Cleaning up parks and streets suffering from the rapid increase in wastes in the pandemic era

American members of the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation carried out the Clean WORLD Movement in various places in line with the “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration,” in celebration of World Environment Day (June 5). The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a project that aims to save animals and plants from the brink of extinction in ten years due to global warming. The UN quickens restoring the ecosystem by 2030 for all animals and plants to harmoniously co-exist in a better natural environment.

American members of the WeLoveU re-started the Clean WORLD Movement, which halted for a while due to COVID-19. Recently, the amounts of wastes in parks and streets drastically increased in America due to COVID-19. Residential areas are plagued by wastes that are not treated, and the daily use of protective equipment against COVID-19 too is continuously generating trash. Because of the spread of the virus, wastes are collected late, and the amounts of trash from protective equipment against COVID-19 and residential wastes are overflowing, which bring about serious pollution on residential areas, streets, and parks, negatively impacting the ecosystem.

The WeLoveU members carried out cleanups in six different regions simultaneously in the U.S. on June 27. Some members from the states of Iowa and Nebraska cleaned up around the Tom Hanafan River and the park in Council Bluffs, Iowa; and some others from the states of Virginia and New York cleaned up the Lafayette Park in Norfolk, Virginia. The members in the state of California conducted cleanups on a large scale to save the environment at Weber Avenue in Fresno, North Atwater Park in Atwater, Washington Park in Escondido, and Strawberry Manor in Sacramento.

More than 700 members from the WeLoveU meticulously cleaned up the flower beds in the parks as if cleaning up the front yard of their own houses, picked up dead twigs and branches lying around with rakes, and removed vinyl and face masks entangled with the clumps of shrubs. Bulky wastes such as building materials, waste tires, wardrobes, sofas, and blankets made people frown. What was worse, even car roofs were left neglected on the streets.

As large trash bags got filled up, the members sometimes slung them over their shoulders and carried bulky wastes together. In this way, they brought all the wastes together. The weight of collected wastes from six regions was roughly about 1.2 tonnes [2,650 lbs]. Before the wastes piled like a mount, they loudly shouted, “We Love U,” and brought the cleanup to an end.

Mamie Johnson, City Council Member of Norfolk, who participated in the cleanup at Lafeyette Park, said, “The young adults take the lead in the WeLoveU. Though they come from different political and social backgrounds, they all contribute to making this world a better place. Their cleanup is not simply about picking up trash but is more about contributing to making this world a beautiful place.” She actively supported the WeLoveU’s activities, saying, “If there is anything I or the City of Norfolk can help you with, we will gladly do so.”

The members said, “We’re so happy to participate in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration through our Clean WORLD Movement. We’ll take the lead in protecting the environment, starting with little things we can do for creating a sustainable world.”

The Intl. WeLoveU Foundation plans to conduct cleanups in July too, around parks and streets plagued by wastes in the pandemic era, in order to support ecosystem restoration.