Get Your Kids Involved in Earth Day Cleanup – Tips for a Community Garbage Cleanup

Earth Day is fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about how you can make a difference in your community. Let year we had an amazing time with the Kids Who Explore group in Canmore, AB doing an Earth Day clean-up. The experience made a lasting impression on my 5 year old and she prompted me to do it again this year! A community garbage cleanup can be a fun and educational experience for your entire family. It’s a chance to connect with nature while taking care of the planet. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to make your neighbourhood Earth Day Clean up a success.

The Origins of Earth Day 🌍

In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.

However, the stage was set for change with the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries as it raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health.

Earth Day 1970would come to provide a voice to this emerging environmental consciousness, and putting environmental concerns on the front page.

Planning Your Earth Day Cleanup

The first step in organizing any event is planning. For an Earth Day Cleanup, you'll want to decide on a date, time, and location beforehand. Reach out to your neighbors, and invite them to join in the fun. You can create an event on social media or post flyers in your local community center to promote the event.

Two young kids helping to pick up litter

You can gather the supplies you'll need for the cleanup:

  • gloves (inexpensive work glove for adults and kids are at dollar store, rubber dish gloves work too and are reusable)
  • trash bags (consider compostable or eco-friendly bags),
  • rakes,
  • and garbage pickers (dollar store has these).

Promoting Environmental Awareness

Make the cleanup educational and fun by focusing on environmental awareness. You can share fun facts about recycling, the benefits of composting and reducing waste with your children. Designate a waste-collection area, use scales or charts to record recycled amounts, and reward your participants for their efforts. For example, have a picnic or provide snacks after the event. This promotes a positive attitude towards caring for the environment, helps you bond as a group, and have fun while cleaning up.

Make it Fun for Kids and Adults

Taking care of the earth is not just for kids, it’s for everyone, and making it a fun-filled event ensures it remains enjoyable for everyone. Get creative, and make it a "trash or treasure" game for the kids, awarding gift certificates or small prizes to whoever collects the most trash. You can also organize a "recycled-art" competition, and have adjudicators pick a winning piece. When planning, consider using bold and colourful bags or shirts to help brighten the mood, and make it easier for everyone to identify who’s part of the clean-up efforts. For any Wild Life Adventures fans, we will give you a 30% promo code for a one-time purchase if you tag us and show us your TRASH STASH!!

A bag of garbage from earth day clean up

Safety Comes First

Safety should always be a priority when doing a clean-up, and you should ensure that everyone involved has the appropriate tools and equipment. Prioritize physical safety precautions, such as wearing long trousers and sturdy shoes, and discourage children from handling broken glass, sharp objects or items that could harbour germs or bacteria.

Finishing the Cleanup

Once you have finished cleaning up, remember to dispose of the trash safely and responsibly. Make sure that you have separated recyclables from non-recyclables, and if you can, take them to an approved dumpsite or recycling centre. You should also thank everyone for their efforts and take plenty of photos to commemorate the experience. Share those photos on social media with hashtags such as #EarthDayCleanup, #LetsDoThisTogether and #SafetyFirst.
A young kid helps pick up garbage on earth day
Organising a neighborhood Earth Day Clean up with your Kids is a fun and educational experience that can help your children understand how they can make a difference in their communities. With these tips, you can make it a memorable event, and engage with other families in your neighbourhood. Taking care of the environment does not have to be a chore with the right attitude, safety measures, fun activities, and reward incentives, it can be a truly enjoyable experience that you and your family will cherish for years to come. Happy Earth Day! 🌍🌱💚

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