Earn Your Shark Badge
Way to go! You've learned so much in Clean-up Club! Now it's time to put all your hard earned knowledge to work. Earn your shark badge by cleaning up!
Plogging is a fun word for picking up trash while jogging. It combines the Swedish phrase "plocka upp" (meaning "pick up") and jogging. The Keep America Beautiful TrashDash is the nation's leading annual plogging event and all ages are welcome to attend. Click the button below to find out more about the next KAB TrashDash.
What if I want to host my own clean-up event?
Great idea! There are some things you'll need to know first. Lucky + Jim have put together a list of tips and supplies to make your event a fun success!
TIPS FOR ORGANIZING A CLEAN-UP
1. PICK A LOCATION
Is there a road near you that's covered in litter? How about a beach or creek with a lot of rubbish? Pick a spot that needs some extra help. Make sure you can access it safely.
2. GET PERMISSION
Talk to your grown-ups about your plan. They may have ideas about how to make your event a safe and fun success. Depending on the location of your site, you may also need to check with your local parks agency to see if you need permission.
3. SAVE THE DATE
Check your calendar for a free Saturday or Sunday within the next couple of months. You'll need to give yourself time to prepare and rally the support of your neighbors. Don't forget to make a plan for bad weather.
4. SPREAD THE WORD
Make signs or flyers with the date, location, and time of your clean-up. Ask a grown-up to share the information on their social media accounts. Ask participants to RSVP to your grown-up with their e-mail address so you can contact them in case your event is rescheduled due to bad weather.
5. GATHER SUPPLIES
Your local hardware store may be willing to help by offering garbage bags, gloves, or tools. Perhaps your local bakery would be willing to offer bagels or other snacks the morning of your event. Your community waste-management organization or city hall may also offer supplies and other types of support. Don't be afraid to ask! See below for a list of supplies you may need.
6. DON'T FORGET!
Send a brief e-mail reminding your volunteers of the date and time with details on where to meet. You'll also need to plan how to handle the recyclables and waste. Reach out to recyclers and your community's solid waste departments to make arrangements for accepting any glass, plastic, and aluminum you collect. You don't want to collect a mountain of trash and then not know what to do with it when you're done.
7. ASSIGN ROLES
Not everyone has to clean-up. It's a good idea to have someone remain at the meeting spot to sign volunteers in and let late-comers know where to go. They can also hand out waivers or release forms (which are a good idea to keep everyone safe and informed) and supplies. You'll also need someone to be a dedicated data collector, logging the types and amount of trash collected. Remember, citizen science is so important! See below for trash tracker apps.
8. STAY SAFE
Be prepared for a variety of health emergencies, from minor cuts and scrapes to heat stroke. Determine how you'll dispose of any medical or sewage waste you might find. One solution might be a wide-mouth container with a tight-fitting lid, such as an empty laundry detergent bottle clearly labeled that it contains hazardous waste. Children should be instructed NOT to touch any of this type of debris. A flag can be inserted in the ground near the area so an adult can return to pick it up after the clean-up.
9. COME TOGETHER
Make sure everyone returns to the check-in station when they are finished to bring back their trash for sorting and data collection.
You'll need to remember to have a few things on hand (and remind your volunteers to bring a few things as well) to make your clean-up even a safe and fun experience. Remember, some items can be donated by local businesses if you ask!
Event hosts should bring:
FIRST AID KIT
COOLERS OF WATER
WIDE MOUTHED CONTAINER LABELED "HAZARDOUS MATERIALS"
SIGN IN SHEET
FOLDING TABLE AND CHAIR
FISH OR LUGGAGE SCALE TO WEIGH TRASH
Ask volunteers to bring:
REUSABLE GARDEN GLOVES
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
REUSABLE CANVAS TOTE OR BUCKETS FOR COLLECTING TRASH
If hosting a community event seems overwhelming, don't worry! You can do your part to clean up the environment right in your own yard. Did some trash blow into your yard? Look around and see. If so, make sure it finds the right bin and you've stopped the pollution at the source!
Books to Explore
YOU DID IT!
You successfully completed level twelve by cleaning up the environment around you! Don't forget to add your newly earned badge to your achievement chart before getting started on the next level. Lucky + Jim couldn't have done it without you! Check out the additional resources page (coming soon) for more clean-up fun!