The month of September is filled with initiatives to take care of the planet. Between National Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day, the opportunities to get involved are everywhere. Parks, beaches, and schools are popular areas to beautify. Some community members Adopt-A-Street and tidy up their neighborhoods.
National CleanUp Day asks a central question: “What would happen if everyone picked up one piece of litter?” While climate change and global warming discussions become more frequent and urgent, everyone should do their part.
Here are four ways to participate this month and continuously:
1. Join public or private cleanups, or create an event. National CleanUp Day’s Global Cleanup Map identifies cleanup events around the world. This application can also feature your event, increasing awareness and attendance.
2. Incorporate more reusable containers in your home to minimize waste. How many sandwich bags or plastic bags are typically thrown away? Take time to calculate your daily, monthly, and yearly plastic consumption, and Earth Day’s data engine can help you reduce it.
3. Avoid littering, especially with unnatural items like cigarette butts and gum. Cigarette butts leak plastic fiber and other chemicals into the environment. Electric cigarettes are just as damaging. Although gum was originally made with natural, biodegradable ingredients, chemists have been making gum out of synthetic rubber since the end of World War II.
4. Pick up trash along the way. Ignoring trash does not make it disappear. Waiting for someone else to pick it up does not absolve you of responsibility—this is your world! Take care of it! A little goes a long way. Next time you see a wrapper or empty can, take it to the nearest trash bin.
Mother Earth needs help from its inhabitants. September’s observances of National Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day, both on September 18th, 2021, offer extra opportunities to serve. However, we need to do our part beyond these days. Limit waste, reuse plastics, dispose of unnatural items properly, and pick up trash.
This planet gives us all we need. In return, it’s our job to care for it.