Thank you for being amazing in 2020.

Now we need your help for 2021.

Hello. How are you all? I hope things are okay and you are ready for what will be a strange Christmas for everyone. At least we are able to go out and pick up litter in these strange times. If anything, the litter problem has got worse this year as people are discarding PPE and spending more time outdoors. We’ve also had a significant container spill. So it’s fair to say we haven’t stopped working.

Neither have you. You’ve been amazing in 2020, that’s for sure, even though things might have been tough on many fronts.

2020 has been tough for us too. We’ve kept going as best we can – inspiring change and encouraging as many people as possible to get out and pick up – but now we need to ask something of you.

If we are to continue into 2021 and beyond we need your help.

When I started beach cleaning it was something I did for myself, for my kids and for the planet. I did it for my mental health too (although I didn’t realise it at the time). Then, when the idea of the 2 Minute Beach Clean came about, I pushed it because it seemed to have such resonance with everyone who came into contact with it. I was determined that we shouldn’t follow other organisations by offering membership schemes or subscriptions because I truly believe that nothing should be a barrier to picking up litter. I just wanted to get as many people involved as possible and to bring new people to beach cleaning. If that includes you I am truly grateful. At some point I hoped you and others would join your local beach cleaning groups, join the MCS or SAS and get involved with their campaigns.

I hoped that the #2minutebeachclean would just be the start of the journey and that you would go on to great things. And you have.

Today, some 7 years later, we have become a charity and we still don’t have a membership scheme – and we never will – because you shouldn’t have to pay to belong to our tribe. 

On a personal level I worked on the project unpaid until this year and will be working unpaid again next year. I also donate my share of the UK royalties from ‘No. More. Plastic.’ to the 2 Minute Foundation. Walker Books donate 20p from each copy of ‘Kids Fight Plastic’ to the 2 Minute Foundation too. I love that!

What we do with the funding we receive from grants, individuals and companies:

  • We are constantly on social media, supporting beach cleaners and inspiring new people to start beach cleaning and picking up. When I first started the #2minutebeachclean I figured if I could get one other person picking up it would double my efforts. Now we have around 75,000 followers across all social media platforms and I couldn’t be happier. 
  • This year, after it became clear some of you need a little help, we sent Dolly, who works tirelessly on her phone, on a course to be a mental health first responder so she could better recognise the signs when you need help.
  • We tracked the recent sewage spill of nappies and pads so that you could get updates.
  • We have set up a network of Guardian Angels to look after our beach clean stations in the South West. We are working on funding the rest of the UK so that ALL our stations can work at their best and your local communities can be supported and inspired on the ground.
  • All our Guardian Angels attend our Angel Academy where we teach them how to run beach cleans, educate and engage their local community and be better beach cleaners and ocean advocates. We plan to expand this to bring together all kinds of other training such as becoming a BDMLR medic or learning how to do an MCS Survey.
  • We have set up over 900 beach clean and litter picking stations around the UK and Ireland and inspired beach cleaning groups and individuals to start their beach cleaning journeys.
  • We are in the process of setting up a Beach School in Bude, and hope to expand this to your community once we know it works.
  • Through my books, lectures, social media and our newsletters (like this one) we offer ideas and tips for living more plastic-clever lives.
  • We run campaigns to inspire people to pick up litter, live without plastic and to stay positive during tough times.
  • We are planning a 2 Minute Forest in our first #2minuteregeneration project.
  • We turn discarded tents into reusable beach cleaning bags to place in our stations.

Where our funding comes from

We have survived by putting the profit from our beach cleaning stations back into the organisation, along with profits from our shop. We work with corporates to develop projects. We have recently received Lottery funding to set up the Beach School and offer education for kids in North Devon and Cornwall. We are grateful to supporters like Surfdome, Fjallraven, Bunzl and the CBI South West for the support they give us.

We don’t often ask you, our family and supporters to get involved financially. But we need your help now. If we are to continue doing all we do into 2021 we need support, both in kindness and financially. So if you can help, please do.

I realise it’s a big ask to put your hands in your pockets, and especially now. But without support we won’t be able to continue doing what we do into 2021 and beyond.

  • Donate £2 by texting 2MINUTE to 70460 to send us a one-off donation of £2. 
  • Make a one-off donation via our website. CLICK HERE.

£3 makes a beach clean bag out of discarded tent material.

  • Adopt a beach clean station for you or a friend (a cool Xmas pressie). CLICK HERE.

£10 per month helps to look after your favourite beach clean station and keep it topped up with bags and pickers.

£15 buys a litter picker for a beach clean station.

£400 puts a station on your local beach.

  • Fundraise to train and kit out a Guardian Angel. 

£1000 helps us to recruit, train and equip a Guardian Angel to inspire local communities and look after up to 10 of our beach cleaning stations.

Every penny of profit goes towards running our campaigns and cleaning up the planet 2 minutes at a time.

THANK YOU!!!!

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The 2 Minute Christmas Gift Guide!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Mulled wine, the smell of pine, twinkling lights and carols. 

Though Christmas might still be over a month away, we are already a little bit excited. However, the festive season means waste. An estimated 227,000 miles of wrapping paper gets thrown away each year along with 300,000 tonnes of card packaging. And lots of wrapping paper is actually plastic (you can tell by scrunching it up. If it unscrunches it’s plastic). Oh no!!!! The good news though, is that Christmas doesn’t have to be an environmental nightmare. You can use old newspaper or magazines to wrap your gifts! Or how about decorating brown paper to wrap your presents. And when you are done with it? Make sure every scrap gets recycled. 

But what about gifts?

We’ve compiled our 2 Minute Christmas Gift Guide to help you, our eco-warrior family, have a green, clean and merry Christmas this year! See below for our 5 Golden Rules…

  1. Give What People Need

It may not be glamorous, but sometimes people just need a new tyre. Sometimes our best friends just need a full tank of fuel. Your cousin might need a night off from the kids. Instead of the classic Christmas board games, box of chocolates or stationary sets, why not think about what your loved ones really need? Something as little as a helping hand to paint a new nursery, taking your grandma out for the day or funding uni books for your niece or nephew might take the pressure off, lighten a load or simply put a smile on their face. 

If you’re looking to encourage a friend or family member to get outside this winter, you could even purchase them a litter-picker from our Beach Clean Shop! It might not be sparkly, but it will make the world of difference for both our outside spaces and the physical and mental health of the recipient! 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE 2 MINUTE SHOP 

  1. Buy a Charity Gift 

Give and give again. When you buy a gift for someone from a charity, not only does that person receive a present, but the charity gets a kick back too! Our 2 Minute Beach Clean Shop was recently featured in Coast Magazine’s ‘Gifts That Give Back.’ When you buy from our shop, 100% of profits are put back into the charity, meaning not only does the receiver of the gift benefit, but so does our charity. All funds raised go straight to helping keep our beaches, rivers, streets and green spaces free of litter, 2 minutes at a time. 

There are also lots of amazing small charities that will need our support after a tough financial year. By supporting these organisations we can help them grow and thrive, and continue giving back. 

Another amazing charity to support is Choose Love. Through their online shop you can buy items that’ll be sent directly to refugees in need, such as blankets, firewood, hot food and children’s coats. Shop for yourself or as a gift for a friend, receive nothing, but know that someone in desperate need gains something incredibly useful and gratefully received.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE 2 MINUTE SHOP 

  1. Shop Locally 

This year it’s more important than ever to love local! Lockdown 2.0 may have forced many high street businesses, independent sellers and locally owned cafes to shut up shop, but many of them are offering click-and-collect, postal orders or vouchers for their products and produce. Did you know that every time you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance? Even though the goods being created from local artisans, makers and creatives make beautiful, thoughtful gifts, the little happy dance is enough of an incentive for us! 

Our 2 Minute eBay Shop is still up and running, where you can purchase brand new surf clothes donated from Surfdome. All profits go back into our charity, plus the clothes you’ll see in our shop have been saved from landfill, due to Surfdome’s zero-to-landfill policy. 

CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR EBAY SHOP

If you need to get your Christmas shopping done entirely online this year, you could check out the Ethical Superstore, Plastic Freedom and Wearth London. Each of these online retailers stock eco-friendly and ethical items, perfect for stockings, Christmas presents and little gifts. 

  1. Amazon Smile 

If you can’t shop independently and have to use Amazon, help us by using Smile! We are now set-up as a registered charity with Amazon Smile, which means that if you purchase something from their website, you can select an option for Amazon to donate money to The 2 Minute Foundation! 

We are, first and foremost, here for the little people. We support independent. We support small. We support local. But, of course, sometimes you need things fast and hassle-free. Help to support our beach-cleaning, litter-picking, street-cleaning mission if you absolutely have to shop on Amazon by choosing us as your Amazon Smile charity! 

Another organisation who provides a similar scheme to Amazon Smiles are Give as you Live Online, where you can also choose to give back to your favourite charity when you shop online.  

  1. Green Friday 

Everyone’s heard of Black Friday; some of you love it, others hate it, but nonetheless, it rolls around every winter. The Internet Fusion Group, who are made up of Surfdome, Webtogs, Blackleaf and Nightgear, have decided to combat the famous day of over-shopping, under-cutting and panic-buying with a different initiative – Green Friday! 

As of the first Friday in November, Surfdome and it’s affiliated companies will be donating 1% of gross profits every Friday, until Black Friday, to partner charities – which we are proudly one of! 

Surfdome said, “We’ve been supporting #2MinuteBeachClean almost since its inception and continue to be impressed by the charity’s tenacity and its practical, accessible approach to a seemingly overwhelming problem. The scale of the marine plastic crisis is so vast that it’s hard to know where to start, and easy to do nothing at all. But every piece of plastic in the sea or on the beach matters, and everybody has two minutes to spare. By encouraging people to pick up a few minutes’ worth of litter every time they go to the beach, #2MinuteBeachClean is actively improving the health of our oceans, two minutes at a time, and meanwhile helping bring about an important cultural shift.” 

We couldn’t be more grateful to be supported by our friends at Surfdome this Christmas!

Hopefully our 5 golden rules of Christmas gifting have inspired you to give back, as well as give. We are always on the look out for more independent businesses to add to our Christmas wish list, so if you’d like to share your local, plastic-free and eco brands with us, we’d love to hear! Next week we will be launching our very own 2 Minute Christmas Gifts, so make sure you keep your eyes on our blog and socials for more Xmas ideas!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE 2 MINUTE SHOP 

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Container Spill in Devon; what happened and what’s happening!

Last week, on Tuesday 27th October we were alerted to a beached shipping container that had fallen off a passing cargo ship and washed onto Bucks Mill beach in Devon. The container was one of 11 that fell off the ship, and are washing up on beaches in north Devon and Wales. This particular container held sanitary wear and medical debris. We heard that the contents – adult pads – were spilling all over the beach and neighbouring beaches. Some of the pads were still in their bags, thankfully saving them from spilling their contents, but other bags were ripped open on the rocks and by the waves, and were littering the coastline.

The salvage company arrived at Bucks Mill very quickly after the container was washed ashore, but volunteers were urgently needed to help contain the incident as much as possible. Due to a big storm, huge tides and large swells, it was integral that we get as much of the litter as possible off the beaches before it was washed back out to sea! 

Therefore, at 2 Minute HQ we reacted instantly! We put out posts on our social channels; Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, describing the disaster and rallied an army of eco-warrior volunteers! The Facebook post was shared hundreds of times, with messages of support and comments offering help flooding in across each channel. 

Early the next morning, on Wednesday 28th, a few members of our team left from The 2 Minute HQ to track the rubbish down! Claire, Jodie and Jaik missioned from beach to beach up the coast towards Bucks Mill, on the look out for the plastic sanitary wear. They shared what they found at each cove via Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, therefore letting volunteers know where their help was most needed! 

When they reached Abbotsham they were confronted by a tidal wave of plastic waste, and set about helping Oly from Project Planet and a team of other volunteers to clear up the medical debris. There were lots of amazing people already helping out, which was great to see.  

That day we also received reports that another container had washed up, but was instantly salvaged, further north in Lynmouth. This weekend another 2 containers washed up in south west Wales, and people are already joining forces to help clean up the spilled contents. 

We would really appreciate it if you, our 2 Minute Family, could let us know any first-hand information about where you’ve spotted (or not spotted) this litter along the coastline. That way, we can keep everyone who wants to help as informed and up to date as possible. 

So far, today we are aware that the rubbish has reached south west Wales, specifically at Langland, Llanelli, Limeslade Bay, Sker Beach near Porthcawl, Port Talbot, Rest Bay and Ogmore-By-Sea. Debris has also washed ashore as far south as Crooklets Beach in Bude, Cornwall, and Croyde, Speke’s Mill and Woolacombe in north Devon. Any remaining rubbish from the containers on the beaches in north Devon around Abbotsham, Peppercombe and Green Cliff is being washed ashore in shreds, so these areas would definitely benefit from a 2 minute beach clean too! 

If you decide to help out with the clean up, please TAKE CARE when at the beaches. Don’t take any risks, make sure you know what the tide is doing to avoid being cut off, maintain social distancing, wear gloves, waterproofs, wellies (and a hardhat if you’ve got one!) and wash your hands. 

Thank you again everyone. We couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of you! 

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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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