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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Friend of 2 Minute: Lauren Eyles

Lauren Eyles loves the sea. So much so that she has made it her life’s work. She is an ocean conservationist and presenter and works with Springwatch, the Marine Conservation Society, the Sea Watch Foundation and BBC Blue Planet UK.

We spoke with Lauren about why she is so passionate about marine life and protecting our planet. 

Hey Lauren, thanks so much for getting involved with the Friends of 2 Minute interview series! How has the beginning of 2021 been for you?

It has felt super slow! I can’t complain too much though. I live in a lovely part of South Wales, really close to the beach, and so have still been able to spend time in the environment that makes me happiest. It’s also been really nice to have more time with my son out of school, which I wouldn’t have had in normal circumstances. No matter how hard it’s been juggling everything, I’ve cherished that the most over all these lockdowns. But, things are starting to pick up and the sun is shining – so life is good! 

You’ve been working for the Marine Conservation Society for 10 years which is amazing. When did you first realise you wanted to work in this sector?

I’ve always had an affinity with the ocean. At age seven I told my grandma that I wanted to become a marine biologist, that I wouldn’t have much money, but would have a good life! This early fascination started when visiting the beach as a child and not being able to sit still! I couldn’t resist a good explore of the rock pools and I’ve always had a love for dolphins and cetaceans. I mean, what little girl doesn’t?!

When did you start working as the Regional Coordinator for the Sea Watch Foundation? What does your role there entail?

With a real love for cetaceans, I began volunteering for Sea Watch Foundation at the very start of my career, about 15 years ago. I wanted to get stuck into practical conservation work right here in the UK. Sea Watch are based in New Quay, Wales – home to one of two semi-resident Bottlenose dolphin populations within the UK. It was great to go out on their research trips to study these animals, and others, to learn about monitoring techniques. Years passed, but in 2019 I re-connected with them and not long after became their regional coordinator for South Wales. The role includes acting as a point of contact for volunteers wanting to get involved in monitoring cetaceans, encouraging sightings to be submitted to Sea Watch and organising watches over their national event ‘Whale and Dolphin Watch’ every summer. Last year, I also helped them with some short films promoting their important citizen science and educational projects. 

Can you tell us about the film you’re working on? Spotting orca in Scotland sounds incredible. 

One of the projects that Sea Watch organises every year is called Orca Watch. It’s a 10 day citizen science event involving volunteers to monitor orca, and other marine wildlife, from areas of northern Scotland and surrounding islands. I am working with a brilliant film maker to capture the heart of this event including the many citizen scientists that get involved, the amazing marine wildlife in Scotland and the Sea Watch Foundation’s wider work. This trip holds deeper meaning for me too. The only orca I have ever seen was in captivity when I went to SeaWorld with an ex and his family almost 20 years ago. If I’m being totally honest, I wasn’t fully aware of the utter cruelty of the industry I was supporting at the time and now I would love to see an orca in it’s natural environment, living free in the wild. Unfortunately, for a second year the event has moved online due to covid, but we hope to come back even more determined in 2022! And, let’s hope that we do see orca, as they are after all a wild animal! 

Your work is so extensive! Can you describe to us a particular career highlight?

It would have to be when I dragged, (well I say dragged, but there were no real complaints!) my husband and two year old son to Hong Kong and Australia for a secondment with the Australian Marine Conservation Society in 2016. I was born in Australia and wanted to get a feel for living and working there. I helped with community campaigning for a marine park in Sydney and travelled up to the head office in Brisbane to support the team in their plastic litter messaging. It wasn’t all about work and there was lots of time with the family too, as well as surfing and diving, where I was really lucky to see the incredible weedy seadragon – I couldn’t take my eyes off it! The time went way too quick but was an amazing personal and professional experience and one that my son, who’s now 6, still remembers parts of – particularly the massive spiders! He wants to go back one day, which I know we will. 

You also create Youtube videos and run talks at science festivals about the work that you do. What’s your main reason for educating people about marine conservation and wildlife?

I love everything about the ocean – being on it, in it and near it. The ocean is important for so many reasons, and holds some incredible life, yet I often find that engagement of wildlife for adults can be skewed towards the land. The ocean really is out of sight, out of mind, but it seems that we have to see it to believe in it and to care. I think it’s like anything in life, that if you haven’t experienced something, then it can be very difficult to connect with. That’s why I love sharing my love for all things marine and showing others the huge diversity of life that’s out there and how people can help to keep it that way. I am currently putting together a piece all about Jellyfish which will be out on my Youtube channel soon. 

Before you worked for MCS you worked with kids running Rock Pool Rambles which we love, as it sounds very similar to our Beach School programme. Now you write for a science and tech magazine called How It Works, aimed at children and young people. Can you tell us why you think it’s important that kids and young adults learn about science and nature?

I love rock pooling! It’s one of my favourite things to do. I find it incredible the amount of programmes now aimed at young children that teach them all about wildlife and the ocean. I can only remember one programme when I was little and even that wasn’t very marine focused! Information just wasn’t very accessible at all. My son knows more about marine wildlife than I ever did at his age, which I’m so proud of and I hope I’ve played a part in that. 

And we must keep this going – the more information and facts that children and young adults have, the more informed and inspired they are going to feel about wildlife and the need to protect it with more open minds. I have worked in marine litter conservation for a long time, so my son has naturally grown up around it, and even has a better attitude towards litter and recycling than my parents! 

It’s so much fun writing for ‘How it Works’ and bringing marine creatures and topics to life. I have written about the amazing life of rays, how sperm whales can dive so deep, exploring rocky shores, shape shifting cuttlefish and I’m about to write one on the weird and wonderful Blobfish! Go and check them out.

Can you give us any information on the book you’re planning on writing this year?! 

Writing a book has been a real dream of mine for a while but for a long time I didn’t think that I was good enough to do it, particularly after a few dead ends. However, there have been a few developments this year that I can’t talk about yet, but hope to soon – so watch this space!

Lastly, did you learn anything from the uncertain times of 2020 that has changed the way you live? 

There isn’t anything really big that stands out – like I said, I’ve been really fortunate over lockdowns, but I guess what I did realise is how important it is to take each day as it comes, rather than always looking towards what’s next all the time – I’m such a planner! 

Follow Lauren on Instagram to see more of what she’s up to.

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Plastic and Climate Change

No. More. Rubbish. Excuses. was written by our Founder and CEO, Martin Dorey. It looks at ways we can reduce our waste. It also discusses why we must do it now. This blog, pulled from the pages of Martin’s book, focuses on the correlation between plastic and climate change and what we can do as individuals to help save the planet. 

Ever since the #2minutebeachclean became a thing, in 2013, I’ve been wondering how big the plastic crisis would become. First it was how plastic affected my local beach, tourism and our health and wellbeing locally. Next it was how plastic affects wildlife. Then it was how plastic affects our food. Now it’s about how plastic affects our climate. 

Once you understand the scale of it, you can start to put the pieces in place to make up the bigger picture. And that’s when things start to get more than a little frightening. If you’re anything like me, however, you won’t give up. You’ll allow this information to fuel the fire of resolve, because to do anything else would be to admit defeat.

PLASTIC: THE BIGGER PICTURE

  • Plastic is just one small part of our planet’s problems
  • Plastic is a symptom of mass consumerism
  • Consumerism is using up resources at a massive rate
  • Plastic creates climate change emissions at every stage in its life cycle
  • Transporting plastic waste creates climate emissions
  • Plastic is climate change
  • We need to stop depending on plastic.

In May 2019 the Center for International Environmental Law released a report – the first of its kind that deals with plastic and climate change – that suggested plastic, throughout its lifecycle, could contribute up to 10-13% of the global carbon dioxide budget by 2050.

According to the report, the production and incineration of plastic in 2019 was due to produce more than 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, which is equal to the emissions from 189 five-hundred-megawatt coal power plants working at full capacity.

By 2050, they say, if production continues as predicted (and planned) the amount will increase to the equivalent of 615 Coal Plants, producing 2.80 Gt of greenhouse gasses.

Plastic refining, the report says, is among the most greenhouse gas-intensive industries in the manufacturing sector – and the fastest growing, with the manufacture of plastic is being both energy intense and emissions intensive in its own right, producing significant emissions through the chemical refining processes.

Great! How could we have ignored that? We’ve been so concerned with the oceans that we’ve forgotten, almost, the impact of it all, before it’s even got to the ocean.

What this means is that it’s more, much more than just entangled seals and dolphins.

The report from CIEL follows on from a different report, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2018, that researchers had discovered, unexpectedly, that the most common plastics, when exposed to sunlight, produce the greenhouse gases methane and ethylene. Polyethylene (LDPE), used in shopping bags, is the most produced and discarded synthetic polymer globally and was found to be the most prolific emitter of both gases.

The team also found that “the emission rate of the gases from virgin pellets of LDPE increased during a 212-day experiment” and that “LDPE debris found in the ocean also emitted greenhouse gases when exposed to sunlight.”

The study also raised concerns about microplastic disabling the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon. At the surface, microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) transfer carbon to the deep ocean. “These plankton are being contaminated with microplastics and microfibres, which lab tests suggest reduce their ability to fix carbon through photosynthesis, perhaps also reducing their metabolic rates, reproductive success and survival rates.”

So if you ever needed a reason to choose natural fibres over nylon, carry a water bottle or refuse a straw this is it. And while it might seem to be too big or too difficult an issue to solve, it is one that we CAN do something about.

WHY PLASTIC IS THE PERFECT ECO MISSION

Reading all this, and the rest of this book, you might be forgiven for thinking that the world’s problems are insurmountable. You might not be able to replant the rainforests or refreeze the arctic tundra. But you can tackle plastic in your own life. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s real and it’s tangible and you can do something about it. Right here, right now. 

There’s no need to feel helpless either, because you’ll be able to see how much of what you do matters. It’s our problem and we have to fix it. And, in fixing it, we’ll help to solve all kinds of other problems too. 

Good luck.

And thank you for making a start. Now the real work begins.

  1. Recycle more.
  2. Eat sustainably caught fish.
  3. Eat less meat.
  4. Cook more and avoid pre-packaged meals.
  5. Buy clothes second hand or ethical, in natural materials.
  6. Get outside and enjoy nature more. It’s free.
  7. Spend your money on experiences, not things.
  8. Buy, if you must buy, from ethical businesses. But question its integrity first.
  9. Buy local, fresh, sustainable and packaging free, if you can.
  10. Understand how much of what you do matters. It does.

NO MORE EXCUSES?

REDIRECT YOUR INVESTMENTS: If you have any kind of savings, investments or pensions, they may, ultimately, invest in fossil fuels and, by association, the plastics industry, so supporting them in their work. By divesting from these kinds of industries you can help to pull the rug from underneath them, remove part of their funding and send a very clear message that you do not condone their practices.

Has this article has awakened your inner eco-activist and you’d like to know more? You can buy Martin’s book No. More. Rubbish. Excuses. from our Beach Clean Shop by clicking here. Now is the time to act, not the time for excuses!  

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The Facts About Food Waste

No. More. Rubbish. Excuses. is written by Martin Dorey. As the Founder of The 2 Minute Foundation he knows how important it is to reduce our waste and to do it now. In a series of blogs we will be looking at the stats and solutions that he shared in his book. It’s time to reassess the way we live, shop and eat to help save the planet. It only takes 2 minutes! 

We don’t like waste

Each year in Europe we produce over 88 million tonnes of food waste. Annually, in the UK alone, this works out at 7.1 million tonnes. 

British supermarkets create around 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste a year, mostly through the transportation of food. 

Every year, agriculture produces around 135,500 tonnes of plastic waste in the UK, notwithstanding plastic packaging. That’s around 1.5% of the total waste stream in England. 

According to the UN, 20% of meat production, which is the equivalent of around 75 million cows, is wasted annually across the globe. 

An early analysis of data from our Beach Clean app notes that up to 34% of plastic waste found on the beaches was from the fishing industry. 

But what can be done about all this wasted food and plastic? Often there are small, planet-positive changes that we can make as individuals (a #2minutesolution) that will make a big difference. Below we’re going to dissect the facts stated above and describe the ways in which you can help. 

Food waste 

Statistics show that we throw away one fifth of all food we buy! Most of this ends up in landfill. What a waste. 

Here’s how we can help mitigate this:

  • Compost! Instead of chucking food waste in the bin, compost it. It’s good for the planet and a much better use of your left-over veggies and peelings. If you don’t have the option to compost at home there are often food waste caddies provided by the local council.
  • Don’t buy more than you need! Shop from your local butchers, bakers and grocers little and often, minimising your waste and keeping your fridge fresh. 
  • Tins and dried food can be donated to your local food banks.

Supermarket waste 

The food industry, together with the supermarkets, is responsible for a huge amount of plastic waste. This comes from the packaging used to store and transport food, plus the plastic that is used in production. 

Cut the plastic out by shopping locally. It isn’t always as easy as a flying visit to the supermarket, but the earth, the local economy and the local businesses will thank you for it. You’ll get produce that is grown in your area, therefore minimising your food’s carbon footprint and cutting out the packaging. You’ll also be helping the local economy and businesses in your area thrive, instead of lining the pockets of the supermarket giants. 

Another thing to consider when shopping are your bags. The plastic bag charge, which was introduced in the UK in October 2015, is credited with an 86% drop in the numbers of plastic bags given out at supermarket tills. Result! Let’s stamp out the use of plastic bags entirely by taking along our backpacks, using reusable cloth bags and stashing our shop in cardboard boxes that we’ll use over and over before eventually recycling. 

Agriculture waste 

Have you ever noticed the rows and rows of plastic wrap lining the fields in growing season? These are mulches. For a number of reasons, farmers use tonnes and tonnes of it by laying it on fields in strips then piercing holes in the plastic for the plants to grow through. An article about mulches in China in July 2019 from Reuters quoted a figure of 2 to 3 million tonnes of plastic mulches being used in the country every year, with only 180,000 tonnes of it being recycled. Where does the rest go? It’ll get burnt, sent to landfill or ploughed back into the soil, degrading it. Scarily, the same article said that traces of plastic have been found in Chinese exports of ginger and spinach. 

The solution? Other than buying locally, why not try growing your own? Lots of veggies thrive in the British summertime and if you plant them from seed it’s really cheap too. Better yet, you can leave veg on the plant until you need it. Beans and tomatoes are a lot happier (and stay fresh for longer) when they are quietly growing on their vines instead of stashed in plastic at the bottom of your fridge. If you don’t have much space why not try growing a herb garden? You don’t need to be green fingered, they’ll sprout in window boxes and you can dry them out at the end of the summer and save it for the colder months. No garden but keen to try your hand at growing this year? See if there’s an available allotment near you by clicking here.

Meat waste 

We, the consumer, are responsible for a quarter of the 20% of meat production that is wasted annually across the world. As we said above, 20% is equivalent to 75 MILLION cows! Have we become so detached from our food that we have forgotten where meat comes from and consider it acceptable to throw it away?

We’re not saying you have to turn veggie or vegan, we’re just asking you to be more conscientious of where your meat comes from. Battery-farmed, mass-produced meat is killing our planet. It’s bad for the environment, it’s awful for the animals, it’s unhealthy for our bodies and it can’t be ignored. Make a substantial effort to choose free range, happy meat and dairy, buy from your local butcher and village shop, reassess your meat consumption and don’t waste a morsel! 

Fishing waste 

The fishing industry is a main contributor to the marine plastic crisis. It is estimated that 10% of the world’s ocean plastic pollution is compromised of fishing nets that are lost or discarded at sea, adding up to around 640,000 tonnes. These nets are known as ‘ghost nets’ because they keep on fishing long after they have been lost (or deliberately dropped), killing hundreds of thousands of birds, mammals and fish every year through entanglement. 

Bottom trawling is a method of fishing that involves dragging heavy weighted nets across the sea floor. This is particularly damaging as it destroys everything in its path and catches everything indiscriminately. The mesh is small, which means undersized and immature fish are caught before they have a chance to breed, therefore destroying the line. 

We need to give the oceans a chance to recover. If you don’t want to give up eating fish entirely then make sure you do your research. Find out where and how your fish was caught. If there’s no good answer, don’t eat it.

Better yet, go fishing yourself or make sure it’s locally line caught. 

If you’d like to read about food and food waste in more depth, check out our Founder Martin Dorey’s book No. More. Rubbish. Excuses. As well as food and food waste, the book also looks at plastic and plastic alternatives, clothing and textiles, electronic equipment and using your voice. You can buy the book from our Beach Clean Shop by clicking here.

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Friends of 2 Minute: Claire Moodie

This week we spoke to Claire Moodie, Co-Founder and CEO at Plastic Free North Devon. In the few short years that the charity has been active Claire and her team have rallied invaluable change and action amongst their local community and further afield. 

Read on to find out about their campaigns and plans… 

Hi Claire, thanks for chatting to us! We are really interested in how everything’s going at Plastic Free North Devon. Let’s start at the beginning. When and how did you become a charity? 

We set up as a community group in 2017 off the back of Blue Planet 2 and when a few super stars in our community aligned. A local teacher, Desiree Young, had just set up a little facebook group to share plastic free tips, after being inspired by her sister who had set up ‘Plastic free Guernsey’. Myself and James Szymankiewicz had been long standing reps for Surfers Against Sewage and had been handed their brand new ‘plastic free communities’ toolkit and were on a mission to roll it out in North Devon. We teamed up with Des and Jasmine Bennett from the Pickwell Foundation who were also super passionate about using their role to kickstart this movement. Our little group was formed!

It didn’t take long for us to meet the steps of the SAS framework in some of our communities and more people flocked to offer help and ideas to build on our efforts. We were balled over by passion and energy that came at us and we saw a real opportunity to drive forward with our own agenda and started seeking direct funding to do so. By early 2019 we had succeeded in becoming our own charity driven directly by the needs of our local community.

Were you affected by the pandemic? Did you innovate and launch any campaigns off the back of lockdown?

Yes. Like everyone it was a tough and long year for us as a charity with some touch and go moments but we made it through by adapting and trying to support our community as much as we could.

One of the things we did was quickly start a #looklocal campaign. Every day for about 2 and a half months we profiled a different local business and their services. The campaign called on people to use these unprecedented times to look up and around at what we are lucky enough to have right on our doorstep. It was really well received and we now have a comprehensive list of local producers and services on our website for people to reference.

After witnessing the rise in rubbish on our streets, parks and beaches when lockdown was lifted over the summer we launched our ‘Don’t even think about it’ poster and information campaign which we piloted within Braunton Tesco. The idea behind this campaign was two pronged: think about the life cycle and quality of any items you purchase, such as inflatables, BBQs or bodyboards and food purchased for picnics, and make sure they are not irresponsibly left in the environment.

We also led the pulling together of the ‘Norther Devon visualisation’ survey with local district councils and partners. This revealed fascinating information about how the pandemic has changed some people’s lifestyles and their views on issues like the environment and their quality of life. The information collected has been used to bolster and support projects going forward.

Overall, people wanted a peaceful, sustainable community where they have more time to do the things they love in a new calmer, safer, greener, kinder and healthier environment – not too much to ask!

In January this year, fresh into 2021, we launched our online ‘cleanse and clean’ campaign which called on the community to get out in nature (jump in the ocean, get out on your bike, go for a run) and then finish your activity by giving back, for example, by picking up some rubbish. We knew from our survey that people were appreciating wildlife more and wanted to spend more of their free time outside. We also knew that being outdoors hugely benefits our mental health. With over 85% of survey respondents stating that they were interested in supporting wildlife and the environment, this was a perfect way to get stuck in.

We also launched our ‘Protect our Playground’ initiative last summer which aimed to reduce plastic pollution on our beaches by reducing demand for plastic beach toys. The initial stage was all about reducing the increasing amount of cheap polystyrene boards we find on our beaches during the height of summer. We launched a pilot hire project at Saunton Surf Hire to help raise awareness, provide alternatives to EPS boards and help generate some income for charity.

What campaigns have you got lined up for the summer months in North Devon? Obviously the influx of visitors can often lead to more litter…

Yes, unfortunately the influx of over 6 million visitors every year certainly leads to more issues and we have been trying to combat some of these through our evolving visitors campaign, which is now in its third year. We’ve created all sorts of resources for accommodation providers and visitors to use which encourage guests to ‘protect our playground’ whilst they are here. We point out that they are entering a UNESCO Biosphere area and the North Devon area of outstanding beauty and give visitors simple tips on how they can reduce their environmental footprint whilst they are here.

We are also building on our already successful virtual reality ocean explorer outreach! This involves developing our own 360 video footage of some of the amazing things on our doorstep to improve understanding, inspire people to protect what’s here and seek to learn more. Think diving with seals on Lundy and exploring rocky shores! We also hope to take some local teenagers from low-income/vulnerable backgrounds to snorkel and explore the island for themselves, volunteer with us during our summer outreach and share their experience with their peers – I’m very very excited about this!

Our #donteventhinkaboutit campaign is expanding to include all Tesco stores across North Devon and we are working with NDC to roll out some additional messaging that will be placed on all public litter bins across our region. Our wooden bodyboard hire is also growing to include more hire locations and we are encouraging holiday home owners as part of our visitor campaign to purchase them for their guests so they don’t have to buy one.

We will hopefully get our Water Bar out to a few sporting and community events and be running our usual community cleans too.

Tell us about the wooden bodyboards! We are also really interested to know more about your campaign to ban polystyrene bodyboards nationwide. 

The best thing about our wooden belly-boards is the messaging and the collaborative lobbying it has led too. Not only did we want to see better alternatives on offer but we wanted to see the cheap single-use bodyboards gone from our shops and beaches. We started by calling on all the local parishes and district councillors to support a ban. Motions were passed, letters have been written to supermarkets (Tesco will not be selling them in North Devon) and shops in towns and villages have agreed to stop selling them. Westward Ho! was the 1st place to announce a ban with Saunton following suit. We are working our way around the coast, so watch this space. And we aren’t stopping there! Our UK government petition to get the sale of them banned has increasing cross-party support and over 5000 signatures so far and we hope to get this issue discussed in parliament. Please sign if you haven’t done so already: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/574016. If you want to do a similar thing in your own area we have a toolkit to get you started. Just ask. 

As we settle into the ‘new normal’, is there anything you’d personally encourage others to do differently this year?

Be mindful, connect with the things that you buy and take responsibility in understanding how food turns up on your plate, clothes end up in your wardrobe and how much waste you create.

Choose to actively consider and be conscious of your impact on the planet and take steps to reduce it where you can. We are crew, not passengers, on this planet and we are all environmentalists – some of us are better and more equipped than others, and the playing field is by no stretch level, but we are all on a journey. Don’t get overwhelmed by what you can’t do and focus on what you can do. Look after your brain and body, get outside as much as you can and find like-minded people to share it with.

Can you tell us more about the ‘Cleanse and Clean’ campaign? It sounds a little bit like our mindfulness initiative, #2minutesofpositivity. 

Yes it is exactly that. Your #2minutebeachclean combined with #2minutesofpositivity seems like a good way to sum it up. It was originally supposed to be a series of beach cleans across the region over the month of January, but the pandemic forced us into only being able to focus on the individual element. Uptake from adults was quite slow (not everyone likes sharing their efforts on social media) but we introduced a competition/prize element for the kids and got all the local schools involved. We had over 200 entries in just over a month, clearing a ton and half of rubbish from our environment. We had the most amazing little stories and mini bios from kids telling us why they were doing it. It really lifted us up and gave us some inspiration and energy to push through the last of the serious lockdowns (fingers crossed) which we are incredibly grateful for.

What small thing do you do each day to put a smile on your face? #2minutesofpositivity 

GET OUTSIDE, listen to the birds, and have some fun (preferably surfing or swimming) but if I can’t do that a skate around my local carpark will do (yes I’ve turned into an embarrassing skating middle aged mum – I don’t care!). Nothing connects me more with myself and the planet than being in the sea. It gives me the space to breathe and clears my brain but most of all it connects me with our precious mother earth and all that she gives and reminds me that she needs ALL of us to speak up and act in her interest.

To find out more about Plastic Free North Devon click here to visit their website.

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Revisiting the Reset

In September 2020 we launched the 2 Minute Reset campaign, an initiative prompting you to get back into the swing of things, find what your ‘new normal’ looks like and persuade you to partake in planet positive actions. Our reset campaign ran throughout September 2020 and everyday we shared a #2minutesolution, a sustainable and simple action, to help you lead a more eco-friendly life. This blog will refresh those suggestions in your mind as they are just as important now as they were then. Every small act makes a huge difference and together we can help make the world a better place. 

Use a refillable bottle

If you pick up litter you’ll have seen firsthand the amount of water bottles that end up on our beaches and streets. Single-use plastic is detrimental to ecosystems and wildlife. It is estimated that an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK, but only 30% of them are recycled. The rest go to landfill and sadly end up in our oceans too. But we have a solution! Invest in a reusable, refillable water bottle and top it up wherever you go. Download the ‘Refill’ App on your phone. It shows you where you can find water fountains and free water refills stations in your area, plus coffee shops that offer discount when you bring your own cup. 

Do a pencil case audit

Schools are back, some work places are set to open up and work-from-home is more popular than ever. If you’re treating yourself to new stationary consider the sustainable options before the standard single use stuff. Plastic pens like biros run out quickly, are very hard to recycle and often end up on the beach. Why not purchase a classic fountain pen and ink, plus pencils, metal sharpener and a metal ruler? They’ll last way longer than the plastic kit. Looking for a new pencil case? See if you can find one made out of recycled materials; we’ve spotted them made from wetsuits, car tyres and crisp packets! 

Green lunchboxes

To start with, grab a reusable lunch box instead of a plastic bag. BPA free containers are great and metal ones are awesome too. Then, consider what’s going inside it. Fruit is perfect. Bake your own biscuits and ditch the plastic. Cut the plastic cutlery and pack metal or bamboo forks instead. Wrap your sandwiches in bee’s wax wrap instead of clingfilm. Top it all off with a refillable bottle of water or juice instead of Tetrapacks and cartons. Lunch box bingo! 

Grab your shopping bags

It’s obvious that the single-use plastic bag tax is working really well, so let’s keep it that way! Take your reusable grocery bags to the shops and avoid the single-use ones forever! Who’s with us?

Protect yourself

Chances are we will be wearing masks for a long time to come. Therefore, it’s integral that we choose an eco-option. Reusable, washable options are readily available and will stop millions of single-use masks from being thrown away. Plus, they come in loads of cute patterns too. 

Keep your cup 

If we all used a reusable coffee cup we’d save 16 billion non-recyclable cups being used every year. We’d stop 6.5 million trees being cut down. We’d stop 4 billion gallons of water being used in the production process. Due to the current Covid-19 situation some takeaway coffee shops have been avoiding reusable coffee cups. Environmental charity City to Sea have done the research and released a statement saying: “Over 115 health experts from eighteen countries have signed a statement assuring retailers and consumers that reusables are safe during COVID-19. The health experts emphasise that disposable products are not inherently safer than reusables and that reusable systems can be utilised safely during the pandemic by employing basic hygiene.” Great news. 

Straws suck

Statistics show that 4.4 billion plastic straws are thrown away in the U.K. each year. Ew. Don’t be part of the statistic. Simply ask for your drink without one, or invest in a reusable one and carry it with you. You’ll find straws made from glass, metal, bamboo and even recycled marine plastic! In the words of Martin Dorey, No. More. Rubbish. Excuses!

Party on

Parties! Who remembers those?! Well, hopefully we’ll be dancing and chatting in a room full of friends soon, so let’s try and make our parties as sustainable as possible. Steer away from balloons, plastic cups, disposable cutlery and plastic party bags, and get creative instead! Make decorations that you’ll use over and over, shop for party bag fillers in refill shops (instead of buying lots of plastic packets of sweets) and wrap up pass the parcel presents in newspaper, then chuck it in the recycling when you’re finished.  

Read your tea

Did you know that lots of tea bags contain plastic? Therefore, they aren’t actually always compostable… Go back to basics. Buy some loose leaf tea and a strainer. Or check tea bag boxes before buying as they normally state if they are plastic free, after all, it’s something to be proud of! 

Go Local 

Shopping with your local butchers, bakers and greengrocers is a great way to cut down on plastic packaging. You’ll also be supporting your local community and cutting down on food miles. At your local waste-free shop you can take your own containers. It often works out cheaper and you might even become a zero-waste convert!

Quality, not quantity 

Here’s a fact for you: every person in the UK has, on average, 57 items of clothing in their wardrobe that don’t get worn. Every single one of us! Bypass Fast Fashion (and the petrochemical based man-made fibres that come with it) and opt into buying only sustainable clothing from now on, whilst donating or selling your unworn clothes too.

Walk it off

If it’s within a half an hour walk, why not leave the car at home? It’s really good for your mental and physical health to get outside and active, so instead of driving why not hop on your bike, pull on your roller-blades, dust off your skate board or grab some comfy shoes and walk instead. You’ll be doing yourself and the earth a world of good. 

Planet positive pearly whites 

Did you know that on average you’ll use 300 toothbrushes in your lifetime? To make matters even worse, probably only about 2 of them will be successfully recycled whilst the rest end up in landfill or our oceans. Try using a bamboo toothbrush instead (the handle is biodegradable!), or buy your electric toothbrush heads from one of the several brands that now have a take-back recycling scheme.

Do a bin audit

Go on, put on your marigolds and have a good ol’ root around! We think its worth doing this every year, or even twice a year, as it really helps highlight any areas of your consumption that may have developed some bad habits. Lots of food wrappers? Go to your local greengrocers. Black plastic trays? Take your own Tupperware to the butcher. Too much postal packaging? Give up your internet habits and buy locally (and save all the carbon from the van too!). Give it a go and you’ll soon find another simple swap to try out to make your footprint on the earth even smaller. 

We miss the milkman! 

In the U.K. we drink BILLIONS of litres of milk every year, which in turn come in BILLIONS of plastic bottles. If even 10% of us switched to a glass bottled service, we would reduce the number of plastic milk bottles by over 340 MILLION!

Shake up your shower

There are loads of plastic free alternatives for your favourite bathroom products. Plastic free deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste are all readily available and will wash you just as well! We love shampoo bars, glass jars of natural toothpaste and eco-floss. 

Spread the word! 

Half of the challenge is making the changes yourself, the other half is getting everyone else to do it too! Spread the word by telling your work colleagues about your awesome new lunch box, remind your friends about when the milkman was a thing and point your family in the direction of this blog! Together we can make the world a better place. 

Our three favourite R’s

First of all, reduce. Do you really need that? If you need it, and now it’s finished, can you reuse it? It’s been reused to within an inch of it’s life (or it can’t be repurposed at all) so now it’s time to recycle. Make sure it’s clean (and recyclable) and pop it in the right bag or bin! 

Plastic free periods

Tampons, pads and panty liners, along with their packaging and individual wrapping, generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. To make matters worse, in 2010, a beach clean study found an average of 23 sanitary pads and 9 tampon applicators per kilometre of British coastline. Ew, no thanks! Make the swap to reusable menstrual products such as period pants or a Mooncup and save a lifetime of period plastic from ending up where it shouldn’t. Check out 2 Minute friend and period campaigner Ella Daish for more info and inspiration. 

Download our BeachClean App

Our BeachClean App is a way for you to log the litter you find. Through the data we collect we are able to see trends and correlations, therefore helping us to minimise and prevent littering in highly polluted areas! You can download the App by searching BEACHCLEAN on the App Store. Let us know what you think! 

Seek out the alternative 

So many items nowadays come wrapped in plastic packaging. However, so many places now offer an alternative too. Try to buy things that are unwrapped or come in paper, you’ll be surprised by how many options there are if you simply look a little further afield. 

Bigger is better

Not everybody is lucky enough to have a zero waste shop in their local area but there is still so much you can do to help reduce your plastic footprint, even in your regular supermarket. Buy bigger bags of stuff like pasta, rice and flour. You’ll not only save money but you will end up with less plastic packaging too. Oil, toiletries, snacks and cheeses are the same. Shop smart and go BIG! 

The 2 Minute Catch Up

Our newsletter drops into inboxes every Saturday morning and is always packed full of #2minutesolutions, positive stories and information from HQ. Click here to sign up and keep in the loop with everything 2 Minute! 

Plant a Tree

Our #2minuteregeneration challenge is well underway. We are crowdfunding a forest! If your saplings have started sprouting we’d love to see your snaps, and if you haven’t got involved yet it’s not too late! Spring is a great time to sow seeds and the more the merrier at our planting party! 

Don’t be a loo-ser 

Seek out eco-friendly toilet paper and help save the planet one flush at a time! Lots of companies make it out of recycled paper and supply their loo roll in cardboard boxes or paper wrapping instead of plastic bags. Be kind to the planet and choose a greener option for your bum! 

Do a 2 Minute Litter Pick

Let’s get right back to the 2 Minute roots! Head outside and do a litter pick. On the beach, in the park, down the street, up a mountain – every single time you pick up a piece of litter you are directly contributing to cleaning up our planet, 2 minutes at a time. So thank you! 

We hope some of these ideas will help you make small, sustainable changes, resulting in a more eco-conscious lifestyle. If you try any we’d love to see. Tag us on social media using #2minutesolution and @2minutesolution. Plus, if you have any extra ideas of your own, please let us know too! 

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Friends of 2 Minute: Jen Gale

Jen Gale is your everyday working mum crossed with an eco-warrior and author with a firm hold on what’s realistic. She doesn’t think you have to be the picture of perfection when it comes to being green and believes that absolutely anyone can make small changes to help save the world. We couldn’t agree more. 

Find out about all the things she’s been up to (think online festivals, book launches and podcasts plus more) by reading on. 

Hey Jen! How was 2020 for you? Did you launch anything exciting in the midst of the pandemic?

Hello! 2020 was a weird one to say the least!


I think, like many of us, I spent the first month after lockdown trying to get my head around what was happening. It also felt like a really difficult time in the ‘eco space’ – to know what to talk about or whether it was even appropriate to still be speaking about environmental issues and concerns when the world had been turned upside down.


I spent April really struggling, but after seeing a friend run an online festival around redundancy, I wondered if I could do the same for my audience. I wasn’t sure if there would be an appetite for it or if people would be too consumed with Covid and not have the headspace to think about anything else. Luckily it turned out that there was an appetite! Within 2 weeks I pulled together the Sustainable(ish) Online Festival – a week of 40 talks, workshops and panel discussions with over 60 contributors and 2500 people taking part. It was phenomenal and saw so much action as a result. It was definitely the highlight of my lockdown. I still get messages today telling me about the things that people have done and made happen because of it.


I was also one of those irritating people who managed to write a book during lockdown. I signed the contract for my second book – The Sustainable(ish) Guide to Green Parenting – as the first lockdown hit with a deadline of mid June. It’s being published this month which is hugely exciting!
I ran the first ever Knackered Mums on (Eco) Tour in August, a free 5 day challenge for knackered mums (and other knackered types) with 15 easy eco actions. Over 600 people took part, with a carbon saving of over 60 tonnes of CO2 over the 5 days – safe to say that blew me away! Off the back of the tour I launched the Knackered Mums Eco Club, my new membership club, which now has over 140 amazing women on board who inspire and motivate me everyday with their actions and support of each other. 

Can you tell us about when you first starting becoming aware of our environmental impact and wanting to do something to help?

I always used to think I was pretty green but I, slightly randomly, decided to spend a year buying nothing new as a family in 2012/13. I think prior to this I was somehow subconsciously looking away from a lot of environmental issues and hadn’t joined the dots at all between our own consumption and the climate crisis. It was an amazing experience and one that totally changed my life. I understand it’s pretty overwhelming to start to face up to the realities of what’s happening to the planet and very easy to feel powerless and hopeless. The year made me realise the power of my choices, the power of my voice, and the responsibility that I have to make better choices more of the time, when and where I can.

What was the first thing you did to start leading a more eco-friendly lifestyle?

I’m not sure what sparked it because this was well before our year of buying nothing new, but I bought a Mooncup (reusable menstrual cup) when my periods came back after the birth of our eldest. It took a bit of getting used to, but I haven’t used a disposable menstrual product since, saving thousands of items from landfill!

We love the ‘sustainable(ish)’ concept! The 2 Minute Foundation is all about small actions making big differences. Tell us about ‘imperfect eco-action’. 


I feel like the ‘ish’ is so important. Someone commented on one of my posts recently, saying that they found themselves in tears during one of the Festival sessions last year realising that they didn’t have to make perfect choices. Imperfect eco-action gives us permission to get it wrong, to compromise and to find out what works for us and our family. Therefore it makes it so much easier to get started!


There’s a brilliant quote by Anne Marie Bonneau (aka the Zero Waste Chef) that says “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly,” and the same applies to all areas of sustainable living. 

How did it feel to turn everything you’d learnt over the years into The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide? Can you tell us about your new book, The Sustainable(ish) Guide to Green Parenting, too?


Writing the books has been a dream come true. I used to be a vet, so have a science background, but I rediscovered my love of writing when I blogged about our year buying nothing new. It’s been challenging though too, to push through the imposter syndrome – the ‘who am I to write a book?’ feelings. After all, I’m not an expert, but I hope that that is part of the appeal. I’m just an ordinary knackered mum and if I can do it, so can you!


The new book is, as you can tell from the title, aimed at parents. There are 7 chapters from pre-baby through to the teenage years and I hope that there’s something there for everyone. I am painfully aware of how much pressure we are all under as parents, especially after the last year, so it very much majors on the imperfect action; picking one thing, making a start, having a go. There’s no guilt or judgement or pressure to be perfectly green. I don’t think there is actually such a thing as perfectly green! It’s packed with ideas at each stage for swaps and easy changes we can make to help reduce our own impact and try to bring the rest of the family along for the ride.

Did the podcast spring up naturally after you’d written your blog and first book? Who’s featured on it so far? 

The podcast started about two years ago before the book was on the horizon. I think I’m inherently nosy and I LOVE chatting to people and hearing about all the amazing things they’re doing. There are so many people out there, quietly getting on and doing their thing to make the world a better place. I wanted to be able to, in my own small way, give them another platform to share their stories on. 


The 2 Minute Foundation’s very own Martin Dorey has been on, as well as Sian Berry – co-leader of the Green Party, Tessa Clarke – co-founder of Olio, Guy Singh-Watson from Riverford, and chef and author Melissa Hemsley. It’s been amazing to have the opportunity to speak to so many inspirational people. I think one of my favourite episodes was when we had a virtual coffee morning with some of the Knackered Mums from the Club. It’s so important to share the message that us ‘ordinary types’ can also change the world and that we don’t need a huge social media following to do it! 

You may have heard of our #2minutesofpositivity campaign, which launched during the first lockdown back in March 2020 – what small thing do you do each day to put a smile on your face?

Tea is my absolute essential to keep me functioning. Walking the dog has also helped to keep me sane during lockdown and we’re lucky to live somewhere we can easily get out into the countryside. 


One of the things that never fails to make me to smile is to head over to the Knackered Mums Eco Clubhouse on Facebook and read about the changes they are making and seeing the love and support they have for each other. It’s genuinely life affirming and like having our own team of cheerleaders!

Any parting words of wisdom for our 2 Minute Tribe?

Never let anyone tell you that individual actions don’t make a difference. We are more powerful than we know – embrace the power of your choices and your voices. You DO make a difference.

If you’d like to find out more about Jen Gale, join the Knackered Mums Eco Club or check out her books, head over to Jen’s website by clicking here.

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