April 2012

“Keep America Beautiful” Month

With warmer weather on the way, it’s the perfect time to clean up your yard, street or neighborhood. April is Keep America Beautiful Month, and there are many ways to get your family and friends involved.
According to Keep America Beautiful®, Inc., taking care of the environment is an incredibly important job and everyone can help, no matter where they live. Here are some tips focused on what kids can do to help:
  • Set a good example by not littering; hold onto your garbage until you can dispose of it properly.
  • Give your parents a litter bag to keep in their car.
  • When you take out the trash, be sure the garbage can lids are on tight so items can’t get blown out and into the street.
  • Ask your parent or teacher to take you or your class to a recycling center so you can see how trash is managed. Make a list of what items can be recycled and start recycling at home.
Consider these ideas from The Learning Channel (TLC, www.tlc.discovery.com) to get your neighbors involved in a community cleanup. It can be a fun way to get to know the other people in your area while doing your neighborhood a huge favor: 
  • Talk about your cleanup idea to your neighbors and emphasize the perks of having a cleaner community.
  • Suggest forming a casual group and give your effort a name like “Neighborhood Green,” for example.
  • Have a small, informal meeting to decide on a specific day and to establish your goals for the cleanup.
  • Make sure every person has gloves and two garbage bags to collect litter and recyclables.
  • Meet on the prearranged day and spend an hour (or more if you like) walking along your street to collect garbage.
Keep America Beautiful, Inc., also posts volunteer opportunities on its website. Check out the Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest annual community improvement program, running from March through May. In 2011, volunteers donated more than 5.2 million hours to clean and improve more than 16,500 communities. They beautified parks and recreation areas, picked up litter, planted trees and organized recycling collections. To volunteer for the 2012 initiative, simply go to www.kab.org to find your nearest Keep America Beautiful affiliate or start your own chapter.
Your efforts to help clean up the community are never too small. Whether you work together with your family or neighbors or you join a larger volunteer organization, do something special this month to keep America beautiful.