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Last Updated on September 18, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
I am always looking for ways for my family to get involved in community service projects. There are so many worthwhile organizations that need a helping hand. It's hard to pick just one or two. Environmental awareness is a priority in my house. When my daughter's Girl Scout Troop was given the opportunity to participate in a river cleanup day, I thought it would be a great experience. I wanted to share a few tips that we learned this weekend as we ventured out on our Yellow River Trash Bash!
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River Cleanup Day Tips
Participating in a river cleanup day is a great way to clean up your local community. However, you need to make sure you are prepared for the adventure! Here are a few things we learned this weekend!
- Dress appropriately: Wear old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty and wet. Choose long pants and maybe even long sleeves. Wear sturdy work boots or waterproof hiking boots.
- Bring the right supplies: You don't want to go on a river cleanup day empty-handed. You will need: Large plastic bags, work gloves, orange safety vests (protects from cars, hunters, etc) and trash grabber tool.
- Protect yourself: Bring sunscreen and/or bug spray to protect yourself. Bring water as well to protect yourself from dehydration.
- Use the buddy system: Make sure you buddy up so that no one is alone. This is an important safety tip for both kids and adults.
- Make short trips from a central location. Your trash will be heavy and you will need to unload at a designated central location. If you are choosing a section of the river, start in the center of that section. Go down the river, then come back and unload. Then go upriver and come back and unload.
- Separate your trash if possible for recycling: Some trash can be recycled and other types can't. Try to recycle what you can.
- Engage the community and look for sponsors: Tackling a river cleanup day on your own can be a lot of work. Try to get the whole community involved. Ask for sponsors from local restaurants for a post-cleanup lunch.
Having Fun at the Yellow River Trash Bash
My daughter and I had a lot of fun at our Yellow River Trash Bash this weekend, although it was definitely hard work! We were lucky that the organizers of the event had plenty of great sponsors as well as tons of supplies and a knowledgeable guide!
I was amazed at how much trash we found once we actually started looking. Much of the trash had obviously been there for 40 or 50 years based on the age and style of the cans and bottles. We brought bags and buckets and after only about 90 minutes we could barely carry everything back out of the woods!
We found plenty of the trash on the river banks which the girls happily lugged through the woods for quite a ways. Of course, what got them most excited was the turtle they found, the bunny that we accidentally scared out of the underbrush, and some fun river crossings which gave them an excuse to get their feet wet.
After working up an appetite for a couple of hours, we were happy to get back to the pavilion and bathrooms to wash up and indulge in a few slices of pizza. I think we did a pretty good just this weekend on our river cleanup day and am hopeful that we can join the Yellow River Trash Bash again next year!
How to Start a River Cleanup
Check out CreatetheGood.org for more information about how to start a river cleanup in your area!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.