News and blog

Alternative Spirit of Christmas December 2019

Christmas is a great time of year to rest and enjoy being with family and friends. But this message can often be lost in the noise of commercial interests and the pressure to spend money and consume stuff. So, escape for a while and celebrate in a different way with Planet Aware and friends.

The 2019 Alternative Spirit of Christmas events on 1 December at Quay Arts in Newport and on 14 December at Ventnor Exchange will bring people together to create a Yuletide celebration away from the commercial noise. It is a chance to find and share ideas and information on how we can still enjoy this time of year whilst treading gently on the Earth. Take part in craft activities designed to start us thinking about using less of our Earth’s resources, and most of all enjoy time with others whilst poets, story tellers and singers share stories of a Christmas where time with others and gifts from the heart bring us together.

Last year six performers appeared at our first ever ‘Alternative Spirit of’ event in Ventnor. If you would like the opportunity to share and perform a song, poem, or story about a less commercial Christmas we would love to hear from you. It could be something you have written yourself or something already well known.  The theme ‘Alternative Spirit of Christmas’ can encompass work about friendship, empathy, the natural world at this time of year, how you overcame a difficulty with the help of others or a stranger. Funny, sad and thoughtful pieces are all welcomed.

You will need to be a reasonably confident and able performer and enjoy performing your work in  a supportive and positive environment. Please get in touch with any questions and details of what you would like to perform via This is a family friendly event so please do consider this in your choice of material.

‘We Love Ryde’ project launched!

We are thrilled to be involved in a new project in Ryde aimed at helping everyone be part of keeping the town’s streets, beaches and parks free of litter.

The new project,  under the title ‘We Love Ryde’ Litter Lenders will enable local residents and visitors to borrow litter pickers from Ryde Library in a similar way that people borrow books. This means people will be able to get involved in tackling litter and plastic pollution whenever they have time. And it means groups can easily run their own event without having to buy new equipment.

At the same time a new #2minutebeachclean board is being installed on Appley Beach and a #2minutelitterpick board provided in Ryde Town Centre. The boards have everything needed for someone to do a quick two-minute litter pick including litter pickers and bags to put the rubbish in.

The project has been funded by donations from the Goodleaf Tree Climbing Vertical Marathon and Ryde Town Council, and is being overseen by Planet Aware with the support of Ryde Business Association and Ryde Library.

Residents and visitors alike are invited to take time to do a quick beach clean and share their photos using the hashtags; #LitterPickerLenders, #WeLoveRyde and #2MinuteBeachClean.

The Solent Beach Hub

We are excited to have launched The Solent Beach Hub – a web-based information page and events planner for communities running beach cleans and other events celebrating our coast. The Solent Beach Hub is our way of helping the local community showcase the great events that they run to encourage a love of our Solent and Isle of Wight coast.

Are you a community group or charity in the Solent area? Please do get in touch with us with details of your coastal events or fill in the online form. Listings are and will remain free for all not-for-profit groups and charities running free events.

The Solent Beach Hub was launched following a successful bid to Sea Changers and we are very grateful for the support that they have provided for this project. Please do let us have your comments and feedback!

You can find Solent Beach Hub website at

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A beadlet anemone and a daisy anemone found under Ryde Pier.

Our ‘eco-hub’

With support from WightAid we were able to run our first festival eco-hub at  Great Wonderfest from 1 to 4 August, providing information to festival goers on reducing their environmental impacts. It was a chance for us to highlight our work on the Refill scheme, test out our reusable cup scheme and tell people about the dangers of discarded cigarette butts on the environment – and offer them an alternative! And that was just for starters!

If you would like to find out how we can help your event become more sustainable please do get in touch.


Our ten-hour beach clean for WasteAid

Planet Aware and local volunteers completed a 10-hour beach clean that saw a fifth of a tonne of waste removed from the Island’s beaches on Thursday 27th June.

The event was the idea of Planet Aware’s Sarah Marshall who wanted to undertake a beach cleaning challenge along a large section of the Island’s south coast.

Because some of the beaches on this part of the Island have very few access points it can be difficult to remove any rubbish that collects there. The clean-up therefore had to be organised around the tides and the rubbish collected had to be carried a considerable distance before it could be taken up from the beach and left near the road for collection.

Continue reading “Our ten-hour beach clean for WasteAid”