Pick that Up!

One of the aspects I’ve enjoyed about homeschooling is that I can include a new activity, or course of study, at anytime throughout the school year. As I began learning more about green living, I thought it would be a great subject for my children and me to study together. This past school year, I introduced green and natural living lessons into our school schedule. Each week, we took on a green project or participated in an activity that promoted environmental appreciation and preservation. Some of our projects included visiting farms and orchards (we’ve been to a lot of these), collecting about $5 at the recycling center, and planting our first fruit tree.

One of the projects I enjoyed most was cleaning up a vacant lot. Before my husband and I were married, we spent a lot of time outdoors bike riding, running, and hiking. A favorite spot of ours was Big Basin Redwoods. Besides being impressed with the grandeur of the redwoods and the quiet that allowed one to hear the trickling of water falling, I could not get over the fact that there was no trash. I mean, if you were going to litter, then this would be the ideal place. There were no trash cans, which only increased the temptation to toss something to the ground because unless you were traveling with a group, no one would see you do it.

Of course, our day would end and we would return to the city where the landscape was occasionally spotted with pieces of trash. It was never enough to fill a standard garbage can, but it was there. For whatever reason, there are going to always be people who litter and there will always be a need for people to clean up after them. Although I appreciate seeing trash-free settings, I must admit that I don’t spend my day walking around picking up pieces of trash.

Clean Up the World Weekend (CUW) is an annual and global celebration that occurs the third weekend in September. The 16th CUW will be held September 19-21. During this weekend, many member organizations participate in clean up activities while promoting long-term environmental initiatives. If you want to participate in this global effort, then find a member organization near you.

If global is a little too large for you, then try something local and a little more personal. I have a challenge for you: Pick a public area (park, school, lake, beach, your neighborhood, etc.) and clean up. No need for fanfare or an arranged community event. Go solo or take a group of friends and spend one hour picking up trash. Use your lunch hour, wake up early in the morning, or spend some time at the end of the day before going home. Take your children along and/or invite the children of friend to come along to have fun and learn. You will not only make a positive impact on the environment, but the lessons you will teach that child can be long lasting.

If you decide to take the challenge, then share your experiences here.

Laugh, learn, and live more green and natural with Jennifer at Little Green Secrets where country living is a little easier. Subscribe to her blog here and enjoy great recipes for delicious vegetarian food that will make your mouth water, her experiences in homeschooling, and she might even reveal a few (ssh!) little green secrets.

An original post written for 5 Minutes for Going Green.

7 Responses to Pick that Up!
  1. Beth (Coming Up For Air)
    August 5, 2008 | 9:50 am

    This is great! I like to find ways to incorporate new things into our homeschooling too. Your ideas are wonderful. Picking up trash was my first way of introducing my children into caring for the planet as well. Now they do it randomly wherever we go out of habit!

  2. Dawn
    August 5, 2008 | 11:26 am

    Count us in! BTW-I love this site! I found it through a friend and am looking forward to catching up on the previous posts and seeing what you have coming up.

    PS-I’ll spread the word on the clean-up to our Girl Scout Service Unit too, there’s no stopping GS!

  3. Em
    August 5, 2008 | 1:16 pm

    This is really wonderful. My family takes walks in our little town almost every evening. They’re about 2 miles long and we see tons of trash each time. We decided that we were going to help ‘make the world a better place’ – one of the 10 Girl Scout Laws, and pick up the trash we see each night. Now, we are carrying a bag of trash, usually half of it is recyclable, back to our house and disposing of it the right way. Our town is really pretty, but it sure would be nicer if folks wouldn’t litter!

  4. Jennifer (Little Green Secrets)
    August 5, 2008 | 8:42 pm


    I have been enjoying this study (way of life) so much. I’m planning our schedule for the fall and am looking for more activities for us to do.

    Dawn, Em, and any other people or groups who participate before or during the CUW weekend, send pictures (I love pictures!) to naturalbaby at littlegreensecrets dot com and I will post them at Little Green Secrets on Monday, September 29. You’ll get to impress people with your hard and “green conscious” work.

  5. Nicol
    August 8, 2008 | 5:10 pm

    What an awesome cause that you are promoting and teaching. I am disappointed to see that the member list for North America is only a handful of participants. This is something I think that would be awesome to promote! Thank you for bring it to my attention. Great blog!

  6. casual friday everyday
    August 8, 2008 | 6:43 pm

    What a fantastic idea! I’m still on the fence about whether to homeschool or not, but the freedom to do such things as this really does appeal to me!

    :–) Nell

  7. When Your Green Kid Is Trapped Indoors
    September 17, 2008 | 6:02 am

    […] Remember CUW, September 19-21, 2008 and Pick that up! […]