Plain and simple, litter is a piece of waste that has been thrown away without consent and at inappropriate locations. Approximately 85% of littering behavior is the result of individual attitudes.
Perhaps an area is already messy. Perhaps people don’t realize that there are consequences to their actions such as environmental harm, damage to wildlife habitat, economic losses, etc.
In an effort to change this, the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Affiliates of Florida participate in the Great American Cleanup every spring, which launches service projects in communities throughout the state. Florida affiliates mobilize volunteers to remove litter and debris from roadways and waterways and often plant trees, flowers and gardens to improve a community’s appearance while also emphasizing the importance of litter prevention education and behavior change. This year, the Florida affiliates were fortunate to be able to join forces with the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) DRIVE IT HOME – Keep Our Paradise Litter-Free campaign which seeks to raise awareness and educate the motoring public on litter prevention.
A total of 38 Florida affiliates organized 5,493 cleanup events statewide which ranged from park and neighborhood cleanups, to military appreciation themed cleanups to waterway and shoreline improvement through debris removal. More often than not, the Florida affiliates continue these events throughout the year and are not limited to the spring months.
The amount of waste collected during the “Trash-Off” events was nearly 3 million tons of debris and is due solely to the hard work of over 80,000 volunteers statewide. Through the work of these volunteers and the generosity of corporate partners, programs such as the 2018 Great American Cleanup build and sustain communities that are environmentally healthy and socially connected, thereby contributing to a better Florida where people want to visit, live and even relocate a business.
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