Earth-conscious people of all ages participated in cleaning up Coligny Beach on Earth Day 2022. COURTESY OUTSIDE FOUNDATION

On April 22, in celebration of Earth Day, about 500 locals and visitors showed up at beaches, parks and other natural spaces to collect trash. Earth Day is the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement.

The call to action had been sent out for an island-wide litter sweep. All types of organizations and groups were invited to participate by planning a sweep at their location of choice and registering their sweep on, where it was posted for volunteers to pick a time and location of their choice.

In all, 23 sweeps took place at 18 locations around the island and in Bluffton. All were asked to tag their posts, photos and videos on social media with the hashtag #EARTHDAYHHI.

A total of 127 bags of trash were collected, equaling an astonishing 758 pounds of garbage.

Commemorative T-shirts for the event were created by members of  Pockets Full of Sunshine and are still available by request.

The Outside Foundation would like to thank their partner organizations in this effort, including: Turtle Trackers chapters, Town of Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, Pockets Full of Sunshine, Marriott Vacation Club, Sonesta, Coastal Discovery Museum, Litter Control Beaufort County, Westin Hilton Head, Tanglewood Owners, Pulseology, Hilton Head Elementary, Palmetto Dunes/Leamington POA, Beaufort County Junior Leadership, Bailey Point Lane Peeps and Outside Brands.

The Outside Foundation is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to get kids outside and protect and preserve our local eco-system. The Foundation operates the Kids in Kayaks program, ORRBI oyster recycling initiative, the annual Keep the Broad Creek Clean Festival, #EarthDayHHI, The OluKai Lowcountry Boil Paddle Battle, along with regular litter clean-ups of beaches, parks and waterways, and community education and awareness initiatives.

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Jessie Renew is a member of the board of directors for the Outside Foundation.