Let’s talk trash, or more specifically, litter.
Last year, my friend texted me asking if I wanted to help her pick up trash in a park. Not exactly the message most people would want to receive, but my friends know me well. Apparently, my reputation as a litter picker-uppper endures.
I recently got an email from Lowell George, American Rivers‘ National River Cleanup Manager, about teaming up on a contest to, you guessed it, pick up litter. How could I turn her down? But this is no ordinary litter cleanup. Lowell and I are adding a twist. Think scavenger hunt.
Are you having flashbacks to your youth? We hope so, because this is going to be fun! It’s an invitation—an opportunity to clean up your favorite trail, park, riverbank, or neighborhood. If you have kids, we encourage you to invite them along. It’s a great stewardship activity for all ages.
And like any good scavenger hunt, there are prizes.
HOW IT WORKS
Starting today and throughout 2018, we’ll announce a “Litter of the Season.” Then the hunt is on to find the challenge litter, take a picture of it, and tag it to your personal Instagram or Twitter account with the hashtags #MakeAPactPackItOut and #RiverCleanup.
The first scavenger hunt kicks off today Friday, October 27 and ends on Monday, November 6. Your picture(s) must be uploaded to social media account(s) with the hashtags #MakeAPactPackItOut and #RiverCleanup by 11:59 pm PST on November 6 to be eligible to win (see complete rules).
LITTER CHALLENGE HUNT #1
A discarded wrapper of any kind (candy, energy bar, chips, fast food, etc.).
Challenge #1 Prize: Five winners will receive a LOKSAK bag. LOSAK bags are re-sealable element-proof storage containers, a perfect complement for outdoor adventures.
RULES & REMINDERS
- Discard the litter responsibly (recycle it or put it in the trash).
- Feel free to keep the hunt going – you can pick up and tag as much litter as you find, but you’ll only get one entry per person for each litter season.
- Your picture(s) will populate on American Rivers’ Virtual Landfill and on my online gallery, Make a Pact, Pack It Out.
- Grow the scavenger hunt – share this blog post and your trash photos with friends, family, and co-workers to encourage them to join you (maybe a little friendly competition to see who finds the most of the challenge litter).
ANTICIPATED SCAVENGER HUNT SEASONS
Don’t miss a season – make sure to watch American Rivers’ The Current blog and here for timing. Scavenger hunts will also be announced on social media, so make sure you’re connected to @AmericanRivers and @Thumbholes.
- October/November 2017
- March 2018
- July 2018
- October 2018
Each Litter Season will have a different treasure (prize) up for grabs. Prizes will be in the spirit of sustainability and stewardship. At the conclusion of each scavenger hunt, a winner will be selected at random from all entries.
As environmental stewards, we know picking up and packing out litter not only keeps our trails looking great, but all of our wild places. When litter is left on our lands, rain and floodwater can carry it into storm drains and then quickly into our creeks, rivers, and even oceans.
We look forward to seeing your submissions, as they represent stories of stewardship and care behind every piece of litter picked up. While traditional scavenger hunts focus on a treasure – here the treasure is knowing you left the environment better than you found it.