Do your own #SoloCleanup

  • You can participate as often as you'd like!

  • Locations can be your favorite park, neighborhood, beach, or waterway

  • Earn Community Service Hours (you must follow the instructions below to get your certificate)

Safety Guidelines: For anyone doing their own cleanup, please review the safety guidelines and 8 Steps to doing your own cleanup below. Reach out with any questions to [email protected] We are here to help! 

Supplies: If you are doing your own independent cleanup, at a bare minimum you will need gloves and a garbage bag. We like these reusable and washable gloves for $1/pair at Home Depot, but even dishwashing gloves available at your local grocery store are fine. You can easily re-purpose a used bucket too (ask local restaurants who may have food service items like soy sauce, pickles or condiments that come in buckets to donate!)

Clean Swell: Citizen Science Data collection is a crucial component used to quantify the problem and help support good government policy. Download the app before your cleanup and log the types and amounts of trash you collect. (Logging your trash in Clean Swell is required for community service hours). Check out the CleanSwell poster or Watch the short Video for more guidance on using the app. 


Community Service Hours: We give a maximum of 2-hours per cleanup. 

To be eligible to receive community service hours for your cleanup, you must log your cleanup in Clean Swell. When you are done collecting and have submitted your data you will receive an email summary. Forward that summary along with a photo of you and your bags from the cleanup to [email protected]  We will send you an electronic community service certificate within 1 week.  We'd like to see some action shot photos of you at the location, 1 photo that shows some of the items you found,  and at least 1 photo that shows the cumulative impact.. ALL of the trash you collected. So if you have multiple bags of trash or buckets, take a photo of ALL of the trash together before you throw it away so i can see the total volume. If you want to earn an additional hour (3-hours total) see details below about the optional essay you can submit along with your cleanup photos and cleanswell report.  The bonus hour for the essay is limited to 1 per person, but you can do as many cleanups as you'd like! 


We will give you an additional hour (1 per person) if you want to write a 1-page essay about your cleanup and addressing the following points. 

Cleanup Essay:

  • Where and when did you do your cleanup? Who was with you?
  • What kinds of items did you find on your cleanup?
    • What did you find the MOST of?
    • Did you find anything unusual or strange?
  • How did it make you feel to find these items during your cleanup? What were your reactions to the activity? Any thoughts or insights as a result?
  • Where do you think this trash is coming from? How did it get to the location where you found it?
  • What are the impacts of trash in our oceans and beaches? Why should we be concerned about marine debris?
  • Do you have any ideas on what we can ALL do better, to prevent this problem?
    • What can you do personally in your life?
    • What should government be doing?
    • What should businesses be doing?

Social Media: Spreading knowledge of our marine debris problem is critical to solving the problem. Share pictures on social media with any personal asks or changes that you are committing to, and tag @VolunteerCleanup so we can like your post.!.