Year of Environmental Actions: Litter Picking

31st January 2022

For this year’s blog we decided that following on from the COP 26 in October last year in Glasgow that we would focus on environmental actions that we can all take in our every day lives to do our bit towards reducing our impact on the environment. Whether that is increasing biodiversity in our gardens by planting flowers for pollinators, reducing our reliance on single use plastics or making more journeys by bike or on foot to reduce CO2 emissions. Each month we will focus on a different action. To begin the year, we’re starting off with doing our bit to reduce the amount of litter that is polluting the environment.

Our Project Coordinator, Julia Babbitt, joined litter free Baildon almost a year ago. Local action like this is great as the community can make an effort together to keep their local area clear of litter. Last year volunteers from Litter Free Baildon collected 2047 bags of litter, the highest number yet in a year. Members look after a street in their local area. In addition, Scouting and Guiding groups help out along with young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh or school and eco groups. Along with many dog poo bags, food and drink packaging, finds have included a wendy house, 2 very rusty bikes and disposable BBQs discarded along with uncooked meat and plastic and hessian carrier bags from the shop in a beautiful ancient woodland.


As well as looking unsightly, litter can be harmful to animals in many ways such as hedgehogs getting their heads stuck in food containers as they smell good, or an animal ingesting plastic food packaging thinking it is food. It can also end up in a stream or river and then travel into the sea adding to the 14 million tonnes of plastic waste that ends up in the oceans each year.

“Litter picking is a rewarding activity as the area looks so much better after the litter pick, people I’ve met whilst litter picking have been very grateful for my efforts and I enjoy helping my local environment and wildlife, although of course it would be great if it wasn’t necessary. I’ve also benefited from getting some fresh air and being out in nature listening to bird song and seeing the changes each season whilst helping the environment,” said Julia.


If you would like to make a difference by litter picking, Bradford Council will provide litter pickers, bags and safety equipment. If you would like to find a local group to join, they often have a Facebook page with information on how to join in such as The Clean Streets of Keighley East.