Planet Aware runs events on the Isle of Wight and in the Hampshire area that help people understand how to reduce their impact on the environment. Our activities include beach cleans and surveys, talks and presentations and education visits, as well as indoor events to promote smarter use of the world’s resources. We develop and deliver events with other partners and support the work of existing conservation organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
Our ethos is to use community events to help individuals understand how to make their own small changes to benefit the environment. Beach clean-ups are a great way of doing your bit but we also try and get people to think about why that rubbish got there and what influence they might have individually to stop it happening. Although much of the focus for beach cleaning is around removing plastic we highlight ways of reducing our impact by being smarter in our use of the world’s resources – and not just switching from one product to another!
Working with other organisations
In June 2019 we did a ten hour beach clean to raise awareness of and funds for WasteAid – an organisation that works with some of the 2 billion people that have no access to any waste management. Beach cleaning is a popular activity now. But without safe waste removal and disposal it just would not be possible as any waste collected would just end up in the sea again. We raised just under £500 which was match funded by UK Aid!
‘Alternative Spirit of’ events
In December 2018 we ran the first of our “alternative spirit of” events with the “Alternative Spirit of Christmas” hosted by Ventnor Exchange. The aim is to look at traditional holidays, events and celebrations in a different way. The Christmas event was packed out with people celebrating Christmas by sharing gifts of music, spoken word and storytelling.
Talks and stands
This year we had the opportunity to run our first eco-hub at Great Wonderfest on the Isle of Wight! Part of the ethos of the hub was as much as possible to use second-hand, re-used or recycled materials in the making! We are grateful to WightAid for their support in helping make this happen.