Cleanup Day Is Saturday Around the World: Here's How to Help
The amount of trash humans have left on this earth can feel like an overwhelming challenge: 900 Empire State buildings worth of plastic were produced in 2015 and at least 8 million tons of that enters the world's oceans every year.
Luckily, three different events this coming Saturday are giving people around the world a chance to help clean our shared home.
1. World Cleanup Day
150 countries are set to participate, many hoping to engage up to 5 percent of their population, according to a press release.
The day will kick-off in Fiji and follow the sunrise around the world over the course of 30 hours to end in Hawaii.
The day has its origins 10 years ago in Estonia, when 50,000 people helped clean the entire country in just five hours.
Since then, Let's Do it! World has organized cleanup events in 113 countries, galvanizing more than 20 million volunteers, but this is the first day designed to coordinate the whole world.
To participate, you can either use the website to look for a cleanup event near you or download the app that will allow you to map the trash in your area and create your own neighborhood cleanup for Saturday.
The World Cleanup Day Live Show will be broadcast from Tallinn, Estonia to document the cleanups taking place around the world.
"Many times, we think the world is big and wide and what is happening across the globe does not affect us. Actually—as it appears within the 24 hours—the world is small. And that's why we have to take care of it. There is no Planet B!" live show producer Mart Normet said in a press release emailed to EcoWatch.
2. National Cleanup Day
The event photo for last year's National CleanUp Day National CleanUp Day
If you're based in the U.S., you can also participate in the second-annual National CleanUp Day.
National CleanUp Day was co-founded by Steve Jewett and Bill Willoughby to answer the question, "What would our country be like if everyone went outside and picked up at least one piece of litter?" according to a press release emailed to EcoWatch.
225,000 Americans participated in the first National CleanUp Day in 2017, and the organizers are looking to expand its impact this year while partnering with World Cleanup Day.
A 2009 America the Beautiful study found that one of the factors that most encourages littering is the presence of litter already in the environment, so a day of cleaning can play an important role in discouraging the habit, organizers say.
To participate, find an event near you on the website or sign up for a local event by entering your zip code and contact information here.
"A key concept of National CleanUp Day is that, if you're not having fun, you are doing it wrong," Jewett and Willoughby said in the press release.
3. International Coastal Cleanup
Weird finds from International Coastal CleanupsOcean Conservancy
"From BBC's Blue Planet II to statements from Buckingham Palace, the Pope, Hollywood actors and everyone in between, if you are consuming news or social media, you've probably heard something about ocean plastic this year. That momentum and excitement is breathing new energy into the International Coastal Cleanup, and highlighting its important role in both mitigating marine debris and educating the public on the problem," Trash Free Seas Program Director Nick Mallos said in a statement emailed to EcoWatch.
The International Coastal Cleanup began on a beach in Texas in 1986 and has since grown to inspire nearly 13 million volunteers to remove 250 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways around the world, according to a press release.
Last year was the first time that all of the top 10 items collected by volunteers were made of plastic, and volunteers will be collecting data this year to see if that trend holds, Mallos said.
This year, the Ocean Conservancy is encouraging participation with its #suituptocleanup campaign, encouraging everyone to head to their nearest beach or waterway to join the action.
Make sure to download the Clean Swell app to document what you find and help keep track of plastic pollution.
"Volunteers love being able to plug in their personal data and see it pop up on the global map. It cultivates pride and environmental stewardship when we develop a sense of being part of something much larger than that one specific cleanup," Melanie Grillone of Florida said in an ICC report released in June.
ICC noted in a blog post Wednesday that anyone planning to participate who lives in the path of Hurricane Florence should stay safe and check with the coordinator of local events to see if they have been canceled or rescheduled.
10 Most Common Types of Beach Litter Are All Plastic https://t.co/lahKHfjgBu @savingoceans @PlasticPollutes— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1530150306.0
- Climate Change Will Be Sudden and Cataclysmic Unless We Act Now ›
- There's a Heatwave at the Arctic 'Doomsday Vault' - EcoWatch ›
- Marine Heatwaves Destroy Ocean Ecosystems Like Wildfires ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
- Biden Likely Plans to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline on Day One ... ›
- Joe Biden Appoints Climate Crisis Team - EcoWatch ›
Listen:<iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/17278520/height/45/theme/standard/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/" height="45" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2021/01/college-course-teaches-students-how-to-be-climate-leaders/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Yale Climate Connections</a>.</em></p>
By Daniel Raichel
Industry would have us believe that pesticides help sustain food production — a necessary chemical trade-off for keeping harmful bugs at bay and ensuring we have enough to eat. But the data often tell a different story—particularly in the case of neonicotinoid pesticides, also known as neonics.
- Bees Face 'a Perfect Storm' — Parasites, Air Pollution and Other ... ›
- European Top Court Upholds French Ban on Bee-Harming Pesticides ›
- UK Allows Emergency Use of Bee-Killing Pesticide - EcoWatch ›