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Make a green change for good this year. Being ‘green’ is not just about making choices that are healthier for the planet, but also healthier for yourself. It comes with lots of health benefits, like the air that fill our lungs, the water we drink being clean and safe, nutritious food that fuel our body, and safe shelter.

Whether you’re using your car less to get around, cutting back on food waste, buying less and getting creative how to reuse stuff, we’re here to help turn your green resolutions into long-term revolutions. We’ll be sharing stories from communities, simple tips that anyone can follow, and opportunities to get involved – in your homes, communities, and events – throughout the year.

Real life stories wanted

Passionate about climate action, making Portsmouth greener or sharing more tips? We are looking for stories from residents who have recently recycled, ditched their car for a bike, or made a pledge to be more green, and more. These stories will used on our website and potentially other channels (with permission). Get in touch at

Quick and easy ways to get started

  • Check before you chuck

Making sure you’re leaving out the items that can’t be recycled in Portsmouth is a quick win on your green journey. Make sure to only put these in your green bin:

  • paper
  • cardboard
  • plastic bottles
  • tins and cans
  • aerosols

The most common offenders are plastics that aren’t bottle-shaped. If you cannot take your non-bottle plastics to a recycling point, it is best to put them in your rubbish at home.

Food, glass, liquids, and nappies can make paper and cardboard unrecyclable. Learn more about recycling in Portsmouth

  • When you stop, engine stops

Did you know that just one minute of engine idling creates 150 balloons worth of harmful emissions? This makes the air we breathe less clean, so by turning your engine off when you’re stopped, you can make a real difference to everyone’s air quality.

  • Bring it to the bank

For items that can’t be recycled from your doorstep, there are more than 200 bring banks across Portsmouth, which take:

  • plastic pots, tubs and trays
  • cartons (e.g. Tetrapaks)
  • glass bottles and jars
  • textiles
  • books, DVDs, and CDs

Find your nearest recycling point

  • Spring into action
    Help make Portsmouth a greener city by volunteering your time to community groups this spring. There are lots of opportunities to get involved – from planting trees and cleaning beaches to designing websites and researching for eco-projects. Find opportunities at by putting “environment” in the “interests” search box.
  • Ready, set, grow
    Nothing beats the taste of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs you’ve grown yourself, or the satisfaction and enjoyment you can get from producing them. If you have a garden, spring is the ideal time to start growing your own fruit and veg. Springtime is when you can plant or sow seed for many crops. If you don’t have a garden, you may have space for pots and containers. You can even grow salad ingredients and herbs on a windowsill.
  • Repair and borrow
    The Repair Café runs free sessions regularly to help people fix, not ditch. With the help of their friendly volunteers, you can repair your things over a cuppa, cake and natter. If you can carry it and it’s not alive, they’ll take a look – be it electricals, clothes, toys, jewellery, furniture, rusty tools, and more. Just make sure you book your slot, and if you can, help them out with a donation so they can run more session in the future.
    The Portsmouth Library of Things is a community library with items for your home, projects and organisations to help you borrow rather than buy. You can borrow items that you use only every once in a while, so you don’t need to own – saving you money, space and carbon.

Switched on about energy at home

  • Save energy. Save money. Save carbon.
    You can tackle the rising cost of energy bills and looking after our planet at the same time. Be switched on about your energy use at home with Switched On Portsmouth and these simple tips.
  • Help for Households also has lots of FREE, quick fix actions that you can take to immediately reduce the amount of energy you use, too!
  • Water way to go.
    Reducing water use is an important step in reducing our impact on climate change. Not only does consumption at home take water away from natural environments, such as rivers, but energy is also needed to heat, transport, purify and treat water and wastewater. About 12% of a household’s heating bill is from heating water, so reducing consumption can save you money. Switched On Portsmouth has teamed up with Portsmouth Water to offer Portsmouth residents with free water saving measures. This can save money on water bills, energy bills and helps to preserve our environment.

Spend-to-save home improvements

We can tackle the cost-of-living crisis and the climate crisis at the same time. Both of them have the same root cause: expensive oil and gas. And both have the same solution – affordable, clean energy that’s become more and more effective and popular over the last few years.

These larger home improvements require more money upfront but can reduce your energy usage and bills, providing high savings. They also help reduce damp, mould, draughts, and condensation problems, which can improve health and wellbeing.

  • Portsmouth residents can find out how to make their home more energy efficient with Switched On Portsmouth. Simply enter your postcode to see the savings you can make and access FREE measures. For PO1 – PO6 postcodes only.
  • The energy saving tool can give you tailored advice on what improvements could be right for your home.

Get involved and volunteer with a community group

Help turn Portsmouth into a green city by volunteering your time to community groups this spring. There are lots of opportunities to get involved – from planting trees to beach cleans, designing websites to research for community groups and projects.

Your green or outside space

  • 12 ways to grow a low-carbon garden – Tips from the Royal Horticultural Society on the twin approach to gardening sustainably. 12 ways to grow a low-carbon garden / RHS Gardening
  • Treasuring trees
    Trees provide shelter and homes for wildlife and help improve air quality. If you have a garden, why not add a hedge or a fruit tree this year? Hedges are excellent for wildlife to hide in, and fruit trees provide a locally grown treat for later in the year. Did you know you can plant trees in pots of 90cm and more? These are excellent for small gardens and patios.
    Make sure to water them thoroughly in the warmer months and add mulch as required. The tree planting season ends at the end of March and starts again in September, although it’s possible to plant in pots throughout the year.

Greener, cleaner and better-connected travel to get around

Lots of improvements are happening to how you can travel in and around Portsmouth. We’re making travel safer, more affordable, greener and easier for you. We share our top tips below, and you can learn more about everything we’re doing on our Travel Portsmouth page.

  • Try a Beryl rental bike or electric bicycle, or a Voi electric scooter, to get around Portsmouth without the need to own a bike yourself. You’ll be helping tackle the climate emergency while reducing the number of cars on the road. Download the free Breeze app to plan all your travel in one place. 
  • Cycling is a great way to get around and keep fit at the same time. A quieter routes map is available for less confident cyclists who wish to avoid busy roads. To view the map visit trv-quieter-routes-cycle-map.pdf ( 
  • Learn the basics of cycle maintenance through a series of informal, hands-on workshops suitable for adults of all ages and abilities. Free bicycle marking is available on the last Thursday of each month in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary. For more information visit Cycle security – Portsmouth City Council. See if you can request more bike storage in your area, like bike hangars or corrals. 
  • Get Active with your family in Portsmouth at a series of free fun events in your local park.  
  • Try walking with your children to school in a safer way through our School Streets scheme. This summer, get your stomping shoes on and track down the Pompey Monsters and their friends with Stomp for Stamps, our annual children’s treasure hunt. 
  • Take the bus for less! Both First Bus and Stagecoach are offering all single fares with a £2 cap until 30 June 2023 in line with current government plans. 
  • Park & Ride offers a cheaper, greener way into the city instead of driving. For only £4 a ticket, which includes all day parking and shuttle bus use for up to 5 passengers, you can safely park your vehicle and ride the shuttle bus to the city centre via The Hard for Gunwharf Quays. The Park & Ride service is based in Tipner and runs every 15 minutes, 364 days a year, with extra services for specific events and a summer service to Southsea.Flexipasses and week/month/annual passes are available for even lower fares. Find out more at Park and Ride Portsmouth ~ the easy way into Portsmouth by car. 

Air quality 

Cut carbon on your next holiday

You could cut carbon emissions on your next holiday to Europe by travelling by ferry instead of flying. If you travel as a foot passenger on a ferry, you’ll only produce 19g of CO2 per kilometre, compared with 154g for an average short-haul flight*, according to government estimates. Portsmouth International Port has a choice of eight destinations in France, Spain and the Channel Islands. Many of these have options for onward travel, meaning you can explore even more of Europe from your doorstep.

*Source: Carbon footprint of travel per kilometer, 2018 (

Further reading at Portsmouth libraries

Portsmouth libraries have put on a roving display of books related to nature, sustainability and climate. You can find the display at Beddow library in March, and at Paulsgrove library in April. A selection of the titles on display are listed below, and an online catalogue with more titles will available soon.


  • How to save the world for free by Natalie Fee
  • The switch: how solar, storage and new tech means cheap power for all by Chris Goodall
  • Sucking eggs: what your wartime granny could teach you about diet, thrift and going green by Patricia Nicol
  • The new complete book of self-sufficiency by John Seymour
  • Is it really green: everyday eco-dilemmas answered by Georgina Wilson-Powell

Children’s non-fiction

  • An earth-bot’s solution to plastic pollution by Russell Ayto
  • How you can save the planet by Hendrikus Hensbergen
  • Eco stories for those who dare to care by Ben Hubbard
  • Eyewitness: climate change by John Woodward
  • You can save the planet: 101 ways you can make a difference

Children’s picture books and fiction

  • Change starts with us by Sophie Beer
  • A climate in chaos by Neal Layton
  • A planet full of plastic by Neal Layton
  • Bloom by Nicola Skinner
  • Summer we turned green by William Sutton

Upcoming events to get involved

The Portsmouth and Southsea Tree Wardens have regular tree planting days and a list of upcoming ones can be found on their website.

Southsea Beachwatch meet 10am-12pm on the first Saturday of the month. See their Twitter page for location details.

Come to our Wilder Day on Friday 14 April at Paulsgrove library! Learn about the natural spaces around Paulsgrove – the birds, critters, animals, trees and plants, and more! – for a fun-filled day with the family. Organised with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

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