How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale beautiful for Earth Month | BPB | Big Picture Broward

How Our Community Is Keeping Fort Lauderdale Beautiful For Earth Month

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How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale Beautiful For Earth Month

Happy Earth Month, Fort Lauderdale!

April 2019 is the 49th anniversary of Earth Month and people from all over the world are playing their part to clean up waste and beautify their local areas.

This month’s theme is “Plastic… More Than Pollution,” to focalize global concerns on the damaging effects of single-use plastic waste. In 2018, it was revealed that:

  • Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total.
  • Only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S.
  • More than half a billion plastic straws are used every day around the world.
  • About one trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually around the world.

You can read up on the full page of facts regarding single-use plastic waste here. Suffice to say, you too will see how essential it is that we band together to reduce the prevalence of single-use plastic.

If we are to convince industries worldwide to implement more environmentally conscious materials into their business models then we must first implement these lifestyle changes into our everyday routines. It’s as easy as declining a straw at a restaurant or not ordering your meal to-go.

In addition to Earth Month initiatives, on April 22nd, we will celebrate Earth Day. This year’s theme is “Protect Our Species.” For the most part, we all know about the declining bee populations and the effects that will have on nature in the coming decade. That’s just one core area of concern, however. In the new Netflix show, Our Planet, narrator David Attenborough explains how humanity has wiped out roughly 60% of the global animal population since 1970. Depressing, we know. But extremely important, nonetheless.

The damage that human activity has had on the ecosystem in the last 40 years is a key concern globally. This topic dominates political discussions on climate change and has rallied global activist groups working hard to preserve and nurse animal populations back to their once thriving status.

The “Plastic… More Than Pollution” and the ‘Protect Our Species” initiatives for Earth Month and Earth Day share one central theme: that humanity needs to be more environmentally conscious if we are to reverse the damage inflicted on our planet over the last 4 decades. But what can we do to help on a local level?

Already swaths of neighborhoods are doing their part. On social media, the #trashtag challenge has gone viral, which shows groups of youth, teens, and adults cleaning up trash alongside roadways, inside parks, up and down beaches and anywhere that litter is ruining the landscape. We love this trend. If you do too, keep reading!

Below are 3 easy ways you can get involved in Earth Month and how we can all do our part to save our planet.

1. Recycling

How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale Beautiful For Earth Month
How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale beautiful for Earth Month

It’s easy. So why don’t more people participate in daily recycling?

If you live in any of the high-rises, new or old apartment complexes around Fort Lauderdale then chances are they have recycling integrated into the infrastructure. Some have trash chutes specifically designed for recycling. Others put recycling bins on the ground floor (often by the leasing office or first floor of a parking garage). Use them. It’s an easy solution to cutting down on the plastic waste in circulation.

If you do not live in a residential building then you surely know of Fort Lauderdale’s “Mix it. Curb it.” program.

Mix it. Curb it. is the City of Fort Lauderdale’s single-stream recycling program. Single-stream recycling is a process where clean recyclable materials are collected together in one container. This means you can mix steel, aluminum, plastic and glass food and beverage containers, paper, cardboard, and other accepted recyclable materials together without sorting them into separate carts or bins.

Here is a list of all the materials that can be recycled through Mix it. Curb it.:

  • Plastic containers with a narrow neck such as water bottles, milk jugs, shampoo containers, etc.
  • Aseptic/paperboard containers such as juice and wine cartons, drink boxes, milk cartons, frozen food packaging, dry food boxes, etc.
  • Glass food and beverage containers
  • Metal cans and lids
  • Pizza boxes, free of grease spots and food particles
  • Paper (such as junk mail, inserts, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, soft cover books, paper grocery bags), office paper, and any paper that tears
  • Shredded paper in paper bags (not plastic bags)
  • Cut/flattened cardboard no larger than 4 feet x 2 feet

To add Mix it. Curb it. To your household or for more facts on the program, click here.

2. Local Cleanups

How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale Beautiful For Earth Month
How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale beautiful for Earth Month

Fort Lauderdale’s waterways and canals are some of the cleanest in the nation because they get regular attention from the community.

If you want to get involved in beach or waterway cleanups there are many outstanding groups doing their part to keep our environment clean.

You can join a local cleanup here. Just select your area and radius and you’re in.

You can join the local Facebook group Beach Sweep, which is a great community initiative that has been keeping our beaches trash-free since 2015.

To everyone who has already been participating: great work!

3. Ecotourism

How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale beautiful for Earth Month
How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale beautiful for Earth Month

Turns out we live in a very active city. According to the City of Fort Lauderdale, there are over 100 city parks, green entranceways, public plazas, civic centers and more in the local area. Not to mention our famous beaches, which attract scores of families and outdoor enthusiasts every single day.

Next time you embark on a daily outing to one of our great parks (perhaps for a #trashtag cleanup) consider using Broward Breeze or AvMed — dockless bike sharing programs — or one of the scooter sharing services. Any way we can cut down on carbon emissions and remove cars from our roadways will have a positive effect on our landscape.

We would love to see how you all are getting involved this Earth Month and Earth Day (April 22nd).

How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale beautiful for Earth Month
How locals are keeping Fort Lauderdale beautiful for Earth Month

Like us on Facebook to share your adventures and inspire others to get involved and clean up our beautiful city.

If you know of any cleanup events planned for April, please leave us a comment here or on Facebook so we can spread the word!

Happy Earth Month!