Disappointed you missed the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)? Or maybe you had so much fun you wish you could participate in the ICC all the time? Good news! You can host your own community cleanup anytime, no matter where you live.
There is trash on the ground everywhere, not just on our coasts. Look around your neighborhood, where you work, your local park, or where you go to school. These are great locations to host a cleanup! It doesn’t take a lot of work to organize a cleanup, just follow these steps:
- Find your group - It’s easiest to work with a group of people you already know, so what groups are you a part of? Do you work in an office, participate in a club, go to religious services, go to school, have a big family, or just have regular outings with friends? Whoever your people are, get them together to clean your community and the places that matter most to you!
- Find a time and a date - If you want to make your event convenient, plan your cleanup for when people are already together. Bring the office together over lunch to clean around the building. Part of a club? Set aside time at your next meeting to clear litter from your meeting spot. If you already have Sunday brunch planned with your friends, use part of your morning to make the community a little cleaner. You might just enjoy your meal more after a job well done!
- Find some tools - You really don’t need many supplies: bags for the trash, gloves for the really icky trash, and maybe some hand sanitizer.
- Track your waste - Let us know about the waste you find by using the Marine Debris Tracker app. Download the app to your smartphone and record the location and type of waste you find. By contributing your data to this global citizen science initiative, you can get a better idea of the common types of litter near you, and helps us understand the different kinds of debris found all over the world!
- Make it fun - While spending time with the people you care about and making our ocean, Great Lakes, and waterways healthier may be enough of an incentive for you, some people may need a little extra push, so make your cleanup fun. If you are competitive, offer a small prize for whoever picks up the most trash. Offer everyone a treat by ending the event at your local ice cream parlor. Feeling super? Dress up in silly costumes and be the ocean superheroes you really are!