10 volunteers kicked off the Great American Cleanup in Springfield, Ohio, on March 1 by collecting 560 lbs. of litter from 1.5 miles of a busy road.
Litter Letter Ask WHY at Pigeon Forge Middle School
Six-foot letters stuffed with litter have been placed in front of the Pigeon Forge Middle School along Wears Valley Road asking “WHY” to encourage by passers to rethink littering.
The letters debuted at the commencement of Litter Awareness Month and Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup. Students from Robert Satterfield’s class have been working on the letters as part of a class project in conjunction with Keep Sevier Beautiful. The students designed the shapes of the letters, cut the rebar and wrapped them in chicken wire. All the litter inside the letters have been collected along Sevier County roadways by the County’s litter cleanup crew; a crew funded by TDOT.
“This has been an incredible partnership between the Pigeon Forge High School, Mr. Satterfield and his students, the County and TDOT,” said Laura Howard, Keep Sevier Beautiful executive director. “Not only can we raise awareness about litter by working together, but we can end it as well.”
The letters are part of a larger project — The Litter Letter Project — developed by Rachael Hatley for her MFA thesis to raise awareness about how deeply an environmental issue litter is in Louisiana. As a graphic designer and educator she created a series of letters using litter as the message. There are currently seven large litter letter installations on display in several locations around Washington Parish, La.
By displaying these large-scale visual messages in public places the hope is to provoke a response, thought and action. As the primary gateway to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, litter in Sevier County not only has an environmental impact, but an economic one as well.
“The cost of littering is staggering,” Howard said. “As a County and through our municipalities, we spend over $369,000 picking up litter.” The cost is more than that figure – research shows litter decreases property values, negatively impacts revenue in shopping districts, discourages new businesses to develop in a community, and attracts additional litter and crime.
For more information about litter, how to volunteer or more about the Litter Letter project, visit Keep Sevier Beautiful’s website at KeepSevierBeautiful.org.
Virginia Tech won Keep America Beautiful’s 2014 RecycleMania “I Recycle” pledge drive! Virginia Tech’s sustainability team teamed up with various campus organizations to collect more than 500 pledges and will receive a recycled-content plastic park bench from Plastic Recyclers of Iowa falls!
How did they do it?
- Eleven interns tabled two days during prime-time lunch hours in the busiest dining hall
- Social media posts that were then shared by other campus organizations
- Sustainability team emailed a pledge invitation to staff “Green Represenative” staff list as well as faculty, staff, and student Enegery and Sustainability Committee, who in turn shared it with their own email lists
Overall, more than 60 colleges participated in the RecycleMania pledge drive, resulting in over 3,000 pledges taken to recycle more during the three week pledge drive contest.
Below is a listing of the top 15 schools (including two ties!) that participated in the pledge drive.
Congrats to all!
Rank School Pledges
1 Virginia Tech
2 Wright State University
3 St. Bonaventure University
4 Weber State University
5 Wheelock College
6 SUNY at Brockport
7 Towson University
8 University of North Texas
9 St. Louis University
10 Chatham University and Elizabeth City State University
11 UC Riverside and Lewis and Clark Community College
12 Wesleyan College
13 Missouri State University
Thank you to all who participated!
Testifying before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Agencies today, Brenda Pulley, SVP of Recycling for Keep America Beautiful talked about the importance of engaging individuals to recycle. The focus of the hearing, chaired by Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware, was to identify ways to increase the recycling of electronics. Many witnesses talked about the importance of convenience for the consumer to easily recycle electronics. Walter Alcorn, representing the Consumer Electronics Association, noted that it is estimated each home has 28 different electronics devices.
Pulley noted that the three key factors that guide KAB’s work to increase recycling are: convenience, communication and cause (in other words making recycling matter). Pulley noted that the consumer research findings for the national I Want To Be Recycled ad campaign that KAB has developed in partnership with the Advertising Council, was all about finding that emotional connection. And, what we learned was that when people understood that they could give their garbage another life – they wanted to take the extra step to recycle.
Finally, Pulley discussed two unique challenges for electronics recycling – the time of purchase to the end of life – can be several years. So consumers need additional prompting and ease to remind them to recycle their obsolete electronics, which is why electronics collection events like those held by Keep Carroll Beautiful in Georgia are so important. And because electronics have perceived value, people tend to store their old equipment in basements and garages rather than readily recycle them. So in developing strategies for recycling, this too is a barrier that must be overcome.
When asked what the Senate could do, Pulley noted that leading by example – making recycling a social norm by talking about electronics recycling, being seen recycling and inviting their colleagues and constituents to do the same – were leadership roles for senators.
Congratulations to the students of Bourgade Catholic High School’s Earthwatch Club for winning second place in this year’s statewide Recycle Bowl Competition! Staff from Arizona Recycling Coalition and City of Phoenix Public Works Department awarded them with a check for $500 from the Arizona Recycling Coalition..
You guys are awesome recyclers! Thanks for all your hard work and keep recycling!
The 2013 GAC Youth Award Winners, James Cole Elementary School in Stockwell, IN, take pride in their work. The fourth and fifth graders at James Cole walk to town twice a year to assist with cleanup, planting, litter patrol and help those unable to clean their yards. The Cole Cubs also won the Subaru of Indiana Environmental Steward Award in 2010. Since the inception of “Cole Kids’ Cleanup Stockwell, ” there have been 2757 bulbs planted, 782 bags of litter collected, 56 miles of road cleaned and over 600 students have participated. The “Cole Kids’ Cleanup Stockwell” is also recognized in Tippecanoe County School Corporation as a premier Service Learning Project. Not bad for a town of less than four square miles and a population of approximately 430. Thanks Cole Cubs and congratulations to all who have made this program a success!
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) believes everyone should be given the opportunity to experience nature close to home. Turning vacant lots into beautiful parks allows neighbors to take pride in their community. Last year, KIB received a grant from the Lowe’s/KAB Community Improvement Grant program, to transform a vacant lot into a pocket park in the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood of Indianapolis, a neighborhood area sorely lacking greenspace and its benefits.
This project combined the efforts of neighbors from five streets partnering with Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND), the Bates-Hendricks Neighborhood Association and neighborhood businesses. Bates-Hendricks leaders are committed to neighborhood renewal and to this end they launched an effort called Building Blocks.
The neighbors of Building Blocks envisioned the transformation of four adjacent vacant lots in their neighborhood into a community greenspace. They applied to KIB’s IPL Project Greenspace program, and were chosen to receive a pocket park, featuring shade and understory trees, low-maintenance landscaping and native plants, a shelter, and a designated open space for recreation.
One creative aspect of the landscaping was reusing several extremely large concrete pads that we excavated from the site’s “past life” as a utility station: these were simply too large to remove! We kept these as distinctive boundary markers on one side of the park, as a reminder of the transformation.
Community greening is one way to help empower people. With the success of this project, KIB has engaged families through greening projects, building stronger bonds with their neighbors and contributing to the vitality of their community. We look forward to working with this engaged neighborhood in the future!
The City of Charleston’s Keep Charleston Beautiful (KCB) strives to maintain the beauty of Charleston via numerous efforts, particularly public awareness and education. To reach our goals of a cleaner tomorrow through education KCB offers school based education programs free of charge to both elementary and middle schools in Charleston.
The award winning Clean City Clara Program is a wonderful way to introduce litter prevention and recycling to young students. The program takes elementary aged children on an imaginative journey, from a cup littered on the ground, down a storm drain, and out into the harbor where it impacts wildlife. The children then help clean up the littered stage and learn about recycling while engaging with Clara, the litter prevention pelican mascot of KCB.
At the conclusion of the program, students receive a storybook highlighting the adventures of Clara, an activity book, and a pencil made from recycled materials. Last school year KCB saw 4,458 elementary school students, hosting 45 programs in 30 different elementary schools. KCB’s Talking Trash Program, a sister program to Clean City Clara, is tailored to teach middle school students numerous environmental topics, including: proper waste management; stormwater quality; marine debris and its impacts on wildlife, the community, and habitat; and school and student involvement in the community.
Twenty-two Talking Trash programs were presented during the 2012/2013 school year, reaching a total of 470 middle school students. KCB strives to maintain continuous contact with school and teachers through free education and community involvement programs. So far in the 2013/2014 school year, KCB has presented 27 programs, at 13 different schools, reaching a total of 1,113 elementary and middle school students. Providing free, fun, informative litter prevention messages to local youth is crucial for preventing future litter in our community. Litter prevention education programs are funded through support from Friends of KCB, PalmettoPride, the City of Charleston, and Keep America Beautiful.