Keeping New Zealand Beautiful after Clean Up Week

Guest editorial by Laura Barron

We’re officially at the end of Clean Up Week 2021 and what a monumental effort we’ve seen from all of you! We’re so grateful to everyone who came together to pick up litter and Keep New Zealand Beautiful!

While Clean Up Week is always a huge success, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t need a clean up week – New Zealand would already be litter free and our environment would be enjoying the benefits of that. As we all know, Clean Up Week may happen once annually, but litter is a year-round problem.

So now that Clean Up Week 2021 is over, here are some ideas for keeping the momentum going and continuing your amazing mahi.

  1. Catch up and clean up
    Next time you’re out and about with friends, or you fancy a picnic with the extended family, you might want to suggest a little litter picking afterwards. You could get the whole family involved and even make it into a competition for who picks up the most litter. Got young kids to entertain? Try making your clean up into a treasure hunt – home-baked prizes are a great way to get the kids motivated!
  2.  Show your thanks for a day at the beach
    Aotearoa is full of beautiful beaches and coastlands – but litter and plastics are becoming increasingly problematic. Next time you spend a day at the beach, consider doing a quick 10-20 minute litter pick before you head back to the car. You never know, other people might see you doing it and follow suit!
    Likewise, if you’re out on a tramp or walk, try picking up 10 pieces of litter each – it’ll make a huge difference to the health of the local wildlife.
  3. Plogging
    Plogging is the latest trend and involves picking up litter while going out for a jog. It’s common throughout Sweden and is a great way to keep both you and the environment around you looking great – so next time you’re out for a jog with a mate, bring a litter bag with you and do your bit for our planet’s pollution problem!
  4. Share it on social media
    These are just some of the many ideas to make picking up litter and plastics a year-round activity. Your efforts are really appreciated, and you could always consider motivating others to do the same by sharing your activities with as many people as possible. If you’re part of a neighbourhood or zero-waste group on social media, try sharing what you’ve been doing to provide inspiration for others – they may have their own ideas which they can then share back with you.

By finding new and fun ways to pick up litter and to Be a Tidy Kiwi, you’re doing an amazing service for New Zealand. You’re stopping plastic and rubbish from polluting the land and sea and helping to keep this incredible country clean and beautiful. Thank you!

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