In February The 2 Minute Foundation announced that Croyde resident, Nicky Green had been appointed CEO. We know Nicky well and were delighted at the news. To celebrate, we thought we’d do a Q&A with Nicky which she kindly agreed to. Here she tells us more about her love of Croyde, her work at The 2 Minute Foundation and her plans for its future.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your past and how it led to your work at The 2 Minute Foundation?
I grew up in North Devon (born and bred – Snapper, near Exmoor), went to uni (Technical Comms course) and then traveled Mexico and Australasia. When I returned home, I honed my project management skills by working for humanitarian projects like Tim Tanton’s Paddle4Relief. Then I found myself on a plane to India for 6 months where I took a sabbatical for my husband’s work. I became a volunteer for a women’s empowerment charity, which was an amazing experience. We then worked and lived in London for 5 years but the pull back to North Devon was magnetic. We simply yearned to be rooted to coastal living again.
Regarding the environment, in my early 20’s I started to care about what I was consuming and what products I was using on my skin. I then began looking at my choice of food and our environmental footprint. When I became pregnant, my interest became impassioned with making planet positive choices for my babies and their futures. I switched to reusable nappies and researched eco friendly paints in the nursery. I also became aware of my children’s wider outside environment. This meant I started to do simple things like pick up litter in their playground.
2. What initially inspired you about #2minutebeachclean and why do you think it is such a special movement?
It was in 2009 that I joined founder, Martin Dorey’s writing business and was at the side-lines when the movement started. During 2015 I jumped at the chance to take on the station sales and online shop. This led to corporate relations, new business, accounts and recruitment of the wider team. I went on to head up the operations when we formed as a charity to today. The charity was built from an act of activism and hope. It enables people to pick up for a short while without feeling overwhelmed by the climate crisis. The idea is that as you pick up, you start to join up the thinking of what you buy as consumers. Being part of 2 Minute is super special and quite radical! 2 minutes is nothing but it means everything. 2 minutes to thank the beach or thank the park you have been at is nothing but as a collective, we can make a huge impact. It’s unique.
3. What will you be concentrating on in the next 12 months at The 2 Minute Foundation?
First, we have our litter picking app that has masses of potential. We’ve an expert heading it up to become the go-to litter picking app to help towards top down change. We also want to grow The 2 Minute Beach School offering and take it inland. Another important launch will be that of the Academy where students can achieve accreditation to support them on their career paths. Added to this, we’ll continue to nurture and support the existing Guardian Angel cohort who help volunteers spread the 2 Minute ethos to their communities. Lastly, we’ll be taking the station concept overseas and inland to address the litter problem at source.
4. What would you like to have achieved at The 2 Minute Foundation in the next five years?
Change more mindsets towards litter and plastic pollution. We want to spread the 2 Minute message further afield so that we aren’t just shouting down an echo chamber. Our intent is to get as many people as possible to understand that plastic IS climate change. From its extraction, manufacturing process, transportation right through to it’s end of life and how the plastic break down goes on forever, it causes destruction every step of the way. I also hope to see students graduate through our Academy to become eco activists in their own right. It will also be amazing to create powerful data via our App that will influence top down change.
5. How has living in Croyde inspired you in your 2 Minute work over the years?
It’s mine and my family’s playground that we share with thousands of individuals each year. There’s no doubting it’s sheer beauty and magnetic pull. It’s special and has been throughout my entire life from birthday parties, family days out and more recently my first body board with my 72 year old dad. Living here has given me the fire in my belly to do more. I want to take more action and to shout louder because I see the detrimental effects of plastic on the tideline every single day. The sheer volume of plastic pollution washed up is devastating but to then see the beach get trashed on land by people who come here to revel in its beauty is beyond me. After all, the ocean is our biggest carbon sink, the microscopic plants and organisms in the ocean photosynthesise to give us oxygen – it’s brimming with life and biodiversity. So, there is a lot of work to do to educate people. But if everyone does 2 minutes and switches to planet positive habits, then as a collective we will see great change.
6. Do you or your family surf?
My husband surfs Croyde. We also go with my 2 girls (10 and 12). I do try and I am determined to try harder to stand up this Summer. Surfing is cathartic and much like litter picking – you feel good afterwards. Nothing beats the beaming glow in ones eyes after a surf – it’s catching!
7. How can we at SSW and our customers help The 2 Minute Foundation?
The first thing SSW customers can do is do a #2MinuteBeachClean after each surf. Look down at the sand at the tideline and you’ll see the micro plastics there. You’ll also find fishing rope and other finds too! Sign up to our newsletter to find out what The 2 Minute Foundation has been up to each week and get educated on environmental issues. You can also donate. And if you have a business who would be interested in a CSR day, we can come to you to help clean up your patch.
For more information on The 2 Minute Foundation go to www.beachclean.net