National Cleanup Day

National Cleanup Day was started by a few hikers who wanted to make a difference on their favorite trails. Here in Hawaii, we often see the need for cleaning trails and beaches statewide. Windblown pollution or forgotten and discarded trash can harm the environment and its inhabitants. Celebrate National Cleanup Day this year by participating in a scheduled event or organizing your own!

Here are a few tips for organizing a community cleanup:


  1. Notify Local Authorities
    1. If you are organizing a cleanup event, make sure local authorities are aware of your location for safety reasons. If you choose to assist with cleaning busy trails, beaches, or streets, it’s important for passersby to note there will be a group congregating in the area.
  2. Pick an Ideal Time
    1. In Hawaii, temperatures can get toasty once mid-day hits, and traffic may get intense around sunset. Often the best time of day to host a cleanup is in the early morning before too many people begin to occupy the area and before the sun makes conditions less appealing.
  3. Map It Out
    1. In addition to picking a place to meet, remember to also identify proper spaces for clean-up and proper disposal. This will ensure that all participants feel comfortable and organized before heading out to make a difference.
    2. Provide your volunteers with an estimate of how far they will need to park, walk, bike, or bus, and provide a timeframe for the clean-up so they properly plan their day.
    3. When mapping it out, consider the following:
      1. Size of crew needed
      2. Number of confirmed volunteer
      3. Transportation efforts and parking
      4. Bathroom and sanitization facilities
      5. Disposal services
      6. Wildlife in the area
      7. Surrounding neighborhoods/disturbances
  1. Tools and Materials
    • When planning be sure to secure the following materials, as needed
      • Gloves
      • Safety goggles
      • Reflective vests
      • Shovels
      • Bags
      • Tools for picking up trash
      • Sunscreen
    • If there are any materials volunteers should bring themselves, be sure to communicate this to them before the day of the cleanup.