Keep America Beautiful

Elementary School Girl

Tips Just for Kids

Taking care of our environment is a very important job.

There's something for everyone to do-including you! No matter where you live, there are many things you can do around your neighborhood or at school, such as setting an example by not littering, helping clean up a spot, and learning about safe ways to handle trash.

You can start by choosing one or more of these ideas. Some are simple. Others will need the help of a parent, older family member, or teacher. You can involve your friends and family in all of them.

Always set an example by not littering , no matter where you are.

When you put out the trash at home, make sure that garbage can lids are on tight, and that all of the trash goes into the can.

If your parents own a car, make litterbags for them. Keep your yard clean and free of things that can blow into the street and become litter.

If your school playground doesn't have a litter basket, have your teacher ask the school to put one out. Your class can make and put up posters reminding other students to put litter where it belongs.

Ask a parent or teacher to take you or your class to a recycling center or sanitary landfill. Many recycling centers or landfills will let you see how trash is managed. List the different kinds of items that the recycling center collects, and how each one is prepared for shipment. At the landfill, list the kinds of equipment you see, and what each does.

Make a bulletin board that has pictures of areas that are clean, and those that are spoiled by litter or trash. Write a story about the difference between the two, and what can be done to make dirty areas clean again.

Whenever you visit a park or beach , carry out what you bring in-keep unwanted items in a bag or backpack until you can put them in a litter basket.

Ask an older family member or teacher to find out who keeps your city's parks and public areas clean. Have your class write letters inviting them to come to the school and speak about the importance of not littering. Learn more about how you can take care of your community's public lands by reading Keep America Beautiful's brochure "Take Care of America."

Have everyone in your class or youth group write a letter to a different business to ask that they help keep the city clean by keeping the lids on dumpsters closed.

If your family puts recyclables in a bin at curbside, tie up loose papers that could blow out.

Draw a map of your neighborhood or school and identify areas where there is litter. Are they near busy roads, businesses, or places where people gather?

Make a list of things that could be done to stop litter. Learn more about litter by reading "Tips for Preventing Litter in Your Community."

Contact a forest service or conservation district office and find out if they offer free tree seedlings to plant in parks or other public areas. Look in the telephone directory under "Government Agencies."

Ask your teacher if your school can make a small model of a sanitary landfill. Your class can fill it with items from home. Predict what will happen to each item before it is buried. Before the school year ends, dig up the site and see what actually happened. The model can be made with the help of someone from the city's public works department or a landfill