If you’ve ever wanted to have your own beach volunteer cleanup, look to the Ocean Conservancy for inspiration! They hold a beach cleanup every September, and thousands of people participate to clean up their local beaches. Since the early 90s, they have collected over 300 million pounds of trash. Now that’s amazing!

AMC holds a beach cleanup every summer to help with this important cause. Because we can’t gather in person this year, we thought, “Why not hold individual cleanups?” After all, one person or small group can make a huge difference!

On July 25, we invite you and your roommates or immediate family members to have your own little volunteer cleanup event at a local beach or park. Together, but separately, we can make our community more beautiful in a significant way. Read on to learn the benefits, tools, and COVID-19 considerations of a cleanup.

Volunteer Cleanups: It’s Not Just About Making the Community Look Nice

Having a beach and park free of trash sure looks nice. But doing a cleanup also makes you feel good, helps wildlife, and encourages healthy activity.

Volunteer cleanups give you some serious warm fuzzies. “There is satisfaction to say, ‘I removed ten pounds of trash from my beach,’” says Kara Lavender Law, a research oceanography professor. “Even if it’s only ten pounds, that’s ten pounds that isn’t going to go into the open ocean.”

And this type of volunteering really can save lives. According to Ocean Crusaders, “100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found.” If picking up trash for an hour or two could save even one animal, it would be more than worth it.

Consider heading to nearby Birch Park or Santa Ana River Beach to pick up some trash and make the world a more beautiful place. If you’d like to make it a workout, be sure to use good form as you’re lunging to pick up pieces of trash!

Here’s What to Bring

Whether you go on Saturday, July 25, or choose another day that works for your volunteer cleanup, here are some good supplies to bring:

  • Trash bags and paper lawn clippings bags
  • Gloves
  • Brooms, dustpans, and buckets for cigarette butts and glass
  • First aid kit

Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, and don’t forget some quick energy snacks!

COVID-19 Guidelines

COVID-19 restrictions mean our volunteer cleanup groups may be small, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recruit help! If you’d like to invite friends or extended family to join you, here’s some CDC advice to keep in mind: “When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.” And bring your masks along to comply with California’s mask mandate when social distancing isn’t feasible.

Ready to make a difference and have fun while you’re at it? Join us for our virtual beach and park cleanup effort on July 25 or anytime in July. And let us know when you go! Tag Artists Village Apartments in your photos and use the hashtags #AMCcleanup and #livehappy.