“Kids Can” Trash Monster Cleanup Event

  • Location
    St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Status
  • Age Level
    5 to 7 Years
    8 to 10 Years
    11 to 13 Years

The Problem

Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enters our worlds' oceans. This plastic harms animals, people, and even economies - especially here in Florida where we depend on tourism. We want to do our part to help teach people what we can do to make a difference to limit the amount of plastic (and other man-made debris) that enters our oceans.

Our Plan

We will host a beach cleanup for kids in our communities here in Pinellas County. At this cleanup, we will educate the kids and their families about what we can do to limit the amount of waste we make and alternatives we can use to single-use plastics. We'll also provide clean trash and recyclables for the kids to upcycle into artwork, to emphasize fun ways that we can reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Themes Addressed

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    Water Pollution & Conservation

The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

Our project, entitled the “Kids Can Trash Monster Cleanup Event”, was a huge success. The goal of the project was to engage youth (K-12) in cleaning up litter from our beaches, and to emphasize how we can reduce and reuse our waste by turning trash into art – scary monsters, in this case. The team had identified the issue of an overabundance of litter on our beaches, and the need to prevent this litter in the first place. The project was planned by our Keep Pinellas Beautiful Youth Advisory Council, comprised of 18 high school students from around the Tampa Bay area. The students designed the event, created outreach flyers and educational brochures, shared the event on social media, and hosted the event. Community members from all over Pinellas County joined us on December 9th, 2023 at Fort De Soto Park for the event. The event began with a beach cleanup– the group collected over 20 pounds of litter, most of which were single-use plastics. The second part of the event was the arts and crafts project: Mini-Grant funds provided to us were used to purchase art supplies for the attendees to create scary monster trash sculptures. The purpose of this arts and crafts project was to teach youth about repurposing our trash into other things, like art, rather than simply throwing it out, emphasizing the importance of preventing litter in the first place. Several families attended the event, and all attendees were eager to share their artwork with our Youth Advisory Council. Many parents even thanked us for hosting such a unique and fun event, showing how meaningful this event was to all our participants, regardless of age. The lessons learned by the youth at the event about reducing the waste we make are sure to last a lifetime.

Through this project I/we learned:

How to create and run an environmental program/project for the public, and we learned that we can repurpose our trash to reduce the amount of litter that gets into our environment.

What I/we might change:

We would love to display the artwork made by the participants for the public to see, and to teach even more people about the importance of reducing and reusing our waste, and recycling.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Seeing the amazingly creative scary monster trash artwork made by all of our participants!

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Make sure that everyone who is planning the event are all regularly communicating with each other and that everyone has a task to do!

About Roots & Shoots

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