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Celebrate Keep America Beautiful Month

April is National Keep America Beautiful Month, commemorating the national organization which seeks to inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Keep America Beautiful aims to end littering, improve recycling and beautify communities, but these efforts stretch far beyond just one organization.

Keep America Beautiful Month is about coming together to give back to our beautiful country. This month, you can try some of these activities to support your community.

Clean up litter.

While a small amount of litter may not seem like a big deal at first, it quickly adds up to a huge environmental impact in the United States. This month, help keep America beautiful by helping to clean up litter around you. When you take a walk around your neighborhood, pick up litter and trash along the way! Volunteer for a community clean up with Helping Hands of St. Louis and  La Posada Family Emergency Shelter residents. Adopt a highway, street or park and work to clean up any trash in the area. Moreover, use this time to teach children and younger generations the negative impact littering has and why it’s important to avoid it.

Reduce Waste.  

You’ve been hearing the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” for a long time, but now's the time to actually put it into practice. Reduce the amount of plastic you use by investing in reusable containers.

The first step you can take in keeping America beautiful is reducing the waste you and those in your household produce. Before throwing out items, check to see if you can repurpose or reuse them in a new and creative way.

Cut down on the number of disposable items in your house—for example, plastic cutlery and water bottles—and switch instead to reusable products. Use a refillable water bottle and travel mugs for hot beverages. Bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store.You can even use this as a teaching opportunity for children to show them how to reduce their environmental footprint.

Recycle and Reuse Items.

Make an effort to recycle household items. Recycling doesn’t have to just be about plastic, glass, cans and cardboard—today you can recycle just about any type of materials or waste. Think about how you can reuse or re-purpose items instead of tossing them into the trash! 

Instead of throwing away gently used clothing, boots and shoes you no longer need, donate them to the Helping Hands of St. Louis Clothing Center for redistribution. Household items and small working appliances are appreciated by families in need. Good used furniture donations are accepted by our Furniture Ministry in Sandusky. 

We celebrate Earth Day on April 22, and you can join in by making sure our Earth stays beautiful for many generations to come. Many items can be recycled you may not be aware of, including metals, paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, batteries, light bulbs and even electronics. Recycling is just a small step you can make to have a big impact in your community and the world.

Plant a garden or a tree.

Use this spring to research and plant a garden, either in your own home, yard or neighborhood. Or help prepare and care for the Helping Hands of St. Louis 6th Street Community Garden and La Posada's Community Garden. Gardens are great for the environment and help support the local economy. Their bright colors and delicious smells also make the surrounding area even more beautiful.

April is also the month to celebrate Arbor Day. You can celebrate by planting a tree on the last Friday of the month, April 29, to bring fresh air and create an inviting community.

Beautify the community.

Finally, you can work to keep America beautiful this month by helping to beautify areas in your surrounding neighborhood. Whether that’s painting a fence, cleaning up debris, or planting some flowers along a path, whatever contribution you make will help keep the community vibrant. If you’re able, consider donating to a local or national organization that works to promote good recycling and repurposing habits in the area. Whatever your contribution, you can be sure it’s going to a good cause.

This April, celebrate Keep America Beautiful Month by working in your community to get up and clean up. There are lots of ways to beautify our world, and together we can keep it that way for generations to come.