The growing amount of pollution and worldwide is sometimes hard to miss. Whether it’s a few leaflets that have blown out of a mailbox, some carelessly dropped soda cans and water bottles in a city park or some fast-food rubbish littering the streets, it is not hard to find sources of litter and rubbish in our communities. Many people walk and drive by this trash, wondering how it got there, wondering who put it there, wondering why someone won’t do something about it. Have you ever wondered if you could do something to help clean up your local community? Well this month, you get your chance, as communities across Australia band together for the annual “Clean Up Australia Day”!
Clean Up Australia Day was first held in January 1990. The idea was borne out of an Australian Bicentenary event, “Clean-Up Lake Macquarie” which was instigated in 1987 by Ivan Welsh as Mayor of Lake Macquarie. Then followed the local “Clean Up Sydney Harbour” event in 1989 with more than 40,000 volunteers who collected some 5,000 tonnes of rubbish. The 1990 Clean Up Australia Day event was launched by the then Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. In the last 26 years, Clean Up Australia Day has grown to every corner of the country, with individuals in local communities taking time out clean up their neighbourhoods and spread awareness about littering, pollution, and most recently, climate change.
Clean Up Australia Day events include volunteer organisations from all over Australia, and is one of the largest community-based conservation programs in the country. In 1993 the idea went global, and the Clean Up the World program was established. Clean Up the World Day, usually held in September, is an international campaign that encourages communities to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment through the Clean Up the World Membership program.
If you would like more information on local Clean Up Days in your area, the Clean Up Australia Day website is an excellent way to connect to like-minded people looking to make the places they live just a little bit better. Remember: We have one planet—let’s take care of it!