How Will You Celebrate Earth Day?
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As an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Alachua County Beautiful believes that each of us holds an obligation to preserve and protect our environment. Through our everyday choices and actions we collectively have a huge impact on our world. It’s really a simple concept, but one with far reaching effects.
Keep America Beautiful follows a practical approach uniting citizens, businesses and the government to find solutions that advance our core issues of preventing litter, reducing waste and beautifying communities.
For Earth Day 2017 our affiliate and over 620 affiliates nationally will address and fulfill local needs through a combination of the following actions. And for every $1 invested, our affiliates return an average of $34 in local community benefit. To find an event in your community, visit the Keep Florida Beautiful website at: https://www.keepfloridabeautiful.org/take-action/volunteer
The Great American Cleanup began as a litter cleanup initiative designed to aesthetically improve our environment by creating cleaner parks, streetscapes and public spaces through litter removal and elimination. To this day, community cleanups remain at the very heart of the campaign, and the results are remarkable. In 2015 alone, 62+ million pounds of litter and debris were collected by volunteers throughout the country. Keep Alachua County Beautiful had the distinction of removing 38 tons of garbage from a former homeless camp that year with the help of 600 volunteers over a two-day period. For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, KACB recruited 3,743 volunteers to perform 31,476 hours of community service. The volunteers collected 68,002 pounds of litter and bulky waste. They recycled 860 pounds of commingled recyclables, 684 pounds of electronics and 2,280 pounds of tires. KACB was awarded Great American Cleanup Affiliate Awards at the statewide and national level in recognition of this achievement.
Our community greening and beautification efforts range from new tree plantings that provide shade and sequester carbon to planting flower gardens that create vibrant gateways to shopping and entertainment districts to creating community gardens that help feed the hungry and educate young gardeners.
Through a wide array of workshops, special events and on-the-ground service projects, leaders from our affiliate network and participating organizations are helping to change attitudes and behaviors toward the environment by engaging young and old alike.
Keep America Beautiful and its affiliates strive to motivate more Americans to make informed decisions and take simple, everyday actions to reduce, reuse and recycle right through their participation in the Great American Cleanup.
Through our actions we have a profound impact in communities. Some examples include:
- We remove litter and debris from roadsides, highways, shorelines and waterways for safer, cleaner communities.
- We plant trees, flowers and gardens to strengthen our community’s green infrastructure.
- We clean and restore nature trails, recreation areas and playgrounds to encourage play and physical activity.
- We recycle cans, plastic bottles, electronics, paper products, tires, clothing, and even junk cars to give garbage another life.
- We rebuild public spaces in communities struck by natural disasters to renew social connections.
- We restore business storefronts and gateways to spur economic impact.
So, come out and join in these efforts in your own community. Together, our communities make up this little planet we call home and these efforts celebrate our commitment to the local and global environment.
Submitted by Gina Hawkins, Keep Alachua County Beautiful