In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (April 22), national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful® has launched DoBeautifulThings.org, a website designed to showcase acts of kindness during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With the postponement of live public volunteer events for both programs, Earth Day Network and Keep America Beautiful are taking their movements to digital platforms. Through a series of video vignettes and a set of informative resources, DoBeautifulThings.org was created to remind people to do their part to keep their communities beautiful. DoBeautifulThings.org is not only a website but a challenge and inspiration to all of us this Earth Day to properly dispose of our litter, recycle whenever possible, and help each other keep our Earth clean.
“At Keep America Beautiful we have been defining beautiful as ‘clean and green’ for over six decades,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “But beautiful is much more than that. Beautiful is people practicing acts of kindness. Beautiful is people coming together as a community. Even in challenging times, people do so many beautiful things – and we know that acts of beauty inspire more acts of beauty. DoBeautifulThings.org will demonstrate how many small, but beautiful actions can inspire positive change.”
Keep America Beautiful postponed its spring (March 20-June 20) Great American Cleanup®, the nation’s largest community improvement program, because of COVID-19. The Great American Cleanup engages more than half a million volunteers on an annual basis across 15,000 different opportunities to get involved. In 2019 alone, Great American Cleanup volunteers devoted 3.8 million hours, improving 13,489 public spaces; collected 42 million pounds of litter, debris, and recyclables; cleaned and improved more than 30,000 miles of roadways and shorelines; and completed 168,000 plantings over 132,000 acres. Lowman noted that because of restrictions placed on volunteers, Keep America Beautiful is pursuing other avenues for engagement.
The #DoBeautifulThings Great American Cleanup Virtual Experience, a feature of DoBeautifulThings.org, is a “virtual park” in which people can interact and beautify through virtual experiences. As users earn points for taking action, a virtual park will be cleaned and beautified and eventually become eligible for a Keep America Beautiful community beautification project when volunteers are able to safely re-engage with one another.
“The Great American Cleanup Virtual Experience will serve as a fun way for us to showcase that we intend to keep our commitment to the beautification of our communities – straight through these challenging times,” Lowman said.