Tomorrow, September 15, is World Cleanup Day, a global social action program aimed at combating the global solid waste problem on land and in our oceans.

It is annually held over the course of a 24-hour period in September. There are numerous organizations that facilitate and host World Cleanup Day globally.

Participants in World Cleanup Days are typically volunteers, with coordination from non-governmental organizations (NGO) who assist in awareness-raising, logistics, and fundraising.

Volunteers at a stream cleanup event

Being that I believe in the “Think globally, but act locally” philosophy, I try to participate in community cleanup efforts. You can probably find a fall cleanup event, such as a park, trail, beach, river or school cleanup event in your community or area.

It might occur tomorrow, but World Cleanup Day doesn’t have the exposure or reputation of an event like Earth Day. Still, it has a similar approach to Earth Day in that it is non-partisan, apolitical, and is not affiliated with any national or global political party or discrete ideology.

When global cleanup efforts do make it into news, it is probably after catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tsunamis. In modern history, these efforts are typically undertaken by the affected communities, with support from various international organizations and NGOs, such as Red Cross, Oxfam, and other relief organizations.

I was taught as a Boy Scout to leave the woods or campsite cleaner than when I entered. I still will pick up trash and try to recycle it even when I am just taking laps on the local track around the soccer field.

You can certainly do your own cleanup event by yourself or with friends or family tomorrow in your community, but the goal of World Cleanup Day is to organize large-scale efforts. Perhaps you can start with your own small circle and build that next year into a bigger event.

On the September 15, 2018 World Cleanup Day, people in 150 countries will stand up against the global trash problem and clean up waste, making it the biggest positive civic action the world has seen. Imagine a powerful “green wave” starting in New Zealand and ending in Hawaii with hundred of millions of people taking positive action together on the very same day.

World Cleanup Day 2018 on Facebook