For those interested in contributing to or starting a environmental community service project, here are a few ideas as recommended by the EPA.
1. Planting trees
- Trees help to filter out dangerous pollutants from the air, and provide habitat for animals.
- Visit the Arbor Day Foundation and TreeHelp.com for information about planting trees in your area.
2. Testing water and soil
- Water and soil tests can help to identify sources of pollution and keep your family and community healthy.
- Visit Earth Force for water testing information
- Checkout ReeUSDA.gov to find testing stations in your neighborhood
3. River cleanups
- Picking up trash and debris in rivers and streams will help to keep our waterways and sources of drinking water free from pollution.
- Contact your local government to learn which rivers and streams need attention.
4. Recycling programs
- Curbside pickup programs are available in many communities for your convenience. These programs also provide income for your local government keeping property taxes lower.
- If you do not have curbside recycling programs, contact your local waste management to inquire about recycling in your area.
5. Vacant lot cleanup
- Helping to clean vacant lots will keep your neighborhood clean and environmentally friendly. A community effort will make this process fast and painless.
6. Removal of non-native plant species
- Your local Parks and Recreation Department can help you locate plants that are not native to your area.
- Non-native plant species may take over valuable nutrients and water that native species need to survive. Though not all are invasive, many species can destroy the environment more than then help.
7. Beach cleanup
- Keeping your local beaches free from debris provides a safe place for fun and recreation.
- Plants and animals will thrive when their habitats are not being over run by garbage.
8. Preventing erosion
- Fixing areas that are prone to erosion can be remedied by planting root plants, shrubbery, and trees where no foliage is currently growing.
- Locale biologists and scientists can point you in the right direction for locating problem areas and the proper plants to grow.
9. Cleaning of gutters and drains
- Removing trash and debris from gutters and drains helps by not allowing these items to flow into drinking water and rivers. Eventually, local rivers flow into the ocean, carrying debris with them.
- Remove garbage from streets when possible and keep drains free helps to prevent storm drain backup and flooding.
- A compost pile in your backyard is simple to start and maintain.
- Place grass clippings, and yard waste into your compose pile.
- Compost can be used as fertilizer and keeps more matter from entering our landfills.
These are all things each person can get involved with throughout their community to help cleanup the environment, rivers, and oceans. Contact your local government for more information on how you can begin a local environmental service project for your community.