Words by Abi Scaife
It’s March and the time for spring cleaning is here! But it's not just tackling your house - our outside world needs a tidy, too.
Keep Britain Tidy is a charity dedicated to – you guessed it – keeping Britain tidy. It helps communities keep their world clean and free from litter, making it safer for people, the planet, and even the local wildlife.
One of their biggest initiatives includes the Great British Spring Clean, which takes place annually between 17th March and 2nd April.
How to get involved
Keep Britain Tidy is encouraging people to pledge their time to picking up litter in communities all around the UK. By pledging a number of bags of litter, you're committing to creating a cleaner, more environmentally friendly country, as well as a community that you can be proud to belong to.
Plus, research is beginning to demonstrate that litter picking has great benefits for our mental health - it keeps you active, grounded in the present, and gets you out into the fresh air.
Celebrities like Steve Backshaw are among those who have pledged to pick up litter, joining more than 8.5 million adults in the UK that have done litter picking in the past 6 months.
If you want to get involved with the Great British Spring Clean - here’s what you can do!
FIND A TRIBE
First things first - decide who is going litter-picking. While you can absolutely treat this as a little ‘you time’ and go out on your own, it can also be quite nice to go out with other people. Whether that’s your family or partner, a group of friends, or a community of strangers, it doesn’t really matter. But figure this out first - because it helps you with the next step which is …
PLEDGE BAGS OF LITTER.
Now that you’ve got your litter-picking tribe sorted, get on the Keep Britain Tidy website and make a pledge. This is easy enough to do, just choose whether you’re pledging as an individual or a group, and enter how much time you’re hoping to spend litter picking - and how much you hope to pick up.
No need to get hung up over the exact details - the website has a helpful guide on what exactly constitutes a ‘bag’ - and if you exceed your expectations then that’s all the better.
GET YOUR EQUIPMENT
No litter-picking venture is complete without the correct equipment - it’s all about health and safety, folks. So don your gloves and some sturdy (and easy to clean!) boots, and get out there. You’ll also want some bags to fill, along with one of those long-arm grabbers to pick things up - so you don’t have to get quite so up close and personal.
If you don’t have some of these things, which is quite likely, you can purchase them from the Keep Britain Tidy store, or take a look at their helpful spreadsheet to see if your local council has the means to loan you some equipment.
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to get picking! Whether you’re doing it on your daily dog walks, or organising a veritable litter picking march doesn’t matter - you’re still making a huge difference to your local community, your mental health, and your planet.
Don’t forget to take pictures of some of your findings while you’re out and about, and let Keep Britain Tidy know about them by tagging them online.
If you aren’t able to get involved by picking litter, feel free to donate to Keep Britain Tidy to help others instead.