Home News and Features Green Up Day Challenge: Clean Every Mile 

Green Up Day Challenge: Clean Every Mile 

green up poster with imageof vermont
Marina H., a 7th grader from Shelburne Community School, designed the 2022 Green Up Day poster. Courtesy image.
Green Up Vermont is challenging Vermonters to clean up every roadside mile during this year’s Green Up Day on May 7, 2022. 

“Many residents have been contacting the Green Up Vermont office, concerned about the amount of trash on the roadsides this spring, looking for Green Up Day supplies and information, and also a solution,” states a press release from Green Up Vermont about the 52-year old traditional roadside clean-up day unique to Vermont.

“I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard ‘What kind of person thinks it is OK to roll down the window and toss their trash into the environment,’” states executive director Kate Alberghini. “It is indeed disappointing, and there is no good answer, other than continuing to work year-round on a variety of initiatives inclusive of continuing to promote the ever-so-important Green Up Day and extend education for waste reduction.”

According to Green Up Vermont, “If the 22,000 volunteers in 2021 were paid minimum wage for only two hours of time (most work far longer than that!) it would cost well over a half a million dollars! So how do we combat the problem of litter?” 

“This year has been amazing in the support and eagerness of volunteers getting out and cleaning up already. There are a few towns who have already run out of the signature Green Up Day bags and have requested more,” says Alberghini. Many schools are back and more interested than ever to do their part. Communities are reviving their outreach and sense of celebration around Green Up Day with community projects, volunteer breakfasts and pot-luck lunches. This togetherness is fueled by two years of social distance that never let go of the social duty to work together in cleaning our environment.

In Montpelier, volunteers should stop by the Green Up Day stations at the Capital City Farmers Market on Green Up Day between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. or on Langdon Street at the Bike Swap between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m., according to the Montpelier Alive website. “There we will have Green Up Day bags and gloves for volunteers,” it states. 

Volunteers can also get bags ahead of time in the city clerk’s office in city hall and sign up ahead of time using Montpelier Alive’s online mapping tool at montpelieralive.org/greenupmap. 

“The online mapping tool allows volunteers to see which areas have been claimed and which ones we still need help with in real time. To claim a stretch of road, park, or parking lot using the tool, click the small Green Up Day icon under the search bar, and then select a street, park, or parking lot. This will allow you to “adopt” the area,” states Montpelier Alive at montpelieralive.com/390/Green-Up-Day.

Volunteers can also leave full Green Up Day bags at their curbside within city limits. The crew from the Montpelier Department of Public Works will pick up the bags of litter after Green Up Day.

Green Up Vermont also stated in its press release that the “2021 Green Up Day statistics showed trash pickup increased by 70% or higher. Vermonters cleaned 75% of the approximately 13,000 miles of town roads. With more people involved this year and the heightened concern for our trashy roadsides, we are challenging more Vermonters, clubs, and businesses to get out and help us Clean Every Mile! Together we can do this and prove to the nation that litter has no place here.”

Green Up Day is Saturday, May 7. Find your town details at greenupvermont.org. See related story “Roadside Refuse: A Trashy Sign of Spring,” by Carla Occaso at montpelierbridge.org/2022/04/roadside-refuse-a-trashy-sign-of-spring.