Start your own clean-up project

June 11, 2009 by carbonday  
Filed under Kids

Here’s how to start your own clean-up project:

  1. Think of a place that is important to you. It might be a bus stop near your house, your school playground, a nearby beach, or any other place where you like to spend time.
  2. What can you do to help your favorite place look its best? You could pick up trash, remove weeds, add a coat of paint, or donate plants.
  3. Get permission. Get permission before you make big changes, like planting, weeding, or painting. Ask an adult to help you call a city official or the site owner. For example, if you are planting a tree in a park, you should contact the Department of Public Works.
  4. Tell your friends and family. Tell your friends and family about your project and ask if they want to help. Find a day when your helpers will be free.
  5. Collect supplies. Collect clean-up supplies like gloves, trash bags, paper towels, and glass cleaner. Don’t forget to make a Mechanical Grabber (pdf: 475k, Adobe Acrobat required)
  6. Let the clean-up begin! Make sure to bring an adult with you. When your clean-up day arrives, make your favorite place look its best. Take “before” and “after” photos to send to ZOOM.
  7. Safety first. Don’t pick up any sharp objects, such as broken glass. If you find something sharp, ask an adult to take care of it for you.
  8. Wait before you throw! If you find any recyclable items like cans or paper bags, don’t throw them out! Bring them to your local recycling center instead!
  9. Think about it.

· Who did your clean-up help?

· What did you see and hear during the clean-up?

· How did the clean-up make you feel?

· What did you learn that you did not know before?

· What new questions or ideas do you have?

· Is there anything you would do differently the next time?

  1. Celebrate! Thank everyone who helped you. If you took pictures, you can send some to the friends and family members who volunteered with you. And remember to log your hours and share your story.
  2. Keep helping. Go back to your area once a month to keep it clean. Write a letter to your local newspaper and tell them about your project. Tell them why this place is special to you and what people can do to help take care of it. Remember to send your “before” and “after” pictures, too.

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Tree Facts

• Two mature trees provide enough oxygen for a family of four.
• One acre of trees removes 2.6 tons of CO2 per year.
• About one third of the United States of America is covered by forests
• The average tree in an urban area has a life expectancy of only 8 years.
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