Keeping America Clean: How to Make a Difference in Your Community

Keeping America Clean: How to Make a Difference in Your Community

 Last year 65,988 Pennsylvanians picked up 3.4 million pounds of trash and 45,412 tires from neighborhoods, streams, roadways, parks and trails through Keep Pennsyslvania Beautiful’s Pick Up Pennsylvania program. This year they are at it again, with hundreds of events spread between April 1st through May 31st. And they're not alone! Organizations all over the country are participating in Clean Up events to help keep their communities safe and beautiful environments to enjoy.

Volunteers Participating in the Wissahickon Clean Up

What are Clean Up Events?

Clean Up Events are scheduled meetings where groups of people gather to improve their communities by picking up garbage, debris, litter and other waste from local trails, forests, rivers, beaches and lakes in order to maintain a clean and scenic environment. While these initiatives are year-long, most events take place in the spring between March 20th and May 31st.

Why Should I Clean Up My Community?

The benefits of cleaning up go far beyond improved scenic qualities. Cleanups increase community pride by giving individuals and groups a sense of involvement and ownership in a clean community and send a message to residents and visitors that littering is unacceptable. Cleanups increase property values, tourism and local business and remove dangers to people, animals, equipment and the environment. A clean community is less likely to be littered.

What Should I Bring to a Clean Up?

Many organized events provide supplies to volunteers, but you should always be prepared with these essentials at any clean up event:

  1. Clean Up Supplies: Trash bags, gloves, and safety vests are essential tools for any clean up event. Trash pickers, such as these Garbo Grabbers, make for easier and more efficient trash removal as well.
  2. Water and Sunscreen: Cleaning up the environment is a hard job, and can last many hours. Be sure to stay hydrated and to apply sunscreen every 1-2 hours.
  3. Insect Repellent: With vector-borne disease on the rise, it is important to ensure protection against biting insects.Ticks and mosquitos can not only get in the way of an effective clean up, they can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more.  Make sure to always apply Ranger Ready Picaridin 20% Body-Worn Insect Repellent for 12 hour protection against these biting insects, and treat your clean up outfit with Ranger Ready Permethrin 0.5% Clothing Treatment before you go outside (let it dry for 2 hours before use).

How Can I Help?

Register to be a part of the solution to the litter in your community. If you live in or near Pennsylvania, visit for more information or contact Michelle Dunn at or 877-772-3673.

Visit to find a location near you participating in nationwide clean up events, or reach out to your local Keep America Beautiful chapter at