On September 16 the Garden Club of Jacksonville and Riverside Avondale Preservation tackled the trash on our streets on National CleanUp Day. Children and their families, including a couple of Girl Scout troops, joined us for this special Budding Gardeners, working in safe groups to clean up our local streets. Children were also able to satisfy their volunteer work requirements through this activity.
After they brought in buckets of trash from Riverside and Post streets, children and parents beat the heat and enjoyed a cool snack of popsicles, juice, and popcorn.
According to National CleanUp Day, many studies show that someone will pick up litter if they witness someone else picking it up. That’s because peer group norms are more powerful than incentives, and together, they can provide impressive behavioral change. Most people want to do the right thing; all they need is a little encouragement or incentive. The leadership of National CleanUp Day believes people are naturally responsible; if we encourage them to care for their favorite places and pick up after themselves and others, our outdoor spaces will become self-sufficient, clean, and more enjoyable.
It only takes a little bit of trash to make a big difference! Ten pieces may sound like a small number, but it’s scaled immensely when the collective power of different groups joins in across a neighborhood. With a group of just 12, 10 pieces quickly turn into 120.