Going For Green: What Portsmouth can do to celebrate Earth Day and make city a greener place to live

MAKING our lives greener, if only for a day, will have a significant impact on the environment.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 5:26 pm

That is the message being spread across Portsmouth and the surrounding area on Earth Day taking place today.

An annual event, the day is held to promote the support of environmental protection.

This year, The News is backing the event having launched our Going For Green initiative earlier this year.

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Going For Green was launched by The News in March, in conjunction with Portsmouth Climate Action Board

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As part of the campaign, we are encouraging everyone to do their bit for the environment, such as recycling, cycling instead of driving and getting their employers to take environmentally-friendly changes.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is among those to take the plunge for Earth Day this year.

Ms Dinenage has pledged to go vegan, having served as the vice-chairman of the RSPCA and worked in the League Against Cruel Sports.

Southsea from the sky. Picture: Ryan Atfield

She said: ‘This Earth Day I will be joining PETA by pledging to eat vegan.

‘By mixing up our diets, choosing sustainable sources and supporting local producers we can make small changes to our lives that can create a big difference.

‘Whether it is going vegan, or having meat-free Mondays, a balanced diet is key to a creating a better environment and healthier lifestyle for us all.’

Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower is also taking action for Earth Day – shutting off all its lights for 24 hours.

It comes following criticism that some shops in Commercial Road have been leaving their lights on, even while the stores have been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jenny Nolan, marketing manager at the Spinnaker Tower, said: 'Spinnaker Tower is proud to show its support for Earth Day and the work of this movement in driving change and action for our planet, by switching off the lights on our iconic building on April 22.'

Earth Day was first dreamed up over in America, with 1970 being the first year it was celebrated.

The News’ Going For Green campaign is being run in parntership with Portsmouth Climate Action Board – which was set up to drive environmental change in the city.

Climate groups under the board’s umbrella are meeting once a month, with each group looking at separate issues such as education, business, and even a greening group focused on promoting community orchards and wildflower verges.

But even individually, there are things we can do – or start to do – for Earth Day.

Housing makes up 20 per cent of all our emissions, because most of our homes are still powered by fossil fuels.

Switching to greener energy suppliers, or installing solar panels on our homes, can negate this.

Portsmouth is currently in the bottom 15 per cent of local authorities in terms of the volume of household waste produced annually – 595kg per household.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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