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Do you find yourself itching to be outside and breathe the fresh air, or feel the ground tap against your feet? Are you needing to do *something* tangibly beneficial for our communities while you’re told to self-isolate and #flattenthecurve?  Seems like a proposition that’s easier said than done; especially when community service events are defined by working together and you’re supposed to practice social distancing. 

So what can you do that allows you to self-isolate while also helping others?  A neighborhood cleanup, of course. Take a walk around your block and clean any litter or trash you find. 

Suggestions for you: 

  • Take recyclables out of your trash
  • Wear reusable gloves. Gardening or canvas work gloves work great; save disposable gloves for when you really need them and generate less trash by doing so
  • Wear a mask (In accordance with your local regulations regarding how and when it should be used)
  • Bring a container: Our favorites? Older reusable grocery bags or plastic buckets
  • Use a smartphone: Take photos of trash you pick up
  • Wear sun protection: A hat or sunscreen
  • Drink water: Stay hydrated and keep up your immune system

Optional additions:

  • Use headphones: Catch up on your favorite podcasts or listen to music
  • Bring a trash picker 
  • You can even contribute trash data by downloading the free CleanSwell app & naming your group ‘Coastkeeper Clean’. This is helpful for us to keep track of how much litter our wonderful community members are removing, as well as for policymakers regarding debris prevention and management

When picking up trash there are a few things to remember for yours and wildlife’s safety:

  • Please maintain a social distance of 6-10 feet (the current CDC recommendation) with people you aren’t in isolation with
  • If you find things that are sharp on your walk, please be careful. Buckets come in handy, but leave sharp things alone for your safety  
  • Only pick up man-made trash. Please leave sticks or leaves on the ground. There are animals that rely on that for food, that are in turn food for larger animals. If you find something on your walk that was made by nature, then it needs to stay in nature

Now that you have that all together and you’re all prepared, what next? Head out on a walk around your neighborhood and get started. Be sure to take photos and tag us in them on Instagram and Facebook @occoastkeeper.  Please include the estimated pounds of trash that you picked up too. We can then add that to our website’s tally and keep making an impact on Orange County’s neighborhood – together. 

We hope this information will help you with your next neighborhood cleanup and most of all, allow you to have fun.