Portsmouth projects aim to scoop cash to turn the city greener in #Backtothefuture competition

GREEN-fingered schoolchildren, a reusable coffee cup scheme and a hi-tech litter-picking scheme for Portsmouth beaches are three projects hoping to raise cash as part of a 24-hour fundraising push.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 7:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 8:33 pm

Portsmouth City Council is offering local environmental campaigns the opportunity to take a share of £40,000 for efforts in tackling climate issues.

As part of the Crowdfunder #BackTheFuture initiative, three eco projects will this week take part in a live 24-hour crowdfunding event, vying for their share of the first £10,000 to support their efforts in tackling climate and environmental issues. First place will win a jackpot of £5,000 to kickstart their initiative, second will be awarded £3,000, and third place £2,000.

It will be a live-streamed event on YouTube on Thursday. During the event, #BackTheFuture: Portsmouth Climate Challenge will launch and give the people of Portsmouth the chance to tell Crowdfunder and the council their own idea for a slice of £30,000 in matched funding, towards a crowdfunding campaign.

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Year 2 pupils from Bramble Infant School and Nursery in Southsea, planting flowers outside the Co-op in Fawcett Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, March 23, as part of the Wilder Portsmouth scheme. Now the children are hoping to turn their playground into a 'green oasis' with a crowdfunding project. Pictured is: (back) Sarah Mayell-Thomas, Year 2 teacher with (right) headteacher Oli Bradley and pupils (l-r) Luca Melis (7), Zeynep Yalcin (6), Ethan Bevan-Davies (7), Layla Staley (7), Lorelei Sullivan (7) and Wesley Purslove (7). Picture: Sarah Standing (230321-5314)

Crowdfunder and Portsmouth City Council set up the competition as part of a £30,000 pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the city by 2030.

A judging panel will announce the results of each campaign following the success of each project's presentation to the panellists at 7:30 pm on Thursday, July 14.

You can sign up for a ticket to the Climate Challenge event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/backthefuture-live-portsmouth-climate-challenge-tickets-160530662533.

Bramble Infant School and Nursery

Thomas Ellis and Alex Cuppleditch, from Squidmoo, with Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan

The Southsea school wants to plant wildlife hedges, fruit trees and wildflower beds, as well as creating a water meadow area, installing bird and bat boxes and training staff in outdoor education.

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The school has from 7.30pm tonight to 8.30pm tomorrow to raise £2,000 via the crowdfunder.

Vicky Taylor, the Bramble nursery manager, said: 'We want to make The Bramble Infant School and Nursery a green oasis where kids can develop a love for nature, and a passion to look after it. But we need your help: if we can get 200 people to donate just £10 each we will reach our target.'

Steve Bomford photographs plastic waste on Southsea beach using the Jetsam app Picture: Chris Moorhouse (150120-18)

The fundraiser is being supported by Wilder Portsmouth and the Climate Action Board in the hopes it will encourage the children to interact with wildlife, as well as reduce carbon emissions and boost biodiversity.Portsmouth Climate Action Board member Nick Sebley said: 'One of the main intentions of the project is to foster a love for and connection with nature among the children, as we believe this is one of the best ways to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

‘With this in mind we also want to add fruit trees in pots for the nursery area, which will offer blossom in spring and fruit for the children to pick in autumn.'

Martyn Cox, one of the gardening experts helping the school, added: 'On the border of the playground we want to plant a wildlife hedge of native trees such as hawthorn, crab apple and hazel which will provide food and shelter for bees, butterflies and birds. This will give the kids daily contact with wildlife, which is the best way to get them excited by nature.'

Year 2 pupils from Bramble Infant School and Nursery in Southsea, planted flowers outside the Co-op in Fawcett Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, March 23, as part of the Wilder Portsmouth scheme. Now the children are hoping to turn their playground into a 'green oasis' with a crowdfunding project. Pictured is: (front) Zeynep Yalcin (6). Picture: Sarah Standing (230321-5343)

Parents and residents local to the school (especially those with no garden of their own) will be invited to form a gardening group to care for the trees, raised beds and water meadow area during holiday times.

If you would like to find out more or pledge money to the project visit crowdfunder.co.uk/greening-bramble-infant-school-and-nursery?tk=c396e03a1437afc4770fe68fea75ea9394907c69.

Squidmoo

A SOUTHSEA couple plans to launch a citywide return deposit scheme to 'massively' reduce single-use coffee cups.

The WayCup scheme by Squidmoo – run by Tom Ellis and Lex Cuppleditch – will encourage people to pay a deposit for the pair’s reusable cup - where customers can 'take it on their merry way, drink coffee around Portsmouth and Southsea and then take it back to a partner café to get their deposit back,' according to director Tom.

He said: 'The aim is to massively reduce single-use coffee cups which take about 20 to 30 years to biodegrade because they've got a plastic membrane which is obviously not good.

'Our cups will biodegrade in one to two years after they've broken down, so we're looking at raising as many funds as possible to get 10 local cafés involved.

'The funds that we raise from the crowdfunding campaign will be purchasing new cups. We will be distributing them between the ten partner cafes around Southsea.

'We're hoping to expand across the whole of Portsmouth. We're aiming to get Portsmouth plastic-free by 2030, which is big on the agenda for the council.’

The Southsea self-starter said: 'A lot of coffee shops have been closed, so we want to be able to help them on our way. Not only with whoever pledges to get a cup, but you pay £20, and you get a cup yourself, and we put one back in the system as well.

'You're gifting them to the actual coffee shop owner so they can then sell them.’

Jetsam

Jetsam was established in 2020, an app that hit the ground running as an innovative step forward against climate change.

As people take photographs of waste they find on the ground, a heat map is put together which, when put together with other data, can predict where plastic is going to wash up along the seafront.

Speaking when the app was created, Steve Bomford said: ‘All they [app users] have to do is take photos of the plastic and they’ll have made a difference.

‘This could be a real game-changer in the fight against plastic waste.’

The money raised by the Jetsam team will be used to fund the design and manufacture of a ‘smart litter picker’ that picks up litter on our beaches, whilst automatically logging the results into the groundbreaking Jetsam app.

In the long-term, it is hoped that predicting the landfall of offshore plastic waste will help to develop technology that traps it in the water.

But founders admit that real change cannot be brought about unless we make behavioural changes to the way we live our daily lives.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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