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Organize a Community Clean-Up

So, your house and habits are in order. Where can you help next? Working within your neighborhood and city to create larger change is easier than you think. Take a look at local online forums, community centers or environmental organizations for existing clean up events, but for the biggest impact, don't hesitate to create one of your own. Follow these simple steps to make it happen.

Start Now!

1. Take a Look Around

Use a critical eye to figure out an immediate problem you can address with some goodwill and human power. Is there a park nearby that could use some TLC? A stream littered with bottles and wrappers? A median where trash always seems to gather? Pick a site to focus on.

Six Weeks Out

2. Work Your Network

Talk to neighbors and local business owners to gauge their interest and abilities. A small core group can help you establish a goal and select a date.

Six Weeks Out

3. Make a List

What equipment or materials will you need? Trash bags and gloves, rakes, ladders and hoses might be simple enough to source, but think about whether you have larger concerns like dumpsters or trucks for transporting refuse.

Five Weeks Out

4. Pick Up the Phone

Some municipalities will provide assistance in completing projects like yours. Contact your local government for more information. Also, think about whether your local dump or recycling center is accessible and available to handle what you clean up.

Four Weeks Out

5. Take It Online

Use community chat groups to spread the news. Ask people to indicate their interest or availability using a site like signupgenius.com. Now is also the time to ask your fellow volunteers what tools or supplies they might be able to contribute so you'll have everything you'll need to get the job done.

Three Weeks Out

6. Make It Fun

Any community gathering is a great opportunity to spread goodwill. Ask people or local businesses to contribute refreshments or their talents, like entertainment or music, to make the day both productive and enjoyable.

One Week Out

7. Check In

Send out a reminder to all of your volunteers and include helpful logistical information. Check the forecast and remind participants about any weather-related concerns, what they need to bring and any other details they'll find helpful.

Day of

8. It's Go Time!

On the day of your clean-up event, roll up your sleeves and bring your enthusiasm and positivity! Spend a few hours hard at work making a difference and leaving your designated space better than you found it! Ask others what project they'd like to tackle next!