Have You Ever Wondered What Would Happen if Everyone Picked Up Just One Piece of Litter?

That’s the premise behind National CleanUp Day, which was held on September 21, 2019, and the impetus behind our own CleanUp Week initiative. As part of our #CleanUpWeek, offices were challenged to plan or participate in CleanUp activities in their area.

The week kicked off with FirstService Corporation’s 45 Minute City Block CleanUp event on September 18 and continued with events held by Century Fire, Planned Companies and FirstService Residential. Other companies are currently planning events and will be launching theirs over the next few months.

The events were organized as part of the Our Environment committee objective to launch two company-wide campaigns in 2019, the first one being #DaylightHour, which we reported on in our last Spotlight, and the now, #CleanUpWeek.

Minimal Time Investment Produces Big Results

The beauty of CleanUp events is that they can be short, easy-to-plan and execute events, such as FirstService Corporation’s City Block CleanUp, which was held during lunch on a weekday and in total took three hours to plan and execute – that’s right – just three hours for planners. Volunteers spent 45 minutes cleaning up. And in that time, the 29 volunteers from the Corporate office, FirstService Residential and FirstOnSite collected more than 1,200 items of waste for disposal or recycling – a huge impact for a short time investment.

To add an element of friendly competition, the FirstService event included a Trash Scavenger Hunt, where participants were given a scorecard of items and awarded points for finding them. (We’ve made the scorecard available for download here). Volunteers were broken into small teams and tasked with finding as much trash as they could during their shift. They were given an additional challenge of finding specific items listed on their scavenger hunt scorecard.

In Atlanta, Century Fire’s team of 45 volunteers, with 11 participants from sister-company CertaPro Painters, spent two hours cleaning up 2.5 miles of roadway. In the end, they collected more than 2,600 pieces of litter, weighing in at a whopping 350 lbs.

Planned Companies took a divide and conquer approach to trash clean up, with teams of volunteers from New Jersey, New York, Mid-Atlantic and South offices doing their part to beautify their surrounding areas. The teams collected 30 bags of trash from Staten Island’s Miller Park and later, 26 bags of trash from Pennington Park in Paterson, NJ. The company’s clean up activities continued in Washington, DC at Kenilworth Park where volunteers collected more than 20 bags of trash as part of a competitive trash scavenger hunt, and finally ended in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, where VP of Sales, Juan Jose Chaves, cleaned portions of Jones Bridge Park, making it safer for residents and visitors to enjoy.

During FirstService Residential’s event, which was part of International Coastal CleanUp Day, 25 volunteers took to North Hollywood Beach, Florida to collect litter. More than 40 lbs. of trash was collected – much of it cigarette butts and bottle caps.

“For me, the most memorable part of the day was to be able to join my colleagues in doing our share to help improve our community,” said event organizer Marco Malfavon. “It was fun, exciting and very rewarding to see the enthusiasm of all the volunteers willing to spend their Saturday morning working for a great cause. This is our planet and we need to take care of it.”  We couldn’t agree more, Marco!

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