Make Roadside Cleanup Part of Your Spring Routine

Image Courtesy of TDOT Love TN Byways – 2022 Cherohala Skyway Beautification Day

With the frosty veil of winter lifting and spring beginning to blossom, it’s also the perfect time for new habits to bloom. Spring cleaning shouldn’t just be limited to inside your home—let’s make roadside cleanup part of our spring cleaning ritual. As we refresh our homes and gardens, we have the power to extend this rejuvenation to the roads stretching throughout our beautiful state. We invite you to embrace the season’s spirit by nurturing both your personal spaces and our shared environments, ensuring the natural beauty of our state is reflected in every mile.

Why Roadside Cleanup Matters

Litter scattered along roadsides is more than an eyesore—it poses serious environmental hazards and threatens wildlife. It can contaminate water sources, degrade soil quality, and endanger animals that might ingest or get trapped in debris. Beyond environmental concerns, roadside trash detracts from our communal spaces, potentially turning away visitors and costing our protected spaces in the future. By engaging in roadside cleanup, we demonstrate our pride in Tennessee’s natural heritage and our dedication to its preservation for future generations.

How to Incorporate Roadside Cleanup into Your Spring Routine:

  1. Be a Highway Hero – Consider adopting a section of a highway allowing you, your family, or groups to take responsibility for cleaning up litter along designated stretches of road. This structured approach to roadside cleanup ensures ongoing care and makes a sustainable impact over time. It’s a commitment that fosters community involvement and personal accountability toward our environment.
  2. Community Cleanup Collaboration – Participate in or create local cleanup in your area and connect with others who share a passion for conservation. These group activities have a more significant impact on the environment and help build community bonds.
  3. Incorporate Daily Disposal- Embrace the simple yet impactful habit of throwing away litter during your daily routines. While on your usual walks, take a moment to perform spot checks for stray trash—each piece you dispose of in the proper receptacle is one less threat to our beautiful roads and vital waterways. This small act is a step towards preserving Tennessee’s natural beauty and health, and it’s an easy addition to your spring-cleaning ritual for which the environment will thank you.
  4. Dump Site Detox – Sometimes, we encounter large, illegal dump sites that are too much for one person to tackle. These sites are more than just an eyesore; they’re potential environmental and health hazards. Contact your Local Environmental Field Office to report any concerns and ensure the issue is addressed by professionals who can safely and effectively manage the site.
  5. Crack Down on Litter Bugs: In addition to reporting dump sites – you can help keep our roadways free of litter by reporting litterers. The litter hotline is a resource for proactive individuals such as you to make a difference. Whenever you observe litter discarded from vehicles on our state’s roads, this service allows you to report the incident and help us promptly address the issue.
  6. Social Sweep – Share your cleanup activities on social media or community channels to inspire others. By highlighting the importance of these efforts, we can encourage more people to get involved.
  7. Environmental Engagement – Stay informed and motivated by subscribing to our newsletter. Get updates on upcoming cleanup events, tips on environmental conservation, and stories of impact from our community.

This spring, let’s recommit to our environment. Together, we can enhance the natural beauty of our state and raise environmental awareness. By incorporating these activities into our spring routines, we not only aid in maintaining Tennessee’s allure but also champion a culture of ecological stewardship.

Remember, every piece of litter that you dispose of correctly is one less pollutant in our roads and waterways, making for a cleaner, healthier Tennessee. Let’s make a change, one piece of litter at a time – for a cleaner, greener Tennessee.

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