Clean Up Your Act On Clean Up Australia Day

Clean Up Australia DaySpruce up your neighbourhood, local community, heck, the whole of the country, by lending a helping hand on Sunday 3rd March – it’s Clean Up Australia Day!


On Clean Up Australia Day in 2012, about 590,000 volunteers cleaned up 16,000 tonnes at 7,500 sites right across the nation – that deserves a pat on the back, people!

The idea for what’s become Australia’s largest community-based environmental event goes back to the 1987 BOC Challenge solo around-the-world yacht race. Ian Kiernan, sailing his ‘Spirit of Sydney’ yacht, was shocked by the polluted oceans. In ’89, he decided to get his own backyard — Sydney Harbour — in order. With the support of friends, including Clean Up co-founder Kim McKay AO, Ian organised Clean Up Sydney Harbour, where more than 40,000 Sydneysiders donated their time and effort.

The very next year Clean Up Australia Day was born, with almost 300,000 volunteers for the inaugural event. Today, Clean Up Australia works with local communities, government and businesses to provide practical solutions for sustainability. To find out more about Clean Up Australia Day (plus other Clean Up events) and to get involved, go to:

Before hitting your local Clean Up Site, make sure you’re prepared:

  • Old clothes – Wear garments that you don’t mind binning (responsibly, of course) if you have to at the end of the day.
  • Comfy, protective footwear – You’ll be on your feet for hours and who knows what you’ll come across — like broken glass — so protect your hoofs with sturdy, well-fitted shoes.
  • Hat, sunnies and sunscreen – It may technically be autumn on Clean Up Australia Day, but chances are it’ll still be warm and sunny on the back of a hot Aussie summer.
  • Drinks and snacks – Good, ol’ fashioned hard work never hurt anyone, but it sure does build up an appetite, so stay well fed and hydrated.
  • Groovy tunes – Music will help you get through the hard yakka. If you don’t already have an iPod or MP3 player, scoot into your local Harvey Norman store or jump online.

Alright, if you can’t commit a few hours of your time on Clean Up Australia Day, you CAN at least sort out your weekly waste habits at home using the council-supplied wheelie bins. So, when you take out the trash, remember:

  • Red lid = general household waste
  • Yellow lid = recycling
  • Green bin = organics

Don’t be a litterbug – all of us can do our little bit daily. Cigarette butts, chewing gum, food wrappers, whatever it is… do the right thing and chuck ‘em in the bin. Let’s clean up and conserve the greatest country in the world: Australia, mate!