The tenth Keep Australia Beautiful Week starts tomorrow (Monday 25th to Sunday 31st August). Its aim is to raise awareness around the simple things we can all do in daily life to reduce our impact on the environment and encourage action. The results of the National Litter Index are also released during this time, which is a count of litter by number and volume at 983 sites across Australia. Cigarette butts consistently feature at the top of this list so it’s time to butt out and bin it!
Keep Australia Beautiful is a not-for-profit environmental organisation which was established in the early 70s by the wonderful Dame Phyllis Frost, a lady who had a vision for a litter-free Australia. It runs programs throughout the year focusing on all aspects of sustainability.
Have you ever driven through a country town like Toowoomba in Queensland or Horsham in Victoria and seen a sign proclaiming it to be Australia’s Tidiest Town? Well, that’s a Keep Australia Beautiful program. The Sustainable Communities Awards promote pride in communities Australia-wide. There are Tidy Town awards for regional/rural areas, Sustainable Cities awards for urban areas and Clean Beaches awards for coastal and inland waterways. What a great idea!
Keep Australia Beautiful runs many other marvellous programs like the Beverage Container Recycling Grants scheme, and the LITTLE Committee, a team of young Australians tackling litter issues nationwide. Research shows that people over the age of fifteen litter the most, while those under that age hardly litter at all. Keep Australia Beautiful has recently launched the international Eco-Schools program in Australia, teaching sustainability through fun, hands-on learning. I have always believed that the next generation will be much wiser stewards of the land than we have ever been. Programs like this make me even more certain of it.