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How To Organize a Beach Cleanup

Ready to think globally and act locally? Here's how you can do your part to give back to the planet.


  • Step 1: Instruct teams to separate recyclables from other trash.
  • Step 2: Take "before and after" photographs for publicity for future cleanups.
  • Step 3: Supply refreshments at the meeting place. Have plenty of water on hand, as well as a few snacks.
  • FACT: Did you know? Every year, Americans throw away enough garbage to fill trash trucks that would form a line stretching from the earth halfway to the moon.
  • Step 4: Determine where the teams will meet when their section is finished.
  • TIP: Advise volunteers to be careful of broken glass or other sharp objects. Provide each team with a first-aid kit.
  • Step 5: Talk with people in your neighborhood about the idea of a beach cleanup to drum up volunteers.
  • TIP: Recruit volunteers from schools, community centers, churches, and clubs.
  • Step 6: Contact the city's public works department to see if they will provide support and supplies for the event.
  • Step 7: Determine a meeting location and divide the volunteers into teams, each responsible for a different section of the beach.
  • Step 8: Identify the stretch of beach that you'd like to clean up. Visit the location a few days beforehand to identify animal habitats, determine any additional supplies you'll need to pick up and transport debris, and identify drop-off areas.

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