Keep America Beautiful Asks Students, “How Will You…End Littering?”

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in News

Nation’s Leading Steward of Litter Prevention Launches Video Contest for Students in Grades 9-12 STAMFORD, Conn. (Sept. 27, 2016) – Forty-five years since Keep America Beautiful told people that “People start pollution. People can stop it.” in one of the most iconic public service advertising campaigns in history, the national nonprofit today launched a new effort which seeks to tap into the imagination and innovation of our nation’s youth to continue to advance its fight to End Littering in America. The “How Will You…End Littering?” Video Contest, open to students in grades 9-12, asks the next generation of community stewards to share their ideas about how to end littering by educating and motivating people to properly dispose of their trash. The contest is sponsored by Keep America Beautiful along with the Foodservice Packaging Institute and Wrigley Company Foundation. Entries will be accepted from Sept. 27 through Nov. 7, 2016. To submit an entry and review Official Rules, visit “Our 1971 public service campaign inspired a generation of Americans to change their behavior and had a dramatic impact on reducing the amount of visible roadside litter in our country,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “Today, we look to our nation’s children to inspire us all and help us educate a new generation of individuals to do their part to create a country where every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live.” Students in grades 9-12 are challenged to tackle the issue of litter and littering behavior in America by creating a 30- to 60-second public service message video that conveys that littering is costly, harmful to the environment and economy, illegal and just downright wrong. Videos will be promoted through social media and other online channels as well as national and local market publicity efforts, sparking a campaign to encourage personal responsibility to make littering a socially unacceptable behavior. Two Grand Prize Winners — one representing grades 9-10 and one from grades 11-12 — will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two to the 2017 Keep America Beautiful National Conference in Washington, D.C., with their video being showcased to more than 400 attendees as well as a GoPro Hero4 Black video camera and a $500 donation to the Grand Prize Winners’ school to support anti-littering activities. For more than six decades, Keep America Beautiful has served as our country’s nonprofit steward of litter prevention. Litter is more than just a blight on our landscape. Litter is costly to clean up, impacts our quality of life and economic development, and eventually ends up polluting our waterways and oceans. Among its many initiatives, the Keep America Beautiful Litter Index and Community Appearance Index are step-by-step methods of assessing current litter conditions and other indicators which are used in thousands of communities and by municipalities nationwide. Its landmark research and other resources are available at...

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Cigarette Litter and Forest Fires

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in News

Image courtesy of It is no secret that wildfires can have a devastating impact on local communities. Wildfires harm precious wildlife and vegetation, can contribute to diminished economic opportunities, and create an unappealing landscape. National Fire Prevention Week is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than better understanding the most common causes of outdoor fires and how we can work to minimize them in a safe, impactful way. Image courtesy of In 2015, smoking materials caused 47% of the brush fires in the United States. With approximately 4.3 trillion cigarette butts littered globally each year, smokers in the U.S. account for littering over 250 billion of those cigarette butts. It’s interesting to think that some of the largest recorded forest fires were caused with the seemingly simple flick of a cigarette butt – something many people unfortunately do second-nature. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cigarettes are quite often littered within 10 feet of a permanent ashtray or trashcan. So please, properly dispose of your cigarette butts: don’t flick! Tire Fire in Pulaski County by Pitts Road and Jennings Road Image courtesy of Scott Dettmer, special to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Another leading cause of destructive forest fires is rubber tires. Not easily ignited, tires are designed to absorb the heat generated by the friction of the road. The ability for rubber tires to absorb heat makes extinguishing them very difficult once ignited, as they are made of very combustible compounds, including carbon, oil, benzene, toluene, rubber, and sulfur. Too often, old used tires are not stored or recycled properly and left in piles. These piles serve as a “heat sink,” absorbing and storing heat within each tire, creating a combustible nightmare. Arkansans alone dispose over 3 million tires each year, and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has developed a recycling program to help dispose of the tires in a safe way. Each month, you may dispose of four tires for free at your area’s Waste Tire Management District. To learn about the waste tire plan in your district, click here. Image courtesy of Trash fires are another cause of wildfires throughout the state of Arkansas. In fact, trash fires are considered so toxic that law bans them statewide. This protects residents from the harmful emissions that can increase the risk of heart disease, aggravate respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphysema, and cause rashes, nausea or headaches. To help with this issue, reasonably priced curbside collection or drop‐ off centers for garbage and recyclables are available for nearly everyone statewide. To learn more about trash burning laws and ways you can help minimize them, click here. To learn more about trash disposal in your area, please visit your Regional Solid Waste Management District. Fire prevention is crucial in the preservation of our Natural State, especially during the dry, fall season. It is...

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Great Arkansas Cleanup set for September, October Annual statewide campaign advocates litter pickup across state

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in News, Press Release

    News For Immediate Release   Information Contact: Liz Philpott, Volunteer Program Manager 501-682-3507 or 888-742-8701 (toll-free) Great Arkansas Cleanup set for September, October Annual statewide campaign advocates litter pickup across state LITTLE ROCK (Aug. 30, 2016) – Each year, thousands of Arkansans volunteer to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during the Great Arkansas Cleanup, a Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) initiative. The 2016 fall litter-pickup campaign will begin Sept. 10 and continue through Oct. 31.   All Arkansans are encouraged to get involved in this effort to improve the environmental quality and standard of living in communities across the state. Last year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup featured 164 local events across the state involving nearly 16,000 Arkansans who picked up more than 149,000 pounds of litter and collected 7 million pounds of bulky waste from roughly 1,900 miles of roadway and waterways.   “With the help of volunteers joining the clean and green team, we can assist in the preservation of communities across Arkansas,” said Liz Philpott, volunteer program manager at KAB. “We encourage Arkansans to participate in a local Great Arkansas Cleanup event and help us preserve and sustain the natural state of Arkansas.”   Those who would like to coordinate an event in their community or volunteer for a local event can email or call toll-free 888-742-8701. Coordinators may visit to access free promotional tools such as a cleanup instructional video and printable publicity materials. KAB will also provide cleanup materials and supplies, such as T-shirts, trash bags, gloves and safety vests to local events, while supplies last.   KAB will also be giving away a Troy-Bilt String Trimmer to a Volunteer Organization that registers a community cleanup. To enter, the organization must complete and turn in a wrap-up report for its cleanup. The winner will be chosen at random.   Event sponsors include the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, Keep America Beautiful and Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation.   About the Great Arkansas Cleanup The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 45 years ago as the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup. In 1985, U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers guided legislation requiring an annual pickup event during the weekend after Labor Day on all federal lands. This law, the Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Act, honors the founder of the event. KAB organized the first statewide Great Arkansas Cleanup in 1989.   About Keep Arkansas Beautiful As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) works to inspire and educate individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. A three-person professional staff and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor manage Keep Arkansas Beautiful educational programs....

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3 Ways Arkansans are keeping our state beautiful

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in News

Imagine this: It’s a beautiful day, and you’re exploring The Natural State, amazed by the pristine scene that surrounds you. Then, an aluminum can floating down the stream ruins the stunning landscape. The problem with litter today is that it’s far too common. Every day we see trash lining the streets, out in the wilderness and in areas where we live. How do we combat the issue? Here are three ways Arkansans are working to keep our state clean and green: Arkansans have volunteered in hundreds of local cleanups over the years In 2015, nearly 33,000 Arkansans removed more than 1.6 million pounds of litter across the state as part of statewide cleanup campaigns. The Great American Cleanup held each spring and the Great Arkansas Cleanup held each fall are the state’s largest cleanup initiatives, and everyone is invited to volunteer. Neighborhoods, schools, organizations and individuals band together to clear litter from the state’s waterways, roadways and parks for a cleaner and more beautiful Arkansas. 12 Arkansas communities are Keep America Beautiful affiliates The hundreds of volunteers in these 12 affiliate towns work tirelessly all year to reduce litter, encourage recycling and beautify their communities. Their efforts inspire civic pride, improve the environmental quality of life and strengthen economic development prospects. Learn here how your community can join this network of changemakers. Arkansans and visitors who enjoy The Natural State are committed to keeping it clean and green Canoers, campers, climbers, hunters and anglers all pledge to not only Leave No Trace of their activities in nature, but to also clean any waste left by others. Their conservation efforts take place year-round from the floating season in spring through summer to hunters and anglers in the fall and winter. Together, their conservation efforts help keep the state clean and...

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More Trees, Please!

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in News

Ever wondered what Arkansas what be like without its trees? If The Natural State looked like this … Image courtesy of … instead of this? An Arkansas Champion Tree • Image courtesy of AETN Or if our cities and towns looked like this … Image from … instead of this? Image courtesy of Arkansas River Trail And if you wanted to walk your dog, but you both had to wear these? Image courtesty of Without our trees, this could be reality in The Natural State. Trees keep the air clean by trapping dust, pollen and smoke, as well as absorbing carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases. And, trees provide much-needed shade in Arkansas’s hot summers! Luckily, Arkansans across the state have committed to preserving and planting trees to help Arkansas clean and green. In 2015, 5,000 trees, shrubs and flowers were planted as part of the Great Arkansas Cleanup. Learn more about what you can do to keep Arkansas clean and green.    ...

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