So, you’ve decided to organize a $BEACH cleanup, plant some Mangrove trees, or help with Kelp Bed reforestation — CONGRATULATIONS! Your efforts are making a difference improving marine habitats and restoring vital ocean ecosystems all while ridding our oceans and beaches of trash and lowering global net carbon footprints! What you and your teams do is good for your local communities and great for the Planet! So THANK YOU from your fellow $BEACH Token team! At $BEACH Token, we encourage safe participation of all types, and as you continue helping us execute our vital mission, keep in mind these helpful tips designed to assist you with safety and effectiveness. We call these, $BEACH Token BEST PRACTICES:
1) Organize/Advertise early: The best executed plans are usually those with plenty of lead time to allow organizers and participants to prepare. Thirty to sixty days out is a good rule of thumb — enough time for routine and contingency planning if/when something comes up that may throw a wrench into the middle of the original plan. Put out flyers, advertise to fraternal clubs, schools, churches, and news outlets (radio and newspaper).
2) Gather Fellow Planners. A one-person show is never quite as effective or as much fun as a group of volunteers. Assemble a planning team. More minds mean more ideas and better solutions!
3) Divide the Labor. Organizing and executing a large beach cleanup is a multi-faceted endeavor with lots of moving parts and the need for logistics before, during and after the day of the event. Share the tasks by delegating to other volunteers who will usually flourish with just the right amount of responsibility.
4) Get Permissions. Nothing goes over quite like a lead balloon than an event planned on the wrong day. Cities, counties, and municipalities all have robust public planning calendars that should be consulted before picking a date for your $BEACH event. This point serves two purposes: First, it saves time and trouble if a reschedule date is needed; Secondly, it gets your $BEACH event on the community calendar which in turn may prevent the municipality from double booking an event on YOUR special day. Nothing worse than showing up for an abandoned beach cleanup only to find 150,000 crowd enjoying a Beach Music Festival. Check calendars!
5) Inform/Invite the Press. Few things are more popular to news crews than a dedicated group of volunteer citizens meeting to clean up a debris strewn beach or to plant Mangrove trees. Be prepared to say a few words and praise your team if the cameras and correspondents show up on the day of your event. That publicity is certainly good for the cause by it may also nab you still more volunteers for your next outing!
6) Dress for Safety. If you don’t have funds for safety vests, gloves, and signage, ask for donations of supplies from local hardware stores. If nothing else, ask volunteers to dress in hard soled closed toe shoes, to bring gloves, wear sun protective clothing, and wear sunscreen. If fluorescent vests are available, wear them to clearly identify workers from the public.
7) Hydrate/Nourish. Like safety gear, water and snacks are important to ensure volunteers are energized to work for the entire allotted time of the event. Take a break every couple of hours. For all day events, provide a meal if able or ask volunteers to bring food items. You might be surprised how charitable local eateries are if asked to provide free food to volunteers cleaning up THEIR beaches!
8) Bag The Trash. Usually local municipal garbage disposal personnel are more than happy providing large trash bags that can be tied and left in-place for their crews to pick up during normal working hours the following work day. Don’t leave this important STEP up to chance. Inform and request services from city/county refuse pickup organizations well in advance. Recycled debris should be bagged separately and easily identified by those personnel retrieving bags, in order to ensure proper handling and disposition separate from trash.
9) Have FUN! One of the best ingredients that helps make memorable events that people return to time and again is FUN! Learn names, be thankful (and say so), and just use this special time to make and nurture new and existing friendships. Some might say in this day & time that volunteerism is dead. We know better. Take great pictures and video and post on social media to hype the event and the important ingredient that made it all possible: the VOLUNTEERS!
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