Take Action on World Cleanup Day, el Día Mundial de Limpieza
Every year, humans create 2.12 billion tons of waste (industrial, electronic, radioactive, plastic, etc). Unless something changes, that number will increase by 70% by 2050.
Is there anything you can do to stop this urgent issue? Yes! You can participate in World Cleanup Day to raise awareness of the problem, and start solving it one day at a time.
What Is World Cleanup Day?
In short, World Cleanup Day is precisely that: a day to clean up our planet. Over 20 million volunteers from 180 countries participate in this massive movement.
In 2020, World Cleanup Day will take place on Saturday, September 19. Although the pandemic has changed the way this global event will work, it’s still taking place in many countries around the world with specific prevention measures.
It all started back in 2008 in Estonia. Citizens of this northern European nation decided that enough was enough. Amazingly, 50,000 people united efforts to clean up their entire nation in just five hours!
That day was inspiring. People from all over the world watched in awe. And the “one country, one day” formula started to catch on around the world.
Over the 11 years since that historic day, the idea has become a global movement involving millions of people. In 2018, 18 million people joined in the effort, and in 2019 over 20 million got involved.
World Cleanup Day is managed by Let’s Do It World (LDIW), an organization that envisions a “clean and healthy waste-free planet.” LDIW is pushing for a shift in the way countries manage their waste. They focus on improvements in design, production, and consumption. Raising global awareness of the problem of waste is one objective of LDIW, but implementing lasting changes in waste policies and waste management is their end goal.
World Cleanup Day Around the World
People all over the world participate in World Cleanup Day differently.
Amazingly, 10,000 volunteers around the country collected 161 tons of waste in 2018. The organization ¡Vamos a hacerlo, Colombia! collaborates with environmental leaders to share best practices in waste management. Major organizations support the event, such as the World Wildlife Fund and the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.
In Austria, to prevent volunteers’ backs from hurting the day after the cleanup, they introduced yoga breaks! (I like the way Austrians think.) They clean 11 locations throughout the country and along the banks of the Danube River.
With 3,438 volunteers in 18 states, Mexico cleaned 71 tons of waste and 7 tons of recycling materials in 2019. Mexicans went out to clean their beaches, lakes, roads, and city squares.
In Mongolia, people celebrated World Cleanup Day with a sacred ceremony at the holy river of Tuul. With around 7,000 Mongolians participating in the global event, they expected to collect 2,250 tons of garbage. In Mongolia, citizens and the government work together to clean up the country.
In the city of Ceuta, the Red Cross is the organization responsible for making World Cleanup Day happen. Over 100 people sang and cleaned a beach. The event brought the community together and helped raise awareness of the problem of waste.
What Can You Do?
If you are interested in participating in World Cleanup Day, the organization has teams all over the world that you can join as a volunteer.
Get the Kids Involved
The success of global movements like this one is based on the youth. The kids get it! And with good reason—they are the ones who will have to clean up our mess when we are no longer here.
Share the stories of World Cleanup Day with your kids. Show them the pictures and videos from the links above and explain the global problem of waste. If you really want to catch their attention, tell them about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an island of plastic trash in the ocean that’s bigger than Texas.
Work With Your Community
What if your community doesn’t participate in the World Cleanup Day? Schools and local councils are always looking for this kind of initiative. Especially when it’s a global event with millions of people participating.
Talk with your child’s teacher or principal. Organizing a beach cleanup, for example, is not complicated and the experience is extraordinarily educational. I’ve done it in my community, and my middle school students were taken aback by the amount of garbage on the beach.
World Cleanup Day: Spanish Vocabulary
reducir – reduce
reusar – reuse
reciclar – recycle
plástico – plastic
llantas – tires
vidrio – glass
latas – cans
papel – paper
metal – metal
ropa – clothes
basura – trash
residuos – waste
vertedero – landfill
emisiones – emissions
vapores – fumes
tóxico – toxic
energía – energy
electricidad – electricity
combustible – fuel
gas, gasolina – gas
gasolina – petrol
solar – solar
petróleo – oil
agua – water
aire – air
Tierra – Earth
medio ambiente – environment
hábitat – habitat
contaminación – pollution
ozono – ozone
orgánico – organic
composta – compost
cultivar – grow
paseo – walk, ride
tren – train
autobús – bus
químicos – chemicals
reparar – repair
renovar – renew
sustentabilidad – sustainability
biodegradable – biodegradable
biodiversidad – biodiversity
contaminantes – contaminants
Happy World Cleanup Day! Take advantage of the perfect opportunity to do something about the global problem of waste.
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