Keep Arkansas Beautiful urges Arkansans to shine

New public awareness campaign encourages personal responsibility, action

Do you have what it takes to make Arkansas shine? Yes, you do, according to the new public awareness campaign recently launched by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB).

The new public awareness effort – “Shine: Keep Arkansas Clean & Green” – says to Arkansans: “When you plant a tree or recycle, you shine. When you pick up litter or report litterers, you shine. When you take environmental responsibility for your community, you shine. Imagine how brightly Arkansas will shine when we all work together.”

“We believe that once people make a habit of keeping the state clean, they will feel a sense of pride in being part of the solution rather than part of the problem,” said Robert Phelps, KAB director. “‘Shine’ inspires us to contribute something that helps each of us individually, our communities, our state, our country and our planet.”

The goal of the “Shine” effort is to educate Arkansans and visitors how easy it is to keep The Natural State clean and green, and why it is important to do so.

“We must inspire individuals to think and act in positive ways to ensure that their communities are fresh and appealing,” Phelps said. “When we shine, our communities shine.”

Mangan Holcomb Partners, a Little Rock marketing communications firm, conceptualized the “Shine” theme, which is being featured statewide on television and radio stations; in newspaper, magazine and outdoor advertisements; and in point-of-contact materials at the state’s Welcome Centers, Highway Rest Areas and state parks.

KAB is relying on several key partnering agencies to help spread the “Shine” message, including the Arkansas Broadcasters Association, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Arkansas Municipal League, Arkansas Outdoor Advertising Association, Arkansas Press Association and Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.

The inspiration for the “Shine” message is the common “Think Globally, Act Locally” phrase, reportedly coined in 1969 as a slogan for the Friends of the Earth organization. In other words, improving the environment starts at home. Everyday actions, such as picking up litter and recycling, help improve the environmental quality of communities and the state.

“Keeping our hometowns clean is a great way to welcome visitors and tourists, attract new business and industry, and help our communities thrive,” Phelps said.

So, what are some easy ways Arkansans can help keep The Natural State clean and green? Here are KAB’s Top 10 ways to “Shine”:

  1. Don’t litter. Cigarette butts, fast-food containers and other litter should be disposed of properly.
  2. Report litterers. Call 866-811-1222 toll-free when you see someone litter on any city street, county road, highway or interstate in Arkansas.  
  3. Recycle newspapers, aluminum and metal cans, and plastic and glass bottles at home and work.
  4. Reuse plastic grocery bags at home as trash can liners.
  5. Donate old clothes and furniture to local nonprofit organizations instead of throwing them away.
  6. If you put garbage out on the street for collection, use a spillproof container.
  7. Carry a litterbag in your car and, when it gets full, dispose of it properly.
  8. Use leaves to mulch flowerbeds instead of bagging them to be hauled off as garbage.
  9. Volunteer at a community Great Arkansas Cleanup event in the fall or Great American Cleanup event in the spring.
  10. Urge your friends to not litter.

“Most people will do the right thing once they know what the right thing is,” Phelps said. “Our hope is that some will even initiate positive changes and improved methods of protecting the environment.”

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