If every person picked up just one piece of litter today, there would be over 300 million fewer pieces of litter. If every person picked up 10 pieces of litter, there would be 3 billion fewer pieces damaging our environment. If you and your friends spend just one hour today picking up litter in your own neighborhood, you will not only pick up thousands of pieces of trash, you will also make a tremendous impact on your community. Just be sure to bend your knees.


  1. Spend one hour today picking up litter. Or decide that every time you see a piece of litter today, you'll pick it up and throw it away.
  2. If you see someone littering, politely ask them to pick it up. Or pick it up yourself and maybe the person who dropped it will see you and get the hint.
  3. Organize a team of neighbors, friends, co-workers, or fellow church members to pick up litter in a specific neighborhood for an hour. Bring rubber gloves and garbage bags and make it more fun by turning the cleanup effort into a game/contest.
  4. Enjoy making a difference, getting exercise, getting to know people better, and having cleaner surroundings.

  • 250 million tons of trash is generated each year in the U.S.
  • 4.6 pounds of waste is created every day by the average person.
  • Common litter includes cigarette butts, plastic bags, paper, candy wrappers, fast-food packaging, bottle caps, 6-pack can holders, glass bottles, and plastic straws.
  • Men and women are equally likely to litter.
  • People under age 15 are least likely to litter; people under the age of 25 are most likely to litter when in a group; and, people over the age of 25 are most likely to litter when alone.
  • In one single day, nearly 7 million pounds of litter were removed from beaches, lakes, and streams.
  • Animals from nearly 443 species are entangled in or ingest marine debris annually. The majority of these die from starvation, exhaustion, or infection.
  • People litter because:
  • there is a presence of other litter.
  • it's the easiest way to get rid of unwanted things.
  • littering is acceptable by people who pay taxes to have someone else pick it up.
  • dumping is a social activity we learned from our parents and passed on unconsciously to our children.
Excerpted from: Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza. Copyright © 2008 Every Monday Matters LLC. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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