SAN DIEGO, April 14, 2015 — Every April, individuals, businesses, government agencies and schools unite across America in an effort to prevent litter, reduce waste, encourage recycling and beautify their communities.
This is largely the result of the American non-profit organization, Keep America Beautiful, which was founded in 1953 with the support of concerned individuals and several major corporations.
The mission of Keep America Beautiful is “Engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment.”
From city parks to vacant lots across the country, Keep America Beautiful believes that caring for all community land space, community by community, results in positive economic and social changes that have long-range impact.
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Keep America Beautiful is responsible for many memorable media campaigns, such as “Every Litter Bit Hurts,” Keep My Town Beautiful” and the “Crying Indian,” and for bringing the word “litterbug” to American households.
Today it is also recognized for spearheading several annual national beautification events, utilizing millions of volunteers and clocking millions of service hours to accomplish them:
- Great American Cleanup: Activities include litter and illegal dump site clean-ups, parks and trails, marine debris removal, recycling collections, tree plantings, community gardening and educational events.
- America Recycles Day: Held every Nov. 15, this national event is community-driven. The program is dedicated to recycling events and education and community-awareness activities and projects.
- Recycle Bowl: From elementary schools to high schools across the nation, competitions delight youngsters and teens as they race to collect the greatest amounts of recyclables.
- Recycle Mania: Recycling programs provide competition and awareness among colleges and universities, creating meaningful projects and long-range social and behavioral change.
- Littering is Wrong too: Using social media and other forms of viral marketing that are considered non-traditional, spreading the word about litter is accomplished through notable campaigns such as “gas station sushi” and “texting during surgery,” which help to create awareness and long-term responsible social behavior. Cigarette Litter Prevention: Targeting areas where there is a prevalence of smokers, providing education and funding to help create incentives for the wide-spread use of cigarette disposals and receptacles.
To contact Keep America Beautiful and learn more about this dynamic organization or to find out how you might get involved, please contact their national headquarters at:
Keep America Beautiful
1010 Washington Blvd.
Stamford, CT 06901
Phone: (203) 659-3000
For individual suggestions for beautifying home and community, Earth911.com provides some easy solutions:
- Plant native species.
- Join a beach clean-up.
- Recycle plastics.
- Donate a non-working car.
- Responsibly control fires and campsites.
Picking up after a pet is critically important! Pet waste may be flushed down a standard toilet (once debris is removed) or picked up with an easy-to-seal bag that can be thrown in a trash receptacle.
Outdoor animal waste ends up in storm drains and may account for approximately 25 percent of all bacteria found in our water supply, according to Earth911.com.
Keeping America beautiful is a gift not only to ourselves but also to the lives of those around us.
As the great American roadways are traveled throughout spring and summer this year, whether by a road trip, camping adventure, hiking trek or trip to the beach, there will be an incomparable natural beauty to experience and enjoy, thanks to millions of volunteers and countless individuals who are committed to keeping America beautiful.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is an educator and a recognized expert in home and community-based long-term care services.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the president and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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