How to Give Back with a Litter Scavenger Hunt

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that if you call something a scavenger hunt, kids will go crazy for it. No joke. Cleaning up toys, finding groceries in the store, even picking up garbage! November 28 is Giving Tuesday and we've come up with a fun way for little kids to clean up their neighbourhood AND help other kids learn about the environment through the Clean Foundation's EnviroEd program.

We live in a wooded subdivision with ditches along the side of the road. I’ve been noticing that, as the lush greens of summer die off, a lot of litter was being revealed in its place, so I decided to get the kids involved in cleaning up.

One morning, as they got ready to go outside to play,  I surprised them with a couple bags and exclaimed, “GUESS WHAT. We’re going on a litter scavenger hunt!”

The actually cheered. About picking up garbage. Yep.

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Then I showed them this picture of Eddie, the adorable superhero cat puppet who hangs out with the Clean Foundation crew. I explained that they could help send Eddie into classrooms all over Nova Scotia by participating in the #TeamEddie challenge for Giving Tuesday (November 28). The cost for an EnviroEd classroom visit from Eddie is $250, which works out to only about $10 per child. Pretty sweet exchange rate to basically save the world.

“Cans, bottles, and juice boxes all are worth money,” I told them. “For every one of those you find, we can trade it for money for the Clean Foundation and Eddie can help other kids learn about how important it is to take care of our environment. The rest of the litter you pick up will help make our neighbourhood cleaner.”

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They didn’t need to be told twice. They were off and running.

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In no time they’d filled their bags with litter, including plastic bags, wrappers, juice boxes, pop cans, and several beer cans and hard liquor bottles (*thank you* to our neighbours with the teenagers who like to party).

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We even found a sock AND a boot - in different places...LOL would love to hear that story!

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Later we sorted the trash at our recycling/garbage station at home. The kids love having the responsibility of matching the items with the correct bin.

We added up the exchange amount for the refundables they had found and told them that we would DOUBLE that money, PLUS any other money they raised before #GivingTuesday, for their donation to the Clean Foundation.

Now they’ve been asking family, friends, and neighbours for their recyclables to add to their donation and, yes, they’ve been begging to go pick up more garbage - er, go on a Litter Scavenger Hunt - again this week. 

Oh! And Eddie himself will be on Facebook Live on Giving Tuesday (at 1pm and 6pm) talking to the kids who raised money for his challenge! Squeee! The kids can't wait.

 Hmmm...he'd look pretty cute poking out of the top of a Christmas stocking...

Hmmm...he'd look pretty cute poking out of the top of a Christmas stocking...

If your children would like to join us in participating in the #TeamEddie challenge for Giving Tuesday on November 28, and help bring the Clean Foundation’s EnviroEd program to more Nova Scotia classrooms, here is the online giving link and more information about the EnviroEd program. And, bonus, if you sponsor a full visit ($250) you not only get a tax receipt (yay, adulting), but you also receive your very own plush Eddie to give to a child or keep for yourself (I won't judge your choice).

Thanks to the Clean Foundation for sponsoring this post to help us get the word out to kids in our region about the #TeamEddie challenge, and to encourage locals to give back on #GivingTuesday. As always, all opinions are mine.