KAB celebrates volunteers, partners, House resolution

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in News

LITTLE ROCK (March 21, 2017) – Keep Arkansas Beautiful hosted an event yesterday in the Gardens of the Governor’s Mansion to honor the first day of spring, to thank the Arkansas House for passing Resolution 1004, and to celebrate the local coordinators and volunteers who will be cleaning up their communities during the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas this spring. Robert Phelps, executive director of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), recognized Representative Justin Boyd for his dedication to improve litter cleanup statewide by sponsoring House Resolution 1004, while speaking of the importance of litter control in Arkansas. Also recognized for their commitment to a cleaner state were KAB’s fellow state agencies and “partners” in litter education and prevention: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department and Arkansas Highway Police Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Arkansas State Parks Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Arkansas Economic Development Commission “As director of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission for the past 18 years, I wholly endorse this resolve and am thankful for the cooperation it advances, which is already alive and well in Arkansas,” said Robert Phelps to the assembled crowd. “But to ultimately prevent litter, the solution is in the hands of individuals, not government.” Volunteers statewide are encouraged to get involved locally in KAB’s annual cleanup and beautification campaign. Those interested in organizing a Great American Cleanup event in their community can find a registration form and how-to video at KeepArkansasBeautiful.com. For those interested in volunteering at a local event, check out the Calendar of Events on the KAB website to find an already-organized event near you. About Keep Arkansas Beautiful The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), consisting of a professional staff and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor, is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., KAB inspires and educates individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is funded through its 1 percent portion of the eighth-cent Conservation Tax and, by mobilizing volunteers, returns to the state a cost benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar spent. For more information, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. About Keep America Beautiful A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. KAB envisions a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 620 state- and community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates and millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials and individuals. To donate or take action, visit kab.org. Follow Keep America Beautiful on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.     -30-      ...

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Three Tiny Habits to a Cleaner Community

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in News

Image courtesy of www.strangerwall.wordpress.com Picking up that piece of litter left by someone else is not necessarily a habit for most people. But, it could be. Keep Arkansas Beautiful challenges YOU to take a play out of the Great American Cleanup’s handbook this year and help clean YOUR block! According to B.J. Fogg, a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University who has studied behavior change for more than 20 years, one needs to design behavior changes that are both easy to do and can be seamlessly slipped into your existing routine. Consider these: Image courtesy of www.youtube.com Pick Up Someone Else’s Litter While walking into work tomorrow, find one piece of someone else’s litter and throw it away – that’s achievable, right? By doing so, you can help transform public places into beautiful spaces, and your peers will notice. This small act shows civic pride in your community and can aid you in helping others create an environmentally healthy and socially connected neighborhood for everyone. Image courtesy of www.studeri.org Recycle Your Plastic Bottles The first step with this action is washing out your plastic bottles. Did you know an item cannot be recycled unless it is cleared of all food and waste particles? That’s one of the biggest reasons that most of our items never actually become recycled but end up in landfills. Do your environment a favor and wash out your plastic bottles before tossing them into the recycling bin. You will find, as time goes on, that recycling other items will become easier and part of your daily habit.   Image courtesy of www.littlestepsbigimpact.com Volunteer Start small and volunteer for a local cleanup! Community organizations across the state host local cleanups and litter pickups annually. Check out the Calendar of Events on the KAB website to find an event near you. Last year’s spring Great American Cleanup yielded 160 local events across the state involving nearly 7,000 Arkansans, who picked up more than 290,000 pounds of litter and collected over 839,000 pounds of bulky waste, from roughly 780 miles of roadsides and shorelines. For those interested in organizing a Great American Cleanup event in their community, a registration form and how-to video can be found at KeepArkansasBeautiful.com. Developing tiny habits such as these can make a big difference in your personal life and your community. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” So, be excellent today and tackle those tiny habits with gusto! Before you know it, you can create a cleaner, greener space for you and the community around you....

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Random Acts of Beauty

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in News

In 1982, Anne Herbert wrote, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” on her placemat at a diner in California. Inspired by the phrase “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty,” Anne began to think that kindness could build on itself just as much as violence has. In 1993, she published her book, “Random Acts of Kindness,” which has since brought popularity to the phrase and the actions behind it. In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, here are a few ways you can spread kindness to the environment around you and inspire others to do the same: Image courtesy of www.cliparts.co REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE We’ve all heard it before: “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” Each helps cut down on the amount of waste we throw away, and conserves natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus they save the land! Reduce: When traveling to work or running errands about town, carpooling not only gives you company, but cuts down on the number of cars and vehicles on the road. Fewer cars means there is less carbon and pollution getting into the air, protecting the environment by keeping the air, water and land cleaner. When purchasing products, look for items without excessive packaging that has to be recycled, or worse, landfilled. Reuse: Take your time spring-cleaning this year and be creative; think about finding another use for items you no longer need and give them a new life! By upcycling old items, you are reducing the amount of waste that goes into the landfill, which helps the environment greatly! Recycle: No list claiming to improve the world would be complete without mentioning recycling. We all know it matters. When you’re done with that aluminum soda can or plastic water bottle sitting next to you, make sure you put it in the recycle bin! And the same for cardboard and paper containers, plus the newspapers, periodicals and mail that you receive. Image courtesy of www.theprepperpodcast.com ENJOY NATURE Take a walk and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Pick up any litter you see and dispose of it properly. By taking time to appreciate the Earth and all it has to offer, the more we will value it. Plant a garden and grow your own greens or, if there is no space for an outdoor garden, grow a mini herb garden in a windowsill. Gardening is not only good for the soul, eating what you grow is good for your health and highly satisfying! A garden will also beautify your yard, while providing for you at the same time. Image courtesy of www.3starwaste.com  BE YOUR OWN CLEANUP Each spring, Keep Arkansas Beautiful hosts the Great American Cleanup in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful. While this campaign yields amazing results annually, our environment needs help more than just once a year, and you can take a lead role on the front line...

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Bald Eagle Watch Month: How litter can endanger birds

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in News, Uncategorized

Image courtesy of www.wallup.net There is nothing quite like catching a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring over the trees. Unfortunately, habitat destruction and degradation, illegal shooting, litter and contamination of its food source all led to the decline in population of our national symbol roughly 40 years ago. The once endangered species has made a remarkable comeback due to strong conservation efforts, protective legislation and increased awareness. Arkansas is home to a large number of the species, making the sport of watching them increasingly popular across The Natural State. While conservation efforts are widespread across the country, it is important for us to understand what we can do to ensure the bald eagle’s safe future. Here are some contributing factors that led to the bald eagle’s decline, and ways that we can ensure the bald eagle’s safety for years to come: BIG, BAD Balloons Bald Eagle caught in string Image courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com Despite the innocence and beauty of balloons, they have unintended dangerous consequences for birds and other wildlife. The natural latex used is biodegradable and environmentally safe, yet the balloons are treated with multiple preservatives and chemicals to safeguard against bacterial decomposition. Aside from the chemical dangers, balloons can also cause starvation and tangling among the bird populations. Through inadvertent ingestion, birds mistake the balloon for food and consequently cannot digest the latex. Therefore, the bird is unable to take in enough nutrition to survive, thus starving. If the balloons released have ribbon or string attached, tangling is a huge threat as well. Tangle injuries can include malformed nestling growth, open wounds from chafing as the tangle tightens or mobility restriction of the legs, wings or bill, all making the bird more vulnerable to predators and infections. Perilous Plastic Image courtesy of www.cbc.com In many areas around the globe, birds inadvertently feed on plastic floating on the water mistaking it for food, which can directly lead to death and even the death of their young. Large plastic debris, such as bottles, has major effects on bird populations as it can strangle them and can also transport alien species to new waters. Millimeter-sized plastic pellets (what is used in most plastic production) soak up toxic chemicals from water, poisoning the creatures that swallow them. Because these plastic pellets are magnets for toxic chemicals they effectively become poison pills. Japanese researchers found that concentrations of these chemicals were as much as a million times higher than in the water. Seeing that the bald eagle’s primary food source consists of water prey, they are incredibly susceptible to the dangers of plastic litter. What You Can Do Knowing what we do about the decline of the bald eagle population in America and the factors contributing to it, we must all make the conscious effort to be proactive in the conservation of our national symbol. By simply reducing our use of...

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14,000 Arkansans produce $1.83 million in volunteer value to state in removing public waste in 2016

Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in News, Press Release

LITTLE ROCK (Jan. 5, 2017) – More than 14,000 Arkansas residents volunteered in local activities across the state in 2016 to help make their communities clean and green by picking up more than 2.3 million pounds of litter, bulky waste and used tires to enhance environmental health and beauty. Twice each year, the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) coordinates and promotes statewide community cleanups and litter pickups: the spring Great American Cleanup™ in Arkansas and the fall Great Arkansas Cleanup. The Great American Cleanup is a national program of Keep America Beautiful Inc. and is supported in Arkansas by KAB. All Arkansas communities were encouraged to organize cleanup teams of local volunteers to remove litter, collect recyclable items and enhance civic pride. Volunteers picked up litter from more than 2,500 miles of roadway and waterway; 17,400 acres of parks and public areas were cleaned up; and more than 4,000 trees, shrubs and flowers were planted during 304 local cleanup events statewide. Cleanup volunteers were supplied with Glad® trash bags, gloves and safety vests. “We are especially proud of those who take pride in Arkansas by participating in local cleanup events,” said Robert Phelps, executive director of KAB. “These initiatives not only create cleaner Arkansas communities but they also increase personal accountability for our state’s cleanliness and beauty while teaching and encouraging positive behavior among younger generations.” The Great American Cleanup begins each year in March and concludes at the end of May. The Great Arkansas Cleanup begins in September and continues through October. About Keep Arkansas Beautiful The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), consisting of a professional staff and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor, is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., KAB inspires and educates individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is funded through its 1 percent portion of the eighth-cent Conservation Tax and, by mobilizing volunteers, returns to the state a cost benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar spent. For more information, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram and YouTube. About Keep America Beautiful Inc. Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s premier community improvement organization. Founded in 1953, the nonprofit has a network of affiliates around the U.S. focused on litter prevention, waste reduction and beautification. Keep America Beautiful is recognized as the leader in changing attitudes and behaviors affecting our community environments. Through its actions, Keep America Beautiful helps create communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound. Today, it continues to be the most credible organization in its three focus areas by vigorously pursuing its guiding principles of education, volunteerism, partnership and individual responsibility. For more information, visit kab.org....

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