Join our sectoral groups
We are setting up the following six subgroups and welcome expressions of interest.
Do you work or study at a school, college or university and care about the climate emergency? If you are a student, teacher, or other staff member who would like to help Portsmouth become greener, we would love to hear from you.Contact our Education Climate Action group
We recognise that it is impossible to get to net zero without the business community at the heart of our strategy. If you are an employee or employer who wants to get involved or would just like to chat more about what we do, please…Contact our Business Climate Action group
Faith communities are such an important part of our city and have a big influence on how their members think and act. If you are a person of faith and passionate about protecting the earth, then please…Contact our Faith Climate Action group
Do you work in the housing sector and want to play a part in transforming Portsmouth? Whether you are an Energy Assessor, low carbon heat installer, tenant association, landlord, builder or developer, we’d like to hear from you.Contact our Buildings Climate Action group
Are you part of Portsmouth’s thriving creative sector and care about climate change? Whether you’re a writer, artist, graphic / web designer, director, festival organiser or involved in marketing we need your skills, ideas and ability to communicate in a way that motivates and moves people.Contact our Creatives Climate Action group
Policy and Planning
Are you a policy wonk? Do you have a good understanding of green issues? Or previous campaign experience around climate action? We are looking for people who can work with our local authority to green its policies, as well as form alliances with other local authorities / stakeholders to campaign for legislative changes.Contact our Policy Climate Action group
Green your community
Here are 6 ways to make a difference by coming together with others:
Join a community action group
Alone we can only achieve so much: together we can transform our city.
The board wants to establish community groups in each ward, to drive change there and support each other. That could be planting a Tiny Forest, setting up a Car club or Community Orchard or just meeting regularly.
If you’d like to be part of such a group in your area email us.
Help create a pocket park or community orchard
Why not transform a bit of unloved municipal lawn or urban space into a green oasis? That could mean planting wildflowers, fruit trees, edible herbs / greens or adding benches and play equipment. It could be on a very small scale or something larger.
We can help identify who owns the land, provide input from experienced gardeners and acquire funding if needed. Any ideas or potential locations: get in touch.
Green your school
Register as an Eco-School to become part of a green educational network. This is the start of a step by step process to green everything from the playground to the lessons. Also see this RHS guide and website which details how to get planting stuff at school. Alternatively if you want to see more emphasis on the climate emergency in the curriculum, check out the Teach The Future campaign. There is also a group called Parents for Future, which offers resources on Stay Home Green Learning and how to get Greener Schools.
Re-wild your street
Portsmouth has a lack of public green spaces but 18% of our city-space is private gardens, and these host a third of all our trees. Hampshire and IoW Wildlife Trust wants to create a community movement that links these gardens up and transforms them into a nature recovery network. All it takes is to have dedicated space for feeding and sheltering wildlife in your front or back garden. Learn more about HIWWT Wilder Portsmouth by clicking on the graphic above or reading this guide.
Set up a community car club
Many people during lockdown have been re-thinking whether they need a second car or even their primary car, given that flexible options like Car Club exist. To see how much you might save using Car Club compared to owning a car, use this simple Cost Calculator. A car club vehicle can take up to six private cars off the road: which reduces congestion, air pollution, and carbon emissions. If you want a car club vehicle placed in your area, why not chat with friends and neighbours and see who else would, then simply click Request a Car Near Me.
Create a School Street
A School Street is where a team of volunteers close the street directly in front of the school entrance at drop off and pick up times.
This encourages parents to walk or cycle to school with their kids, rather than drive, which improves air quality, congestion and pupil health. If you want to know more about School Streets and how to get one in place then click on the photo above and / or email Jennifer.Jones@Sustrans.org.uk
Green your life
Here are 12 ways to make a difference as an individual:
Measure and report your CO2
Where does your CO2 come from? The average UK citizen is responsible for around five tonnes of C02e a year, which is low for a major economy but still needs to halve for us to stay within the global carbon budget. The following website will help you understand where the majority of your emissions are generated.
Learn more about climate change
Learn more about how our everyday personal and business decisions are generating CO2 and impacting the natural world.
Get solar panels… for free!
Portsmouth is very well suited for solar energy, and ten panels here can reduce the average annual electricity bill by 50% and average carbon footprint by 12%.
If your household income is under £30 000 you can get ten solar panels for free, via Switched On Solar. But even for better off households, a system this size paybacks in 10-12 years, leaving at least a further 15 years of free energy during the warranty period. Watch this video and / or call 0800 260 5907 to find out more.
Re-wild a part of your garden
Gardens in Portsmouth account for nearly 1/5th of the entire surface area of the city, but quite a few are paved or treated with harsh chemicals that harm insects, bees, and birds. There's one simple trick to bring back life to your garden: Move your lawn mower’s blades up, so the cut is higher than 10cm, and wait until the end of June before mowing: then leave a month between each cut until autumn. As gardener Alys Fowler says: "The wildflowers will adapt and bloom under your blades, the bees will dance and the birds will sing in praise of it all."
Switch to a 100% renewable energy supplier
Home electricity use has increased considerably since more of us started working from home; but if we choose a green tariff that doesn't mean extra C02.
Some suppliers are greener than others though, and use their profits to fund new solar and wind farms. Read this article for a heads-up on which companies do this, and then make the…
Try gradually reducing the amount of meat and dairy you eat
Food is a big source of carbon emissions, especially red meat and dairy. This website helps people move towards a more plant based diet
Learn to repair your clothes
Southsea Sustainable Textiles is a group of volunteers who run free sessions to give people the skills and confidence to repair, adjust and re-design their curtains, clothes, towels, hats, bags etc.
Claire Beadnell, the group founder, says: ‘We can unleash your confidence to be creative. It takes just under 10 minutes to learn how to use a sewing-machine, for basic sewing.' Email the team or call Claire on 07814864973 for more info.
Switch to an ethical bank
Many banks and pension funds continue to finance fossil fuel extraction despite the scientific consensus that we need to transition rapidly away from burning them.
One way to try to influence this behaviour is to switch your account to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels or ecological destruction. Click on the graphic below or visit SwitchIt to find out more.
Go flight free for a year
Start growing your own food
Green your home
Getting proper insulation, an air source heat pump or just a more efficient boiler can significantly reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint. At the moment Portsmouth City Council is offering to install free insulation, and heat pumps if your household income is less than £30 000, via the Local Authority Delivery Scheme. Before you go ahead, check out these tops tips from…
Go fully vegan for a few weeks
Some people like to take the plunge and make big changes rather than gradual ones. The two websites below are free to access and allow folk to get online support, recipes and meal plans to help them go fully plant based for 3-4 weeks. Just click on the graphics below to find out more. If you try this, please let us know how it worked out by emailing email@example.com
Green your business/organisation
Here are 5 actions your business could take:
Small Businesses: Audit your CO2 with our free toolkit
81% of businesses in Portsmouth have 9 or less employees. Portsmouth Climate Action Board wants to support these small businesses in reducing their emissions.
As part of this aim we have created a simple carbon audit toolkit, with instructions how to fill it out. Recording and reviewing carbon emissions are the first steps in carbon reduction and demonstrating a commitment to climate action. Email us for the toolkit or download it here.
Larger Businesses: Audit your CO2 through CDP
Where does your company’s CO2 come from? If you are a larger employer, the Carbon Disclosure Project will help you understand where the majority of your emissions are generated. They say: 'Companies that measure their environmental risk are better able to manage it strategically. And those that are transparent and disclose this information are providing decision makers with access to a critical source of global data that delivers the evidence and insight required to drive action.'
Get support to green your business
If you are a boss or senior manager and would like to get advice/support on how to make your business more carbon-neutral contact Greentech South.
If you are an SME, they can offer: ● Free energy efficiency audits for your business ● Energy efficiency grants, funded at 36% up to £25,000 ● Research and innovation grants for low carbon projects, funded at 36% up to £25,000 ● Access to postgraduate student projects ● Innovation support and networking events.
Switch to a 100% renewable energy supplier
Electricity use from commerce and industry accounts for 18% of Portsmouth carbon footprint; switching to a green tariff can reduce this figure.
Some energy suppliers are greener than others though, and use their profits to fund new solar and wind farms. Read this article for a heads-up on which companies do this, and then make the Big Clean Switch.
Sponsor a Tiny Forest
A Tiny Forest is made by planting a wide variety of species very close together to recreate the layers of a natural forest. These forests absorb more carbon than usual woods and can be as small as a tennis court so are ideal for cities with little space. Many companies are now sponsoring them as part of their CSR agenda. Email us to find out more.
Switch to an ethical bank
Many banks and pension funds continue to finance fossil fuel extraction despite the scientific consensus that we need to transition rapidly away from burning them. One way to try to influence this behaviour is to switch your business account to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels or ecological destruction. Click on the graphic above or visit SwitchIt to find out more.