How To Organize a Neighborhood Cleanup!
by Nancy S.
Every Earth Day we love to organize a neighborhood cleanup.
We start by contacting our neighbors the week before and letting them know what's being planned. We do this by email, but you can also create small flyers (maybe 4 to a page to save paper?) and drop them in mailboxes. We let them know the date and time and where we'll all be meeting, and we tell them what to bring (trash bags, gloves, brooms and dustpans for things like glass).
Usually we just meet on a corner or outside a home and then split into teams of 1-2 families, or maybe 3-4 people if families want to split up (older kids usually like to).
The thing that usually gets people most involved is planning a neighborhood potluck afterwards. We always encourage a crockpot meal so no one feels like they need to sit out of the cleanup in order to cook, but others will bring salads or anything they can cook in advance. We bring games (like football and crochet) and everyone brings their own plates and utensils and napkins and stuff so we don't create waste at all.
It's always a ton of fun and it gives new families in the neighborhood a comfortable way to meet everyone and get involved, and gives the kids a fun way to meet one another. You can see the extra friendships throughout the months that follow, which makes it even more fulfilling. (Especially when all the kids now know each other and get out and play together all the time.)