AOF Activities & Events
In the United States, World Cleanup Day (WCD) is the third Saturday of September, which due to calendar vageries can drift from Sept 15 to Sept 21. But eco-groups urge us to think of all of September as World Cleanup Month. And that's a great idea.
The idea of WCD began in the small country of Estonia in 2008, when 50,000 people united to clean up the entire country in just five hours. On that day, a bottom-up civic movement was born. It spread virally around the globe, capturing the hearts off people worldwide, who followed suit with the same ambitious ‘one country, one-day’ formula. By 2018 it had united 18 million people across 157 countries and territories.
Today the simple idea is a global movement with millions of volunteers and charismatic leaders. The simple act of cleaning has bound together people and groups that would otherwise never unite to work towards the same goal. Civil society, governments and global corporations, women in Saudi Arabia, people defying war in Yemen and Syria, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians, men and women, children.
Why? Because every human has a place they call Home, be it a mansion, a street, a hut or a cardboard box. Then there are the cities, countries, and regions we call home; the planet we call home. When the Estonians successfully cleaned their home in 5 hours, the world took notice. The simplicity of the idea and the ‘let’s do it’ attitude took off and the rest, as they say, is history.
After all, anyone can pick up trash. But World Cleanup Day has become much more than that. Daycares, schools, companies, government officials – the old, the young, the rich, the poor, the able and less able – everyone has contributed. Because they can. Because they wanted to be involved in making their home a better place. Because they were given an opportunity to help. Because they belong to a community, and the community belongs to us.
How can you help? Go to https://www.worldcleanupday.us or https://www.worldcleanupday.org/, find your local contacts, register for a Cleanup, and rise early that day to help to beautify your parks, trails, beaches, mountains, and open spaces. The world will be better for it, and you will be a better person.