A Request For Help

It is busy at The 2 Minute Foundation with campaigning, inspiring people and businesses to change how they act, educating, collecting evidence…but times are tough, and it’s become clear that the charity needs money to keep going. In the 2 Minute newsletter this week CEO, Nicky Green, wrote to supporters to ask for help.

When I took over the role as CEO in March, I said that I would approach it with honesty and authenticity.  
So here goes: 

We need your help. Please can you donate to us so that we can continue to be here for you and the planet after the Summer?

It really has got to this point.

We have never asked for money, and we vowed that we never would, but times have changed and we really need you. I know that this is not an easy ask. The team and I understand the current cost of living rises and the impact that Covid is still having on many of us. But we also know what 2 Minute can do. And we want to carry on working together with you to save our beautiful planet. 

If you are able to give a monthly donation to help us continue, then please do so here.


When you are fast asleep, Dolly (our social media gatekeeper) is propped up in bed, usually at 3am, tea by her side, scrolling through your messages. She engages, likes and shares posts from all over the world. She’s overjoyed by the love and admiration that you have for your community and the planet and shares the feedback with the team each day. She is the human being behind the squares. She is always there for you and we don’t want this to stop. She is the beating heart of what we do and who we are.   

But my, have we grown! From one hashtag, we are now a charity, doing really great things. Over the last year we have worked with 10 corporates, educating them about marine plastic and what they can do to help protect the planet. We worked with a further 20 businesses to spread our 2 Minute message through their organisations to staff and customers and encourage more people to take part in small planet positive actions that all add up to make a big difference. Our inland campaigns #2MinuteLitterPick and #2MinuteStreetClean tackle litter and plastic pollution at source. We run The 2 Minute Beach School which has reached almost 1,000 children and young people. We’ve delivered 175 face to face sessions on the beach this year and reached a further 250 local school children. 100% of our students reported that they feel more connected to the environment after attending our sessions.  

Our online resources and lessons from the beach were a saviour to parents and carers in lockdown. We received feedback such as “my child would not concentrate on screen unless it was your sessions…what a joy for my child and for me (!) to see the interesting experiments and facts. You brought a little bit of positivity into our day”. The 2 Minute Beach School picks up litter after each session and has already collected 450kg of it this year. Our educational arm is growing, and we have aspirations to go inland into cities and reach more people with a 2 Minute tour.  

We have an app that has enabled us to log 131,375 pieces of litter. It gives us live data about what is being picked up across the globe in real time. The relaunch of the app this Autumn will help us build this citizen science programme to make top-down change. We have over 1,000 clean up stations including our circular recycled station range, that reduce litter by 61% and are stocked up with repurposed bags made from tents. To date we have made over 1,700 tent bags from 250 broken tents diverted from landfill (and counting!). We have supported and trained 34 Guardian Angel volunteers to conduct beach cleans and outreach work from these stations in their own communities across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, London, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland. And we want to do more…   
   
Picking up litter and using the hashtag is powerful activism in itself – thank you for your dedication. Since the start of our #2Minute clean up campaigns we have removed over 400 tonnes of litter out of harm’s way. That’s an immense amount of litter that is not going on to entangle wildlife, break down in the environment or eventually end up in the food chain. We have done this together and now we’re asking you for a donation, so that we can be there for you in the future, remove more tonnes of litter, educate more children and inspire more people to take action. 

We don’t just want to be a number on a list of charities that couldn’t make it through the pandemic, in the hangover from a turbulent 2021, with delayed programmes and lack of funding. We want to be here for you, for the long run.   

You know the feeling of picking up your phone to see that we have liked a post or shared a story, right? You know how it feels to get a hello, or to get a love heart emoji or a wave, spurring you on to do a talk or set up a community group or help to navigate your way through this crucial decade of climate change?   
It’s validation. It’s community. It’s belonging.    

The charity has achieved so much since I started nearly 8 years ago. I remember the hard graft that Martin, Dolly and I put in from the get-go, sitting at Martin’s kitchen table, writing funding applications, working on the accounts or wrapping up a product from the shop. I love meeting strangers, whose eyes light up when I say that I work at The 2 Minute Foundation, and hearing how they have a station near them that has been the catalyst for change in their communities. 

I remember so much – Dolly bursting into tears at such beautiful words sent to us on social media, our first t-shirt range that flew off the shelves, being on cloud-9 after meeting astronaut Tim Peake, who loves the simple concept of our #2MinuteBeachClean campaign and picks up litter with his family every day. 

I remember the hundreds of clean ups, the days spent at beach school and going to our station production site to see the first coffee cup station ever made. I remember the euphoria of watching each TV appearance and press article printed, like the ad for #2MinuteBeachClean on the back page of Surfers Path, and seeing your posts using the #2MinutesOfPositivity campaign through lockdown – each memory and act growing the community and building momentum.  

This is the inspiring, the exciting, the impact that the charity has made and is making – all from a grassroots movement, together, with you.  

And we don’t want that impact to stop, so the time has come for us to ask, ask you, our amazing family of followers, to set up a monthly donation and give what you are able – to see this amazing young environmental charity flourish. Just think what we can achieve together over the next 10 years.   

So, if you can donate, it would mean the absolute world to us and secure the protection of it, for you and for future generations.    

Thank you  
Love Nicky x  
  
CEO    

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A Key Moment for The 2 Minute Foundation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The 2 Minute Foundation Academy

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

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

Training academy

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

The 2 Minute Angel Academy

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2 Minute Expeditions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online and Remote Activities

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

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

The 2 Minute Beach School

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

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

For Schools:

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

For Individuals 

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

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

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

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

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Electric cars: electric dream or green screen? 

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

Ok. Busted.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are electric cars better for the environment? 

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

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

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

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

Oh, that doesn’t sound too good 

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

What about the materials used to make the batteries? 

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

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

So what’s the skinny?  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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