 2 Minute Stations as we can. We can’t do them all at once, but we pledge, here and now, to fit them in communities that are more vulnerable to infection and are affected adversely by litter of any type. Let us know if that’s your community. Following the COVID crisis we anticipate that some of our boards will be out of action in the future. We will donate any returned to us to communities that might benefit from them. Again, please let us know if that’s your community.

Lastly, we’d like you to tell us what we can do. We welcome any comments or suggestions as to how we, an environmental charity that aims to be inclusive and people and planet positive, can do more to ensure that now and into the future black lives matter.

Thank you.

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We’re opening up for safer litter picking!

Hello all. I hope everyone is well, staying well and has been coping with lockdown. We are living in truly bizarre times.

Here at the 2 Minute Foundation we’ve been working away in the background on a few projects, even though we have withdrawn as many of our stations as possible. You may have seen our #2minutesofpositivity videos that have been published every day at 2 pm for the last couple of months. I find them really inspiring and I hope you do too.

Our shop will open from Wednesday

Now that the exercise rules in England have started to ease, and we can get out more, we have decided to reopen our online shop. Thanks to our working partnership with HH Environmental we have a large range of litter picking equipment for sale, such as litterpickers, folding litter pickers, bags and gloves. We also sell #2minutebeachclean merchandise. All of this helps us to keep on doing what we do.

We know that you – our family – have felt very frustrated that you haven’t been able to get out and get to the beach or open spaces. We all know the benefits of getting exercise and of leaving places better than you found them. However, it is still very important that you are able to stay safe while you do it.

We are working to place hand sanitisers on our beach clean stations, but until then we would urge you to use a litter picker if you have one, wear gloves (and wash them afterwards) and take your own bag (and wash it afterwards) if you are going to pick up litter at the beach or in the countryside. And wash your hands as soon as you can afterwards.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ONLINE SHOP.

Stay safe. And thank you for all you do.

Martin and the 2 Minute Team.

Want to support us?

It’s easy! Text 2MINUTE to 70450 to donate just £2 per month.

Or CLICK HERE to donate.

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CORONAVIRUS: If you need 2 minutes, just take it.

Hello.

Martin here, founder of The Beach Clean Network and the #2minutebeachclean. Lately I have also become the CEO of The 2 Minute Foundation, the next incarnation of the organisation I started with Tab all those years ago. It’s an honour to still be a part of it.

But that’s enough of the introductions.

I’m going to get straight down to it. Just like everyone else, I am devastated by the Coronavirus.

Having just announced our charity status, we felt like we were on a roll in 2020. It was to be our year. The ‘first year’ after many years of struggling. We were named as the CBI South West’s charity of the year. We had just launched our Guardian Angel Scheme in Cornwall and Devon with Fjallraven and were doing similar in London with Love, Beauty, Planet. We were about to open a shop to raise funds for our campaign work. The 2 Minute Shop “from Trash to Treasure” was to be on Crooklets Beach in Bude, the place where the #2minutebeachclean hashtag began in 2013. We have been donated end of line stock from our supporters Surfdome (the kind of wearable, perfectly serviceable stuff that other companies send to landfill) and would have been selling that, along with original beach litter artworks from our talented family, merchandise, plastic free products and books. We were in talks with Bude Town Council to take over an empty building on Crooklets Beach to make into our office, an information centre, an eco-hub and a place from which we could lend beach toys and litter pickers.

All that now is on hold. Half of our amazing team have been furloughed. I miss them. The rest of us are working from home. We have asked our Guardians to remove litter pickers and bags from all of our 800 beach cleaning stations around the UK and Ireland, and to remove the stations altogether where possible. Our team of fantastic Guardian Angels are on hold, waiting for whatever happens next.

But really, it’s ok.

We’ll get through this. What matters now, more than ever, is that our family – that’s you – stays safe and well. However we feel about the mountain of plastic litter that enters the oceans every year, our family’s welfare is more important right now. That means staying home unless doing your ‘state sanctioned’ exercise. If you want to pick up litter as part of it, and can do it safely, then we thank you. But if there’s any risk to you, you can’t wash your hands afterwards or you worry where it’s come from, please don’t. We need you fit and well to fight another day.

However, I do understand how important doing small acts of good can be for the soul. Focussing on litter, picking it up and leaving somewhere nicer than it was when you got there can be excellent therapy. It can allow you to be present, to take a break from negative thoughts or emotions and do something positive. If you’re having to isolate, can’t get to a beach or park or are too afraid to go out, this must be really difficult. So if you need help, talk to us. If you’re struggling, get in touch. If you need to take 2 minutes for yourself, take it. And if you’ve got 2 minutes to spare, give it to someone who might need it. It might be as simple as making a positive comment on someone’s picture on Instagram. Every bit matters. Starting a conversation, as long as it’s heathy and positive, can do more good than you might imagine.

In recent weeks we’ve been posting videos of our #2minutesofpositivity online. If you’ve yet to see them, take a look at the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. They are snippets of positivity from our family that they wanted to share. Recently we’ve had brilliant stuff from all over the place. World Surf League commentator and big wave surfer Peter Mel sent us a video from California. Laura from Springwatch sent us a video from her greenhouse and Lauren Eyles from the Marine Conversation Society sent us a video from the Gower. We’ve had badgers and nettle soup, songs from Nicky (and me) and even Jaik’s nan and grandad.

I hope, if you need a little boost, that watching them may help.

From my own personal point of view, I’ve found it hard not to be scared and afraid of what the future will be like. I am concerned for my own health and for my family. My mother is in Ireland, my kids just about to leave isolation after 2 weeks at home with their mum. I’m still working but trying to spend some of the day looking after myself. Stretching has helped me to listen to my body and has helped me to feel better while I’ve been learning some basic yoga. I’ve also been enjoying the silence, the chirping of the birds, the clear skies and the coming of spring. I’m lucky: I have a garden and live in Cornwall.

I am learning to see the positive in everything.

After last night’s rain it feels as if nature is about to burst. It’s had some time off from us and is ready to explode with spring time. We’ve seen goats in Llandudno and, if social media is to be believed, a clearing of smog over parts of China. We’ve certainly been producing fewer emissions because we’ve been burning less fossil fuel. We’ve been buying less too. Our cars stand on our driveways or in the street unused. The roads are silent. We have time to think. We have time to appreciate the little things in our lives: nature, birdsong, growing veg, the faces of those we love, the daily walk, cycling, open spaces, clear skies, the sun on our faces, picking up the phone to old friends, video conferencing distant family, new blossom, new life in our window boxes, listening, watching, loving and learning.

That’s what life is about.

Maybe this proves we don’t need so much to be happy. We don’t need to go so far. We don’t need to drive so much. We can live without flying so often. We can work from home. We can shop local. We can give 2 minutes to our neighbours. We might find out that fashion, in times like this, is pointless, and shopping doesn’t make us happy. We might learn that taking the time to cook from scratch can be both rewarding, healthy and fun. And cheaper too. We can make less mess. We can find the time to clear up a bit more. We can slow down a little.

How do you feel about that?

Personally, while I am devastated that we can’t continue much of what we started at the 2 Minute Foundation, for the time being, I hope that this will be just a blip and that things will change for the better. While it might be tough to adjust to a brave new world, where we can’t just have it all, everything you do from now on matters.

Every 2 minutes makes a difference, whatever that 2 minutes means.

Thank you.

Be well. Think well.

And if you need 2 minutes, just take it.

martin@2minute.org

nicky@2minute.org

dolly@2minute.org

If you would like to hear more about our campaigns and how we can all do our bit to clean up the planet 2 minutes at a time, please subscribe to our newsletter here. If you’d like to support us with a donation, please do so here

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STAY HOME. STAY SAFE. STAY POSITIVE.

Hello! Here at 2 Minute HQ we are starting to get seriously worried about YOU. We need you to stay safe so that we can continue the fight against marine plastic another day. We’ve had reports of beaches busy with people this weekend. We don’t think it’s right for anyone to go out if there is any risk to themselves or to others of being infected with Coronavirus. Please do not contribute. We have asked our Guardians and Guardian Angels to ensure that our #2minutebeachclean #2minutelitterpick and #2minutestreetclean stations are withdrawn from use today. At the very least we will remove all litter pickers and bags.

While litter picking and beach cleaning in total isolation may not be a risk in itself, we believe that now is the time for extreme caution and staying at home.

Thank you very much. We appreciate all you do for us and look forward to seeing you all on the beach in the near future.

READ: UK BEACHES BUSY DESPITE ISOLATION PLEA

How about a #2minuteunderthesinktidy?

Can’t stop cleaning up? Us too. So we’ve decided, in view of the above, to start at home. It’s a great opportunity to tidy up the attic, plant some veg, take a peek under the bed and have a jolly good clear out under the sink. Or how about reassessing your waste? Now is the time to think about how you can reduce your plastic and help to stop beaches getting clogged up with plastic waste. And, at the moment it will help our local councils by taking at least some of the pressure off. The less waste you produce, the less they have to deal with during this crisis.

Not for you? How about #2minutesofpositivity?

You may have seen that we’ve been trying to keep our spirits up lately on social media. We’ve had some fun!! Nicky, our COO has shown her hidden talent for singing in the latest one, which went out yesterday. Take a peek. She has an amazing voice!! What’s your secret talent? Show us by making a video and tagging us @2minutebeachclean and adding #2minutesofpositivity.

WATCH: Nicky’s amazing 2 minutes

Thank you and with love,

Martin and the 2 Minute Team.

If you would like to hear more about our campaigns and how we can all do our bit to clean up the planet 2 minutes at a time, please subscribe to our newsletter here. If you’d like to support us with a donation, please do so here

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GIVE 2 MINUTES FOR PLANET EARTH IN 2020

Bude based anti-litter campaign group, The 2 Minute Foundation, celebrates a new beginning with charity status and a message to all lovers of the great outdoors for 2020: “2 minutes can make all the difference!”

This week the 2 Minute Foundation celebrates its transition from non-profit to charity, after 6 years of campaigning to inspire beach goers and lovers of the great outdoors to take 2 minutes out of their day to make a difference. Their #2minutebeachclean campaign began in 2013 after ferocious Atlantic storms left the north Cornwall coast littered with plastic debris from the deep. Looking for help with the clean-up, founder Martin Dorey, a writer and surfer, turned to social media. Using the #2minutebeachclean hashtag for the first time, Martin posted pictures of beach litter in the hope that others would join in. They did.

To date there have been 127,000 pictures posted to Instagram, with countless others posted to Facebook and Twitter, amounting to hundreds of tonnes of beach litter removed from beaches, waterways and outdoor spaces worldwide. In 2014 the organisation set up 8 unique beach cleaning stations to make it easier for beach goers to get involved. They were so successful – resulting in a 61% drop in litter picked up on monthly clean ups on Crooklets beach in Bude – that there are now 800 #2minutebeachclean, #2minutelitterpick and #2minutestreetclean Stations (and even a trial coffee cup collecting station) around the UK and Ireland. Litter bags for some stations have been made from discarded festival tents to stop them from going to landfill, in partnership with Leopalloza Festival and Rooted Ocean.

As well as being featured on BBC’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch, the #2minutebeachclean campaign was named as the top ‘way to get involved with ocean conservation’ by the Blue Planet 2 website after the Attenborough programme raised the important issue of plastic in our seas. In 2019 the campaign extended to prevention with the #2minutesolution and the publishing of ‘No More Plastic’, Dorey’s best-selling book about reducing plastic consumption.

Martin says of the project, “The success of the #2minutebeachclean campaign shows that small actions can add up to make a big difference. While we might not be able to save the planet on our own, our campaign encourages everyone to play their part. We know that collective actions can make a real difference.”

Being granted charity status will allow the 2 Minute Foundation to do more, inspiring people all over the world to take 2 minutes out of their day to clear up the world’s beaches, oceans, parks, streets and outdoor spaces.

Nicola Green, COO of the charity says of the new status, “Our team has worked hard to inspire people to do their bit and we hope that being awarded charity status will enable us to do even more. The oceans are under huge pressure from plastic waste and need us to clear up and prevent it from getting worse. Our work makes it easy for people to get involved and is always positive because we believe that every action can make a difference.”

“2020 will be an important year for us as we begin life as a charity,” Nicola continues, “as we already have plans for a network of volunteer Guardian Angels to look after our beach cleaning stations in the South West, thanks to an exciting new relationship with, and funding from, Swedish eco-clothing brand Fjӓllrӓven. We’re also working with long-time partners Surfdome, as well as Lush, Bunzl, Love, Beauty and  Planet and Boshers to put more stations in places that really need them. There’s a lot of litter out there!”

If you would like to hear more about our campaigns and how we can all do our bit to clean up the planet 2 minutes at a time, please subscribe to our newsletter here. If you’d like to support us with a donation, please do so here

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All I want for Christmas is … a plastic free ocean!

Martin Dorey, surfer, writer and anti-plastic campaigner is full of ideas for reducing your plastic footprint and helping to heal our oceans. In his book, No. More. Plastic., he explains why it’s vital to live without single use plastic. Here he gives us his tips on how to enjoy a less wasteful, more principled and soulful Yuletide – without the plastic!

So, you saw Blue Planet 2. You – and the rest of us – were deeply shocked at the state of the oceans. Enough to make changes. You stopped buying bottled water. You gave up the straws. You are starting to save the world, one piece of plastic at a time. Good on you!

But now it’s time to take on the big one – the carnival of consumption and convenience that is Christmas. You can do it, of course, because you believe in a better way. You can tame this beast, because you know that the result will be a future with a healthier ocean. Your gift to the planet and to your children, if you like.

Goodness knows our seas, waterways and oceans need something special this year. They are choking because of our wasteful excesses and because of the plastics we allow to pollute them. Plastic is toxic, has recently been proven to release greenhouse gasses, and becomes more toxic in seawater. It doesn’t biodegrade and simply breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. Fish and seabirds mistake it for food. Whales and dolphins eat it and get entangled in plastic rope and nets. Mussels ingest tiny fragments of plastic from our washing machines. And, whether we like it or not, it’s coming back at us.

We might do our beach cleans – well done all! – but the only way we’re really going to make a difference is by stopping the plastic at source. And that means making some important – and easy – Christmas choices.

Christmas is NOT cancelled

The great news is that you CAN enjoy a plastic-free Christmas without having to do without. It just needs a little thinking around the subject, some creativity, and perhaps even a nod to what our parents and grandparents did. How did they do Christmas without plastic?

ANSWER: They did it very well, actually.

Plastic-free giving

The giving of gifts is a symbolic gesture, an act of love. It isn’t about how much you can spend, how generous you are or what a show you want to put on, no matter what our culture tells us we need to do. So how about spending a little more time thinking and a little less time shopping. Make some fudge, sew some bags of lavender, bake biscuits or look for days out and experiences that your loved ones can enjoy and will remember long after the plastic presents have gone to landfill. A surf lesson? A day out to the London Aquarium? Give a gift with love and the ocean will thank you.

Wrap it up, sweetie

The next bit is easy too! Forget the foil and plastic paper and go for something simpler and more natural – like real paper – that can easily be recycled!!! How about buying plain newsprint and drawing on it, wrapping gifts for your friends in scarves (from your local charity shop, maybe) or just using old newspapers and jollying them up with coloured string or cotton ribbon. And ditch the sticky tape and bubble wrap. It’s plastic too.

The tree without the trash

You might need to forgo your plastic tree this year. Fake is so… fake news. Get a real tree with real roots that you can pot up and use again next year and the year after. It’ll smell better and will make Christmas more real than ever. Dump the tinsel too, and the baubles and the fake decorations and try some new (old) and better ways to decorate your house. Paper chains are fun to make. Dried slices of oranges, lemons and grapefruits smell amazing and can be hung from the branches (and composted afterwards). Spice them up with cloves or wrap up cinnamon sticks and hang them in coloured cotton ribbon. Make gingerbread men and women and hide them in the branches! If you can afford it, start a tradition by buying your kids a glass bauble each year.

Christmas dinner and none of the trimmings

Plastic free shopping is easily done, really, with a little shift in your mindset. Think about where it will go once you’ve done with it – do you know exactly what will happen to it? Be patient with those who don’t know better. They are going to try and force a bag, a straw, a plastic tub on you. But you can resist! You don’t need all the plastic trimmings.

Take your time to stay away from the supermarkets and seek out plastic free shops, farmers’ markets, bakeries, butchers and greengrocers. Sometimes it’s going to seem like a chore, but it is worth it. Every piece of plastic you DON’T use is one less piece going to landfill or the ocean. Take old takeaway cartons with you to the deli to refill, remember your reusable bags and try to avoid buying products wrapped in plastic. If they are, make sure they can be recycled. If it says ‘cannot currently be recycled’ avoid it like the Christmas plague.

When it comes to Christmas boozing, consider getting a Soda Stream for your mixer bubbles and kids’ refreshments, and avoid plastic bottles or single serve cans of tonic for your G and T. Got it? Great.

Happy Christmas!!!

LOSE THE FAKE THIS CHRISTMAS:

Christmas is glitzy, but most of the gloss comes from fakery, plastic and cheap tat. You don’t need it. And neither does Christmas! Ditch it!

  • Balloons
  • Tinsel
  • Plastic baubles
  • Plastic and foil wrapping paper
  • Plastic packaging
  • Sticky tape
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic straws
  • Throwaway glasses, cups, plates, cutlery
  • Shop bought crackers and decorative tat

BACK IN WITH THE OLD

Having a plastic free Christmas is all about reusing, making and thinking. It’s about traditional values and making do with what we’ve got. Greed goes out the window – as it did for our grandparents.

  • Real trees with roots
  • Paper chains
  • Home-made decorations
  • Bad Dad jokes in home-made crackers
  • Gummed tape and string
  • Crayons and newsprint wrapping
  • Bags for life
  • Paper straws
  • Real glasses, cups and plates
  • Reused takeaway tubs at the deli
  • Home baked goods for pressies
  • Gifts of experiences and memories
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Friend of 2 Minute: Beth Noy

Beth Noy is the brains behind Plastic Freedom, an online shop that stocks plastic-free alternatives to everyday items. 

“By choosing to live plastic-free it forces big companies to make changes to meet their customers needs.”

We spoke to Beth about setting up her business, watching it grow and moving to Cornwall. 

Hey, thanks for taking the time to chat to us! How are you doing? We see you moved to Cornwall recently! Was this spurred on by the lockdown last year?

I’m great thanks! I’m so happy the world has started to reopen more, not that life has changed loads, but that sense of freedom is back.

Yes I moved to Cornwall in September last year, after a year of wanting to. It’s incredible down here! I realised I needed to live by the ocean after running the Plastic Freedom stall down at Fistral Beach during Boardmasters in 2019.

When did Plastic Freedom start and how did it happen? Was there a penny-dropping moment?

Moving to the seaside town of Southport and seeing the amount of plastic and rubbish on the beaches really opened my eyes to the plastic problem. It was everywhere and right on my doorstep! I started seeing things in a different way. I noticed myself and my work colleagues buying meal deals every day for lunch, all wrapped in disposable packaging. It made me start to think about how much we throw away. 

When I then looked into cutting down on my own single use plastic I realised how many hours of research it took to find a company that was genuinely plastic free. I knew that if I could offer products and proper advice to people (you’re more likely to buy something your friend recommends right?) that I could help others to make changes too.

Two weeks later, my website was built and launched!

Why is it so important for people to cut out single-use plastic from their daily lives?

When I talk to people about personally reducing their plastic, the general view seems to be ‘I’m not going to make a difference so why bother’. However, it really is these small changes that have a big impact!

Since I started Plastic Freedom we’ve sold over 250,000 products. That’s a quarter of a million products that would otherwise have been plastic and probably ended up in landfill. (Never mind the plastic packaging that the plastic item arrived in!) 

It’s these choices that also change consumer demand. By choosing to live plastic-free it forces big companies to make changes to meet their customers needs. 

Do you have any big plans for 2021?

Yes! So many! I am hoping to get a small space in Newquay where I can work from, run a small shop and also offer rentals of the new outdoor range I have launched. Not only that, but I have a secret side of the site which will be launching before the year is out, as well as some incredible partnerships with brands I can’t talk about just yet!

I also want to step into the world of eco consultancy. I want to get the community together in Newquay to try and prevent issues happening (e.g. the fires/rubbish left on Fistral Beach daily). I want to run events with local businesses to host screenings and talks based around plastic… So just a few things!

That’s the thing about Plastic Freedom, there are literally a million different directions to go in because the world needs our help!

What’s your favourite product in your Plastic Freedom shop?

This is the worst question you could ask me because I literally use pretty much everything! And I’m not just saying that either. Yes, I have my favourites from each brand that work for my own hair and skin type, but I only stock things I love myself from areas that I originally struggled to find the plastic free alternative. 

My top swaps in general were a safety razor, makeup remover and makeup wipes. These were such easy changes to make, and everyone raves about them on my social!

When did you first hear about the work of The 2 Minute Foundation and the #2minutebeachclean initiative?

I found the #2minutebeachclean on Instagram when I was running my blog ‘The Plastic Free Hobbit’. I got myself one of the beach clean bags and took it out with me every time I walked the dogs. It really gave me a real sense of community to see others all over the world doing the same, especially when I was surrounded by friends and family who weren’t on the same ‘mission’ in life.

Did 2020 teach you anything? Is there anything you’d like to encourage people to do differently this year?

2020 was a big year for me. It was emotional, hard and lonely, but also exciting and life changing. My biggest piece of advice would be to not let work control your existence. Get outside, take time to think about what makes you happy and then do more of that! 

Often when we do this we become more aware of our surroundings (rather than rushing to complete the checklist for the day) and we see the issues that are right in front of us. It’s this knowledge that drives change!

You may have heard of our #2minutesofpositivity campaign… What small thing do you do each day to put a smile on your face?

I get in the sea, ride by the sea or look at the sea! There is something so calming and freeing about such a blue open space that it makes you excited for the day ahead and the potential it holds!

To take a look at Beth’s shop, Plastic Freedom, click here. You can follow her journey on Instagram too.

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Friend of 2 Minute: Kahi Pacarro

As co-founder of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and CEO of Parley for the Oceans, the sea is at the heart of everything Kahi Pacarro does. 

We talked to Kahi about his love of the ocean, his drive to protect it and why his work is so rewarding. 

Hey Kahi, thank you for taking time out to talk to us! How has 2021 been for you so far?

2021 is just another year full of challenges that I look forward to taking on. It’s been great so far and I expect it to continue to be so. 

Have you always loved the water? When did you first realise that our oceans needed protecting?

I have always loved the water. As a little kid I preferred a bath to a shower and now I’m an ocean addict that gets eggy if I don’t touch the salt water at least once a day. I started realising it needed protection when I began traveling and saw how badly our oceans were being treated globally. 

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is an amazing initiative. Did you feel like it was missing from your local community when you started the organisation? 

We started SCH because, at that point, cleaning beaches was not seen as something that was fun or cool. We wanted to flip the narrative and make cleaning beaches something that you wanted to do, not something we needed to do. 

Parley for the Oceans is also an incredible movement. You’ve had some massive brands get on board and takes the expression ‘stronger together’ to a whole new level. What’s it like to collaborate with so many creatives, scientists and businesses? 

The partnerships we’ve formed are amazing, but it’s not always easy. The brands that we work with sacrifice profit to make the changes we require of our partners. But, in the end, that sacrifice pays off as the brands become leaders in their respective industries, leading to opportunities to garner more market share, influence and profit. 

The collaborations we form are extremely fun and important. By coming together we recognise that we are not alone in this endeavour. The safe space to concrete solutions within the Parley ohana is ripe with innovations and ideas. I’m just honoured to be a part of it.

Here at The 2 Minute Foundation we know that beach cleaning isn’t just good for the planet, but for the mind, body and soul of the person cleaning up too. Do you notice the positive effects on the mental wellbeing of people who take part in your beach cleans?

100%. Cleaning beaches is a cathartic exercise that when done with people creates a community. The ehukai “sea spray” invigorates the microbiome and releases endorphins that awakens and makes you just feel good. So I say, I’m not a scientist. Ha!

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

The proudest moment of my career was the successful transition from SCH to Parley. When you create an NGO, you become that NGO. But if you become too ingrained and then leave the NGO will fail. Therefore, I worked my ass off to set it up and manage the transition so that SCH would not only survive, but thrive upon my departure from the helm. 2 years later and SCH is killing it! So is Parley. So that’s my proudest moment of my career. 

Can you tell us about anything exciting you have lined up for 2021?

We just launched the world’s first Parley AIR Station (a communal hub for education, ocean immersion, up-cycling and collaboration) with many more to come. I’m excited to start broadcasting from the Parley AIR Station in Hawaii and inspiring behaviour changes that can have tangible effects on reducing the amount of trash ending up on our coastlines. 

What can each person do as an individual to ensure they make a difference and help save our oceans?

First, get in them. Immerse yourself. Then share how rad that experience is and encourage others to do so too. They say you care for what you love. We need more people to fall in love with the oceans. 

Once the love is there, what comes next is the learning, which never ends. Take what you learn and start taking action. You can start by simply stopping the use of so much damn plastic. I encourage people to start with the switch to a bamboo toothbrush so that the first thing you do in the morning after your morning wee isn’t shoving plastic in your mouth. Start your day off right. 

Our #2minutesofpositivity campaign is all about taking 2 minutes every single day to do something that makes you happy. We think it makes all the difference. What small thing do you do each day to put a smile on your face?

You guess. Yup, you’re right. I get in the ocean. 

Any parting words of wisdom?

Clean beaches start at home. 

Click the links to find out more about the work that Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and Parley for the Oceans do.

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Support us by supporting them

We feel very lucky to have your support. Each time you post a 2-minute-hash-tagged photo on social media, do a litter pick or spread our message you are helping us to make the world a better place. 

The 2 Minute Foundation also receive support from some wonderfully creative people. These small businesses and artistic individuals donate a portion of their profits to us. So, by buying their products you can support us as well as support them. 

We’ve put together the following list of companies and people we work with. We are very proud to be chosen by them – and by you too. 

Smartie Lids on the Beach

Michelle Costello’s colourful artwork is completely unique. Each piece is made from washed up marine plastic and debris which she collects during beach cleans. You can buy Michelle’s artwork from her online shop. 

SIGG

We love working with SIGG. They make reusable water bottles (10 points for saving the planet and cutting out single-use plastic!) and donate 10% of sales from their 2 Minute specific designs to our charity.

Surfdome

We’ve worked from Surfdome since the beginning and couldn’t be prouder to be so close with such an eco-aware brand. 

So Little Time Clothing

Organic, ethical and sustainable, So Little Time’s clothes are made with love and respect for the great outdoors in mind. Matt’s clothing store donates 20% of profits from his adult range and 50% of profits from his kids range to The 2 Minute Foundation. 

Coral Eyewear

George Bailey’s sunnies and glasses frames are made from recycled marine plastic. He’s had scores of good reviews, great press and repeat customers. We’re proud to work with George and his innovative company, Coral Eyewear. 

Cuddledry

Helen and Polly make award winning baby towels, baby gifts and children’s bath and swim products. 1% of their annual turner over goes to The 2 Minute Foundation. 

Nicky Linzey

Nicky is an active member of the #2minutebeachclean community. She collects litter and marine debris and turns it into woven wall hangings. She also creates bowls from ghost fishing rope that she finds on UK beaches. You can buy her creations from our online shop by clicking here.

House of Hidden Treasures

Claire Jones sells original artwork and home decor in her Etsy store, House of Hidden Treasures. All her artwork is themed around nature and animals, and each piece is lovingly created by hand.

Life Forms Art

The team at Life Forms Art have created a beautiful notebook gift set to raise awareness of plastic pollution. Both the cover and the paper of the notebooks are 100% recycled and 30% of profits from the books go to us. 

Bee Bee & Leaf

Bees wax wraps are a great way to eliminate clingfilm and plastic packaging from your lunchbox and kitchen. Kath Austin, owner of Bee Bee & Leaf, donated £2 from every pack sold during November and December last year. We look forward to working together again soon! 

Croyde Sea Glass

North Devon local Vikki Worthington creates beautiful jewellery from the sea glass and ocean-tumbled pottery that she finds on the beaches. You’ll find it online and in shops in Croyde and beyond. 

INMIND Clothing

Kenneth, Angela and Thibaud work with young artists and designers to create unique clothing designs. All of their gear is Fair Trade and eco-friendly. 

Lighthouse Sustainability

Lighthouse Sustainability offer support and experience to businesses facing today’s sustainability challenges. We were the chosen charity of the year. Thank you to Emma Burlow and the team for working with us! 

Blue Jay Books

Laurie Newman’s popular book Jessie the Jellyfish, is an ocean-inspired story for children. You can buy it from our Charity Shop online or in store, and Laurie donates 10% from the sale of every book to us. 

Muddy Mermaid Spa

Sarah-Jane Moore makes lovely scrubs, creams and soaps. She donates a portion of her profits from sales to our charity too. 

Oname Soap

Kelly’s soap is made from all natural, responsibly sourced and cruelty free ingredients, plus comes in plastic free packaging. Oname donates 25% of ‘Polar Bear and Diver’ soap sales to The 2 Minute Foundation. 

Squid Ink Beach

The Squid Ink Beach Co was established in 2020. They create comfortable, quality and sustainable clothing for lovers of the outdoors, beaches and oceans, and founders Rob and Adam donate 5% of their profits to us too! 

Karolina Andreasova

Karolina’s style is intricate and unique and her artwork is available to buy from her website. She donates a portion of the profits made from selling her prints to The 2 Minute Foundation.

Caroline Bond

Last but by far not least, our wonderful friend Kittie Kipper. Creative Caroline turns beach rubbish into beautiful art. We love her ghost rope animals and baskets. She donates £2 from every ghost rope weaving kit sold and you can buy creations in our online charity shop by clicking here.

By supporting these small businesses you can help us make a huge change. Spending money with ethical, change-making companies and individuals makes a difference. 

Together we can make the world a better place. 

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Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is nature. While we believe mental health and wellbeing is extremely important and should be talked about as much as possible in our normal, everyday lives, events such as Mental Health Awareness Week help to spark conversations, raise awareness and offer support to those who need it. 

OK? Let’s talk mental health and getting outside… 

Lockdown made life difficult for many people. Reduced contact with friends and family, job worries and home-schooling, not to mention isolation and lack of exercise, left a lot of us feeling depressed and anxious. This week The Mental Health Foundation launched a campaign to get us back outside in nature and feeling better. Mark Rowland, the CEO at the foundation, said, “Nature is our great untapped resource for a mentally healthy future.” We couldn’t agree more. 

Below you’ll find a few of our favourite ways, inspired by The Mental Health Foundation, to embrace nature and look after your mental wellbeing: 

Take 2 minutes for yourself and the planet 

Small actions add up to make a big difference. Modern life is fast paced. Our to do lists can seem never ending and sometimes it’s hard to take a step back. But it’s necessary. Take 2 minutes for yourself every day to do something that makes you happy. Even better if it’s outside! Take a walk, go for a swim, drink your morning coffee in the garden, do yoga, sing like no one is listening! By taking just 2 minutes to make yourself smile you’ll notice a positive effect on your whole day. 

Go for a walk 

You don’t have to hike a mountain or run through a forest to experience nature. Even going for a walk down the street or to the local shop will make you feel better. Stretch your legs, take some deep breaths of fresh air and interact with the outdoors. Try to take in your surroundings and really notice everything that’s happening around you with all of your senses. This can help ground you and focus your mind. 

Take part in a litter pick 

A #2minutelitterpick isn’t just great for the Earth. It’s beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing too. When you are doing something good for the planet you’ll feel a sense of achievement. Taking the time to do a #2minutestreetclean or #2minutebeachclean is really valuable; you’re helping to take care of our world, you’re getting fresh air and exercise and hopefully you’ll inspire others to do the same! 

Protect nature 

Taking care of nature is a great way to feel better too. By simply recycling, walking to work instead of driving or choosing reusable items over single-use plastic you are directly looking after the planet. Feel good about yourself and the choices you make, because you really do make a difference. 

For Mental Health Awareness Week we are revisiting the #2minutesofpositivity initiative. We are asking that this week you take 2 minutes for yourself and 2 minutes for the planet every day. Do something in nature that makes you happy, even if it’s only for 2 minutes. We are sure it’ll improve your mental wellbeing. If you’d like to share your story with us then visit our Instagram to get involved. Let’s spread the message and help more people feel good! 

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