Simple Service: Picking up Garbage

Service Project: Pick up garbage in your community

Prep time: None

Cost: Free

Duration: Totally up to you!

Lesson(s) learned: By picking up garbage in our community not only does it benefit the environment but also all the members of the community!  

How we did it:

Earth Day is April 22nd! Earth Day is about making conscious choices that help to protect our environment and conserve resources. We already do a lot at home to conserve resources and protect our environment but I wanted Addie to go out into our community and contribute in some way. This blog is the first in a two-part series that focuses on how Addie was able to make a difference for both her community and the environment. Yes, even a 2 ½ year old can accomplish these things!

Start off by talking with your children about what Earth Day is all about. Their website is fantastic and has great ideas on what your family can do to help the environment (www.earthday.org). Challenge your children to find ways to make sustainable changes so that their efforts go beyond just one day a year.

As Addie and I were talking about Earth Day, it occurred to me that we frequently see garbage on the ground while we are out for our daily walks. I wondered how easy would it be to bring a trash bag and tongs and clean up while we are strolling around? Well, it was really easy!

We gathered up a trash bag and tongs and drove to one of our favorite places to stroll around. I found it amusing that as we were pulling into our parking spot there was a crumpled up soda can in the middle of the parking spot! It was like a neon sign that said, “You’ve come to the right place!”

Addie was ready with her tongs and trash bag. Tip: Make sure you look at the garbage before you allow your child to pick it up. Also, we live in an area that has rattlesnakes so I scanned for those as well.

Look at how well those tongs are working for her! She was having fun using them, too.

While she was picking up trash, I was talking to her about how easy it is to accidentally litter. If your garbage can is not properly closed, your trash could accidentally blow out of the can and down the street. Also, a strong gust of wind can blow paper napkins off of a restaurant table. So many things can happen that we don’t intend on and we can inadvertently litter.

We talked about how nice it is to help clean up our community. We enjoy our walks here and now other members of our community can enjoy it that much more!

This is a pond where ducks love to swim. Addie has a lot of fun watching and listening to the ducks. I explained to her that by picking up the garbage we help to ensure that the pond stays clean and the ducks have a safer environment to live in.

Towards the end of our walk, Addie started to stroll ahead and eagerly look for garbage. She wanted to make sure her community was clean!

Look at all the garbage that Addie picked up! 

We loved doing something positive for our environment and our community. This will become a regular thing that we do during our walks.

Join us next week to see how Addie continues to make a positive impact on the environment and her community!

Have fun cleaning up your community! 

Kelli worked in the technology industry for 20 years before taking time off to raise her daughter. She has an 18 year old son and a 2 year old daughter that have taught her how to appreciate every moment with them.


Thanks, Kelli!  We love that picking up litter keeps coming up in ideas for service with the little ones.  We wrote about picking up trash while hiking last year and the McGregor family mentioned it in their Spotlight on Service post.  It's just such a simple yet important thing that our ever-observant kids are so good at.  

Let's keep it up and make our world a cleaner place!  Happy Earth Day!   -Little Hands Can