Do have a few hours to spare the day after Thanksgiving but aren’t into Black Friday sales? Consider going blue instead.
This year marks the third anniversary of Blue Friday, a nationwide DIY cleanup initiative organized by United By Blue. The “responsible durable goods” company is calling on all Earth-loving Americans to grab a couple of trash bags and some gloves and spend one hour cleaning up a nearby park, trail or beach. The goal: to keep trash out of our oceans and waterways.
“Blue Friday was started to encourage and empower people to host a cleanup on their own — all it takes is a pair of gloves, a trash and recycling bag, and a bit of planning,” says Kelly Offner, United By Blue’s head of cleanups.
The company has made it easy to participate by selling DIY Cleanup Kits that include work gloves, two large bags (one for trash, one for recycling, a commemorative pen and more. The $5 cost covers the goods and shipping.
Participants are asked to collect and share data from their cleanups — cleanup location, quantities of items collected (plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles, and plastic cutlery), etc. — which Blue Friday will in turn share with researchers and organizations working to preserve marine environments.
United By Blue says it removes a pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways for every product sold and that it has pulled 1,456,264 pounds of trash across 250 company-organized and hosted cleanups spanning 48 states.