Photo by Ashley Lowery
 In Community Events, River and Water Organizations, River Restoration and Protection, Water Quality

Commit to a Green New Year

This spring, it is more important than ever for us to come together and make every day Earth Day. In 2020, there were 26 billion pieces of litter along America’s waterways, according to data compiled by Keep America Beautiful. With the increase in single use personal protective equipment and fewer resources available due to the impacts of COVID, litter is more prevalent than ever. 

At River Network, we know how fun it can be to come together as a community to clean up litter, and with new apps like Litterati, we can bring that fun home, tooLitterati is a great tool to create buzz and competition to pick up litter individually; you can log and track all of the litter removed in a virtual clean-up campaign in your area. We even have a handy new video with tips and tricks for how to stay safe and have a productive individual clean up. You can use this video to plan a local clean up in your area and share it on newsletters and social media! 

This past Earth Day, we helped host a number of in-person and Litterati clean ups across the country. In Littleton, CO, with support from the Anheuser-Busch FoundationBreckenridge Brewery hosted an in-person clean-up at two different sites in the local area. Their first in-person event since COVID began, the brewery had over 75 sign ups to help pick up trash and plant trees! Further south in Phoenix, AZ, Rio Reimagined hosted a week-long Litterati clean-up sponsored by the Ball Corporation, with an in-person opportunity to work together along the Salt River, allowing for double the impact.  

Cleaning up with Rio Reimagined.

The Felix family, Breckenridge Brewery clean up participants. Photo courtesy Lisa Runkel.

We love hosting clean ups as an engaging activity across our river programs, including at our annual River Rally conference. This year, Osprey Initiative and Bridgestone Tires are hosting a Litterati clean up during Rally, to help Rally participants make an impact in their neighborhoods. Participants have the chance to compete against each other for the top litter spot, for a chance to win a one-of-a-kind reclaimed wood coffee table, and many more prizes, including an Osprey prize pack for the first 30 RSVPs! In addition, Bridgestone’s Tires4Ward program will be a featured resource for any clean-ups that remove high numbers of tires, to make an even bigger impact on the planet this year. 

With just a few weeks left before River Rally begins on May 17, you still have time to register and join hundreds of water professionals for four days of education, inspiration, and connection with the national network. Register today.

This year, considering adding litter pick up to your daily life to make a big impact on the environment. Just bringing a bag with you to collect trash whenever you’re outside can help eliminate a significant amount of litter in your community. If you’re more ambitious, utilize tools like Litterati or local message boards to get folks to work together towards a cleaner neighborhood. A little impact can yield a high pay-off, as we’ve seen in partner cities such as Birmingham, AL, where local clean-ups paved the way to community support for the installation of Osprey’s Litter Gitter device in East Lake Park, galvanizing the city’s commitment to litter removal and mitigation. A little can go a long way, and starting small can make a big impact!

Leave a Comment