Every year from the 28th May to 13 June there is a nationwide effort to clean up our streets, parks and beaches. Throughout the pandemic I think we all started to appreciate our outdoor spaces more and relied on them for our mental and physical health. The Great British Spring Clean is the perfect time to give back to the environment and your community.
Why Litter is Harmful
Litter can harm wildlife, marine life and even domestic pets. Plastic waste can easily be mistaken for food which then can get lodged in the throats of wild animals causing them to get serious injuries which they are unable to recover from. In India, 20 cows die every day because they have eaten plastic bags. More recently, animals have been getting caught up in disposable masks. Experts are advising us to snip the strings off the masks even if you are putting them into the bin.
Litter can also pollute the air. Researchers estimate more than 40% of the world’s litter is burned in the open air which releases toxic emissions that can cause health problems.
Cleansing the Environment and the Soul?
A follow up with volunteers from last year’s clean up found the following:
- 79% of volunteers found that cleaning the environment helped improve their mood
- 64% of volunteers felt more part of the community
- 44% of volunteers felt less anxious about what is going on in the world right now
These are just few of the many reasons you should sign up and pledge a few hours and minutes of litter picking. Find out more about pledging here. So far, 1,014,510.6 have been pledged towards the million mile mission.
What Can I Do To Help?
Besides this campaign, there are things you can do in your everyday life to reduce the amount of problematic litter in the world. Here are some ways you can play a part:
- Start carrying a cloth bag or a ‘bag for life’ with you. They can be easily folded and placed in your car, backpack or purse. This way you are always prepared and don’t have to buy a plastic bag.
- Try to stop or avoid using plastic straws, cutlery and plastic bags. Did you know plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose?
- Start picking up litter you see lying around. Every time you are outside aim to pick up at least one piece of trash. This might seem insignificant but it all adds up!
- Recycle correctly by reading the label on packaging to see what box it needs to be disposed in.
How will you contribute to the Great British Spring Clean? We love to hear from you so please share your pictures of you participating over on Instagram! (@loveyourselfhq)
By Pooja Depala