How to Spend Your Summer: Organize a Cleanup

Lately, we’ve been providing you with some inspiration for your summer to-do list. Hopefully, you’ve already dusted off your bike, planned a hiking trip to some nearby parks (If you are in the Toronto area, may I suggest these trails?), and maybe even signed up for LinkedIn.

In today’s post, I will discuss how you can contribute to your local community by participating in or organizing a cleanup event.

Cleanups are an excellent way to promote a sense of community and contribute to environmental protection efforts.

If you are looking to participate in a cleanup, there are a number of organizations at the local and national level that host cleanup events near you. If you reside in the U.S., check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s website for resources and links to community cleanups in your area.

If you reside in Canada, consider the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Of course you can also participate in international efforts, such as the International Coastal Cleanup coming up on September 15, 2018, which is, fittingly, World Cleanup Day.

If you are having difficulty finding an organization that is hosting a community cleanup, read on to find out how you can organize your own!

Step 1: Pick your location and set a date.

Are you tired of seeing litter accumulate around your neighborhood or local park? Decide on a location that benefits your whole community to promote participation.

Areas like parks are good options because they tend to be used by a wide variety of people. Parks also tend to hold societal value for the many community members who use the park.

Pick a date and time for your cleanup. Weekend afternoons tend to be popular times for these activities. Decide on an easily recognizable meeting point and check the weather report to ensure that the forecast is in your favor.

Step 2: Encourage community participation.

Cleanups are always more fun when friends get involved! 

Consider taking photos of the cleanup area and putting up flyers around your neighborhood to promote the event. You can also reach a larger audience by making a Facebook event page for the cleanup.

You may even decide to reach out to community leaders who could help promote your event. Note: Community leaders may also be able to provide supplies!

Step 3: Organize the cleanup.

Keep the lines of communication open between yourself and anyone else participating.

Ideally, volunteers will bring their own gloves and large collection bags. However, it’s always a good idea to come prepared! Bring a box of garbage bags and a box of gloves for anyone who may need them.

Step 4: Clean up!

Make sure you familiarize yourself with how to separate recyclables properly. You may decide to separate recyclables from non-recyclables during your cleanup or choose to sort what is collected after the cleanup is over.

Either way, enjoy your event! Make sure to take photos to share your successful cleanup and consider organizing a small celebration afterwards to thank everyone for their hard work!

Whether you decide to organize your own cleanup, participate in one that is being hosted by someone else, or fly solo (garbage bags in hand) at a nearby park, you are positively contributing to your community—and that’s something to be proud of!


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