#PickUp5 Litter Clean-up Initiative

Jun 28 2016

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Litter. It’s ugly. It’s dirty. Nobody likes it but everyone sees it around their neighborhood, school, or workplace. A lot of us see it while walking or driving and think “Who threw that soda bottle/candy wrapper/chip bag there?”. But hey! You can do something about that litter. That may sound like a big task  – one you can’t fix on your own. It’s true, you can’t pick up every last piece of litter you see. Your normal morning walk could  be never-ending if you do. That’s where the #PickUp5 initiative comes in.

Pick Up 5

Here’s what SCARCE is asking you – as a citizen of DuPage County – and the world – to do:
Just Pick Up 5 – Five pieces of litter. Every time you go on a walk, are at the park, or a soccer game (you get the idea). Doable, right?

Get Social! Help spread the word about #PickUp5:

Take a photo of yourself flashing your five fingers and the five pieces of litter you picked up and share it on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #PickUp5. Tag us @ScarceEcoEd and five of your friends, challenging them to do the same.  You can also email photos to us at [email protected].Zack picks up 5

But does it help? You bet ya! Not only have you picked up litter but you’re modeling good behavior that can be contagious. The more people see others caring about cleaning up their community on their everyday jaunts outside, the more likely they are to do it themselves.

Just imagine how much litter we can prevent from going into our ponds, rivers, streams and – eventually – the ocean! If every person in DuPage County picked up 5 pieces of litter on just one walk, that would prevent over 4.5 million pieces of litter from affecting our wildlife and waterways. Now let’s say everyone does it just 5 times a year and – holy cow – now that’s over 20 million pieces of litter!

The benefits to picking up litter are more than just clearing up eyesores and protecting wildlife. Litter  costs us each year.

Source: Keep America Beautiful , Litter in America Factsheet: Costs of Littering

Source: Keep America Beautiful , Litter in America Factsheet: Costs of Littering

Need a little inspiration? Check out Chad Pregracke of Living Lands & Waters over in East Moline, Illinois.  He saw litter and picked up 5…and then some! Now his organization has removed over 8 million pounds of litter from our riverways. If that doesn’t do it, perhaps some wise words from a former president will help motivate you:

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” John F. Kennedy

Maybe your Pick Up 5 efforts won’t grow quite as big as Chad’s but you can make a difference. So give #PickUp5 a try and share your efforts with us.

A special thank you to Bob Young from the Wheaton Environmental Improvement Commission for coining the Pick Up 5 program name.


NOAA Marine Debris Program

Living Lands & Waters

In the Newsin case you need more motivation!

Plastic Litter on Great Lakes Beaches – Great Lakes Echo (Feb 2017)

Widespread Plastic Pollution Found in the Great Lakes Tributaries – USGS (Sept 2016)

Are You Ready To Do Your Part?

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