Women have been active in the fight against the pollution of our planet from the very early stages of protests in the 1960s. However, the warnings on ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, overuse of plastic packaging and urban air pollution were not significantly mainstream until
the early twenty-first century – when the physical effects of Global Warming and the widespread oceanic contamination by plastics and other non bio-degradable items become impossible to ignore.
Concerns for the planetary legacy facing those born in the early twenty-first century and their descendants have lead to a new wave of international women’s activism, concentrating on the improvement of the general global environment by encouraging change at a local level in transport, waste recycling and plastic re-use as well as challenging overdevelopment of green spaces.
Sir David Attenborough’s BBC documentary Blue Planet II graphically illustrated the scale and destructive effect of single use plastics on the marine environment and reinvigorated waste reduction and recycling activism.
This is the age of the Greens
CLARE SEEKcame to Portsmouth in the late 1990s, having spent her early years in Africa where the sense of community there was a significant influence on her.
She is involved with the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Portsmouth campaign – working to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced by households – after her experience of Living Life With Less.
DELPHINE LAVEYNE is originally from France and has joined the fight to reduce plastics use by successfully founding Zero Waste Portsmouth, an organisation that allows members of the local community to come together and share ideas and skills about waste reduction
Delphine is an engineer by training but has had a long-standing interest in organic food, which has led her to examine if it is possible to reduce or eliminate plastics from the food retail environment.
The Portsmouth Package Free Larder is due to open in 2020 in the Southsea/Fratton area.
KIMBERLY BARRETT became interested in green issues when the fight to save the land at St James’ Hospital galvanised local opinion. She set up Keep Milton Green in 2014 as redevelopment plans for a number of green spaces emerged in Portsmouth.
Kimberly has had many comments praising her campaigning and the fact that her example is encouraging women who would not otherwise have come forward to protest. She is also especially keen on supporting local children to go out and walk around their own unexplored open spaces. Some children, even though they live on Portsea Island – surrounded by water – have never seen the sea.
EMMA MURPHY is a trained journalist and has a personal interest in violence against women that comes from exposure to it at an early age. She has grown up fighting for rights for women and the oppressed in international campaigns and is very politically aware, but has only recently focused on local issues, especially Green issues.
Emma is also a very active advocate of the rights for the LGBT community and is passionate about making the world better for everyone in it.
TAMARA GROEN is a member of the Green party and works hard to raise the profile of environmental issues in Portsmouth.
She has seen green issues transform from low-key to high-profile in the city.
“I think that green, and when I say green, not just the Green party but green as in environmental-minded people in Portsmouth, has always been here.
… but I think they have now become a lot more visible. I’m feeling a lot more confident to go and talk to people and I can see how so many groups are interconnected.
So we have people organising beach cleans, people organising plastic-free larders and shops. We’ve got zero-waste shops in Gosport.
I could list a whole load of people and organisations that are volunteer-led, that are green activism and green lifestyle in Pompey and I really, really love that. That makes Pompey feel like home to me.”