Since we started in 2016, Planet Patrol has run thousands of clean ups, involving over 25,000 people in the past 4 years. Our Community Guardians are the voice of Planet Patrol in their local area, helping make all of this possible. They organise litter picks, keeping their local community updated and inspired.
We caught up with one of Community Guardians, Alice, based in Looe, Cornwall to share her story and top tips for anyone who would like to join the Planet Patrol movement! Applications to be a Community Guardian are now open, apply here.
Why did you join Planet Patrol as a Community Guardian?
My passion is the connection between human and nature and how this can be formed within an operational output as well as exporting knowledge regarding sustainability and it’s positive effects on our environment.
My deeper vision of preserving and protecting my local marine environment plays hand in hand with the role of becoming a Planet Patrol Community Guardian – I count myself as incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such diverse nature that it is my aim to safeguard my town from destruction caused by careless human intervention. Along with studying for my Masters degree in Entrepreneurship I am currently starting a social enterprise named Shrimpy’s, Looe C.I.C in the form of a sustainable, hand illustrated children’s merchandise brand.
Becoming part of Planet Patrol has been incredibly important to me; I have a team of like-minded guardians from all over the country to share my thoughts, ideas and opinions with. I feel a true sense of belonging to the movement and I use my ‘Community Guardian’ title with pride.
Tell us a bit about your role as a Community Guardian
Within the role of a Community Guardian (CGs!) we create and lead litter-picking events as well as sharing the Planet Patrol ethos and vision within our local communities. There are so many opportunities to get involved – video meet up’s, ‘Green and Tonics’, Community Guardian Whatsapp group and general support from the Planet Patrol team about any news or ideas that you have. The Community Guardian group have become a family to evolve the clean up movement; it’s much more than ‘litter-picking’.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve found on a litter pick?
It might surprise you but we haven’t actually found anything we consider to be out of the ordinary. However, tomorrow is a new day with a different wave of discarded items – who knows what the sea will wash to the shore next …
What 3 words would you use to describe how being a Community Guardian makes you feel …
Proud. Purposeful. Valued.
Do you have any advice or tips for our community about how to live a more sustainable life in the new Covid-19 world?
Well, Coronavirus has brought alongside it a heightened issue of PPE pollution, I would urge everyone to invest in some reusable masks and make sure that any single use face coverings are disposed of with the straps cut, this ensures animals will not get caught or trapped within the elastic bonded edges. I also recommend reading ‘How to Live Plastic Free’ written by the Marine Conservation Society to anyone who feels they would like to know how minimal daily changes can create a positive effect on our planet.
What would your advice be to anyone applying to be a Planet Patrol Community Guardian?
I would say it is important to really understand and resonate with the cause and think how you can apply it to the area in which you live. It’s a serious topic we are addressing but have some fun with it, engage with your community and most of all share things that you are passionate about – we all have varied aspects of sustainability that fuel us, it’s so interesting to hear everyone’s views.
Applications to join our Community Guardian Programme are now OPEN for our 2022 cohort. Find out more and apply here.